My Life as Art
Rev. Dr. Queen Shamala Ifawuyi Bessie Davis Smith was born in Kinston, North Carolina and graduated from Adkin High School. She migrated to Los Angeles and earned a Bachelor’s of Art degree in Psychology from the University of Southern California and later a Masters of Art Degree in Psychology from the California State University, Los Angeles. Queen Shamala completed the degree of Doctorate in Theology with a major in Religious Studies from the Christ is the Answer University on December 12, 2014
Over twenty years ago, after a great induction by Spirit, Bessie was given a new name, Shamala, which means ‘spirit-given Love-Queen’. She was then told she was an artist and a visionary; she began to paint. Her life was catapulted into art, color, forms, and ancestral energies. Her three-dimensional textured use of acrylic is called sculpt-painting. Some of the highly textured art can be touched gingerly with light fingers.
Queen Shamala describes the art as a vehicle for the designist/paintist. Aficionados have classified the art as Outside Art-art outside of the classic, formal training. Gallery owners call it Salon Style. Shamala calls it a gift of Obatala, a Yoruba deity of creativity. Viewers of the art often exclaim that the art touches them deeply on the inside. At other times, it has evoked a desire in others to paint and express some hidden emotions.
For Shamala, there is an essential unity, eternal sacredness, and immense connectedness of all Beingness (living and dead) of oceans, mountains, trees, lemons, wind and human. An indepth study of cultures and religions instills within her a deep love and appreciation for diversity in all creativity. Thus, the art serves to unify Shamala’s life and the multiplicities of form.
In her art studio in Gardena, CA, Queen Shamala continues to paint images of love, light, the feminine energy, and upliftment. Queen Shamala, a metaphysical practitioner, also facilitates spiritual counseling, initiations, rites of passages, life writing sessions and painting classes. These transformative activities are part of the University of Creative Life Initiation System (UCLIS), a school housed at the studio, which grew out of ancestral interaction and intense studies.