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The Artist

Ty Rawls

For Ty Rawls painting is a way of life. As a child, it was a way of coping with constant racism and the pain of never seeing his absent father. The drawing was therapy, and he drew a lot. In many ways he was destined to be a painter. The Rawls family held fine art in the highest regard and recognized Ty’s talents, finding advanced art classes for him at a young age. After spending three years at Wayne State University studying fine art and design, Ty left to start his first big project, and in the year 2000 he became known around the world as the creator of the hit Graphic Novel, “Smoke”. In 2001 after success with “Smoke” and a move to Boston, Ty had the good fortune of meeting Paul Goodnight and began training with the master painter. It was a dream come true, and during this period he acquired the specific skills that make him the painter he is today. In 2009 Rawls had a series of shows in Hollywood Los Angeles. Ty experienced L.A.’s amazing gallery scene getting attention for his work, and having an incredible time. In 2019 Ty was introduced to the incredible Detroit Fine Arts Breakfast Club and in just a few months sold more pain/ngs than he had thought possible. When the pandemic hit, people kept buying Ty’s work and in 2021 he started planning his first gallery show since 2009, with a new body of work that is more meaningful and vibrant than anything he’s ever done.

“Each canvas is prepared with a surface of thick gesso that creates a beautiful layer of frosting to paint on. I developed this process after years of Paul Goodnight's influence. This preparation is partly for longevity, paintings are an investment so I make them to last many generations.”

Rawls Art Gallery

Established in 2016. Inspiring the world with soulful arts and crafts. 


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