MONROE, La. (KTVE/KARD) — February is Black History Month, and to celebrate the legacy of the past and the future, we highlight local black artist Vitus Shell. Shell says he has been drawing and creating as early as three years old and believes art is a way to express yourself regardless of its medium.

Shell says that hair, fashion, and even food are art forms, and it is important to have art in communities to help people who struggle with expressing themselves. Shell shared the inspiration behind one of his pieces, “Nipsey Blue.” He says the art is dedicated to the late Nipsey Hussle, a rapper who poured into his community and was fatally shot in March 2019.

“Nipsey Blue” by Vitus Shell

Shell says the world would be bland and dead without art. Shell is also teaching at Louisiana Tech University, is the Black Creative Arts Circle president, and is actively pouring knowledge and love into his community.