Who am I?

As a visually impaired African American self-proclaimed 'Queens Artist in Residence,' I work to create dialogue and action between my piece and the community.  I explore disability, race,  equity, and equality.  


I work to bring in funding/resources using art as a tool for things my community needs at a time where it seems like all that matters are the people you know, the university you went to, the place you teach at, the galleries you're in, or the museums that own your work.

My work can be found in the communities I sweat and labor over.  


This public installation commissioned by Friends of MacDonald Park is a commentary on our political, social, and economic systems. The piece grows and changes with the community, inviting community engagement. For example, when one rabbit was purposely broken in the night, a community member who majored in police studies suggested outlining the rabbit body and marking it "DOA" as a way to illustrate both the literal danger the bunny sculpture faced and the figurative danger depicted by the piece.

NYC Park, Forest Hills

MacDonaldPark, Forest Hills


Wood, acrylic, yarn, and stone



A piece that changes based on community input

Piece Changes "Rigged" here

What They Call Me: Untitled 2

These pieces are an exploration of race and disability. They represent my personal exploration of visual impairment as an African American woman.  The second photo is a closeup of the panel on the right.  In the outline panel, I use texture to represent form, shadow, and light.  I am exploring new ways of communicating form through touch in my work.  I am also investigating visual disability as subject matter in my work..

Acrylic on Wood 

4'x4' 2 (2'x4')


Peppermint in Pieces

I suffer from Retinitis Pigmentosa, a condition that affects the rods and cones of the eyes and leads to blindness. Peppermint in Pieces was influenced by how I see the new Airedale Terrier that came in to my life in 2018. The sculpture requires the viewer to walk around the piece until it ultimately fits together; what might be a perfect place for one viewer may not work for another as our individual perspectives are different based on height and visual acuity.

Captain Tilly Park

Jamaica, Queens


Wood and aluminum


Waking Blind

While at the Elmhurst Sculpture Garden a little girl said to her mom that my sculpture looked just like her. Historically, especially within Western culture, people with my features haven’t found many places besides the mirror to see themselves reflected. Waking Blind is about identity and disability and draws from my own culture.

59-59 92nd Street

Marble and cement

Elmhurst, NY

Sculpted in clay, cast in cement


Elmhurst Sculpture Garden

My objective with creating this sculpture garden is to offer a safe place for artists to create outdoor art and learn to revitalize public spaces while creating work and engaging with the community. It's an incubator with the intent that each artist brings what they've learned back to their community to uplift a space, create art, and interact with their neighbors. It's also a space for me to experiment with new sculptures and interact with my community

Elmhurst Garden/Alderton Garden


aluminum, cement, plastic, stone, wood, and soil

Rabbit Hole (Photo 1 & 2) 

Labor of love (Photo 3)


Funders include Burning Man Global Arts, Queens Council on the Arts, and NEA


Stay posted on updates with "Elmhurst Sculpture Garden" here

Selected Outdoor Installations

These pieces are in my community where I live and raise my family

Elmhurst Sculpture Garden, Flushing Meadow Corona Park (Queens), AHRC (LIC), NYC Health + Hospital, Dunningham Triangle (Elmhurst). MacDonald Park (Forest Hills), Captain Tilly Park (Jamaica, Queens), PS 139 (Rego Park), IS 159 (Masbeth), PS 99 (Kew Gardens), PS 69 (Jackson Heights), Our Savior, Fleet Street, 63rd Drive, Yellowstone, Elmhurst Sculpture Garden, Woodhaven Sculpture Garden


© 2016 by Yvonne Shortt.

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