Shak Smart AKA Shakir Manners is originally from Seat Pleasant MD and has been painting and drawing ever since childhood. Due to his enriched cultural upbringing from his mother he quickly excelled and learned about his African heritage and how public art uplifts and unifies the community. His mother was a well known African Dance and Drumming instructor and public displays of art made an huge impact on every community they performed in. He graduated Design School in Florida in 2009 and moved to NYC to pursue a career in graphic design. His design soon translated to walls and murals. His African heritage soon reflected in his works and inspirational upbringing turned his murals into uplifting pillars of beautification all over the world. He moved to Los Angeles in 2013 and his mural career grew rapidly.
Shakir has a plethora of murals worldwide and has painted for restaurants, City halls, Malls, Gallery Shows, Schools, live painting Murals Festivals, BLM Campaigns, Social Help Centers, and Private Residential homes. Shak has also been on many publications and interviews. Shakir has traveled around the world on an Outreach Mural Tours sponsored by various companies: spanning the US and Costa Rica. He was also commissioned to participate in The Year of the Return Festival in Ghana. Where he used his art to connect the African American diaspora with their motherland roots. Manners developed a youth summer program to relieve some of the parental pressures for the 2020 covide19 pandemic in Delaware. The art week allowed 20 students to learn a new skill and safely socialize during one of the most isolating times of their lives. Manners intentionally dedicates time to teaching others visual art. Whether home in LA or while commissioned on his international journeys, He continues to paint murals and spread his message of vigor, justice, equality, and optimism.
What kind of public art project do I want to work on?
I have been painting murals and touring for 10 years. It’s been uplifting and unites every single community I paint in! I feel as though murals is the only art form that breaks social class and prejudice.Art that truly belongs and inspired by the people.