November 11, 2023 - January 27, 2024
Gallery hours: Monday - Friday, 10 a.m. - 4 p.m., Saturday 9 a.m. - 5 p.m., & by appointment
Shawn Payne and Charlie Visconage are titans of footwear now, but they weren’t always a household name. In early 1993, Shawn was dreaming up fantastical designs by night while stuck fabricating laces at a giant, soulless shoe factory by day. At the same time, Charlie was stuck making boring shoe molds as a heel technician on another floor of the same factory. They each knew shoes could be something bigger, bolder, and more fun if they could only find the right opportunity to strike out on their own.
As luck would have it, Shawn and Charlie literally bumped into each other walking home from work one night, each of them scattering sketches of their own inventive shoe designs. They looked at the designs; they looked at each other, and they knew what they had to do: quit their jobs, join forces to design their own fabulous shoes, and open the store to sell those shoes. Thus was born Shawn and Charlie's Shoetopia. Anything but ordinary, the “two shoe ingenues” quickly gained a cult following for their whimsical high-heeled designs, delighting customers worldwide with their bright colors, sparkle, and playful heels shaped like Egyptian pyramids, musical instruments, forks, lips, dollar signs, doughnuts, pizza, Pac-Man, and more. The rest, as they say, is history! Shawn & Charlie’s landmark store in Washington, DC features the team’s newest fashions as well as inventory representing their most famous designs over the years. Shoe connoisseurs, rejoice!
Shawn & Charlie logo and all original shoe designs (except Charlie's initial heels) by Shawn Payne.
Shawn Payne has been an Art Enables resident artist since 2009. He loves making a fashion statement, which is evident in his enthusiasm for designing creative shoes in his artwork. Shawn favors a mixed media approach of acrylic, rhinestones, and glitter, and his shoes have themed designs full of clever details that are often reflected in his backgrounds. His dream is that one day, people will be wearing his creations in addition to enjoying them in his paintings. He loves to meet those who are interested in his work and to share his unique style with them personally.
Charlie Visconage is an American self-taught artist. When other kids told him he was a “bad drawer” in school, he believed it for far too long. In 2013, a friend suggested he paint just for the hell of it, and Charlie found a new means of expression that he loved and hasn't stopped painting since. Charlie makes landscape paintings, portraits, interactive experiences and sculptures. Charlie’s work focuses on capturing the darkly comedic moments of our time, finding joy in spite of the slow death of capitalism and the end of the American empire. In 2023, Charlie relocated from Washington, DC to Porto, Portugal.