‘For Toni’: Baltimore artist’s mural honors ‘Beloved’ author

BALTIMORE (AP) — The news of Toni Morrison’s death led a west Baltimore artist to create his own version of an ancestral shrine.

The Baltimore Sun reports that 50-year-old Ernest Shaw Jr. completed a mural of the celebrated artist and Nobel laureate by Tuesday, just a day after Morrison’s death.

Shaw says he considers the death of the 88-year-old Morrison to be the acquiring of an ancestor. He says creating the mural was his way of pouring libations, a reference to a ritual used to honor ancestors and deities.

He says there’s no death in dying as Morrison has just transitioned to now work with “the other side.” The spontaneous mural dedicated to “TONI M” covers a Graffiti Alley wall behind Motor House and took several hours to complete.

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Information from: The Baltimore Sun, http://www.baltimoresun.com

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