Merlene Ellis, was born in Guyana on March 15, 1966. She obtained G.C.E. ‘O’ Level qualification in Art and enrolled part time at the Burrowes School of Art in Guyana for four months studying painting, then left Burrowes to experiment more with paint at home.
In 1996 Ellis had her first solo exhibition and represented Guyana at various regional art exhibitions. She won the Gold and Bronze medals consecutively for the National Watercolor Competition in 1999. Ellis won a Silver and Bronze medal in two separate competitions for Watercolor and Drawing in 2002.
Seventeen of Ellis’ paintings are part of the National Collection of Guyana. Acquired paintings are in institutional collections, private collections – locally, regionally and internationally. In 2013 Ellis was honored by the Guyana Cultural Association of New York, and awarded with a plaque and two City Council Citation Statements for Originality and Production of Cultural Themes.
Ellis is a watercolorist but also paints on canvas with a unique self-taught impasto application using oil and acrylic medium. Ellis has participated in solo exhibitions as well as several group exhibitions in Guyana, Venezuela, Washington, D.C., New York, and Connecticut.
“I create art to pay homage to memory, history, spirit, humanity, family and ever changing evolution.
“Passion is just ''passion'' between two people, thought of at a moment in time.”
- Merlene Ellis