Watson, Ernest

After graduating from Central Piedmont College in Charlotte, North Carolina, with a commercial art degree, Watson worked as an illustrator and draftsman for three years. Despite contemplating a career as a fine artist, he opted for commercial art primarily for financial reasons. In 1981, at age 28, he transitioned into a professional artist, focusing mainly on social themes, capturing scenes of people in various settings like nightclubs and churches. Depicting downtown Charlotte in the mid-1970s, “Monday Morning on Commerce Street” reminisces the city’s vibrant era of black businesses. Watson reflects on the significance of this period, noting its importance in his life. Describing another piece, “Nightlife at the Studio,” he recalls a specific establishment, Studio 52, managed by his brother for a couple of years in Shelby, North Carolina.

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