Artist bio

My name is Lavonia Garrett. I am from Charlotte, North Carolina. I am the mother of two sons, ages 15 and 11. I have been employed with Charlotte Mecklenburg School system since 1995. I discovered my love for the arts while working with school age children. I love to be daring in my art and think outside the box. In fact, what box?


Ephe and Her Shield

Artist Statement

I have been working on this piece since early June. That is when I found out about the Engage Art Contest on Facebook. I would start creating a piece, look at it and decide that I did not like it, and start all over again. I love to create things. I am especially interested in creating and upcycling furniture as I like for my art to be functional. As one can see "Ephe" is a chair. The chair was given to me by a former neighbor. I cleaned and restored the chair to create "Ephe". The chair was draped with a tablecloth that I purchased from the Goodwill. I used Elmers glue and Stiffy, a fabric stiffener on the table cloth so that it would hold the draping folds that you see on the piece. Her cascading dress, as well as her denim vest, was then heavily painted with Antique Copper Metallic paint, followed by MinWax Honey 272 Wood Stain and then sealed with MiniWax Clear Polyurethane. Denim and other fabrics were also used. Lace, gold trim,and metal jewelry are used to adorn her clothing. Aluminum wire (copper, silver and gold), jewelry and a CD is used to create the belt of truth. A pair of old boots for readiness is used to complete her attire. Her shield is my old hubcap attached to a cardboard tube and placed in a coffee can which is also wrapped in aluminum wire. While working on "Ephe" I often reflect back on Ephesians 6:10-20 and how it is relative to my life. I hope that viewers will also reflect on this verse and enjoy "Ephe and Her Shield" as much as I enjoyed creating it.

How it fits into contest

"Ephe and Her Shield"
She sits at the Master's feet and meditates on His Word. There is power in His Word. Ephe's urbanistic and elegant manner permits her to flow freely in and out of various social roles and economic statuses. She has learned that the evil one is also well adept at changing social graces. Therefore, Ephe must stay ready. She is aware that the battle is not with flesh and blood. No, this constant battle is fought against the evil powers of the dark world. The evil one dwells the Earth looking to kill, steal and destroy.
Her armor is necessary, Ephe's full length denim vest compliments her cascading metallic dress, she is protected from head to toe. Her jeweled breastplate of righteousness is donned with gold, silver and copper, protecting her heart. The metals are symbolic of her own refinement and a testament of her life. A hint of blue symbolizes sadness and pain. The belt of truth is secured around her waist repeating the same elements. Ephe's bronze, gold trimmed boots exemplifies her walk with Jesus as she stands in pursuit of peace. During the time of war a soldier must always be prepared. Ephe keeps her weaponry for spiritual warfare close by. The shield of faith, the sword which is the Word of God and the helmet of salvation is always accessible. Ephe is ready to fight the good fight and forever be an ambassador for the Lord.

My Inspiration for this artwork is a strong yet elegant woman. The devil is always busy. Ephe knows that God has her back and she is not easily shaken by the evil one and his ploys. Ephe is me.


Gwen Garrett, Wandra Garrett, Mikhail Baldwin, Kieran Garrett, Heather Harbison, Tianna LeGardye, Tonisha Deberry, Mandy Norman and Jennifer Anderson for support and inspiration.
Robert Locke for his financial support in this project and encouragement
John Carothers photographer and encouragement.

I like to thank all of these people for always believing in me. Love you all.
Hobby Lobby, Goodwill and Home Depot are the stores I frequent to bring this project to fruition.

How to Purchase this Artwork

Type of work: a unique original
Purchase price: $800

Submit Your Artwork Today!

Curious? Interested in submitting artwork to our contest? Know someone who might be? Through April 14th, 2022, the Engage Art Contest is open to the whole world! Get your foot in the door by claiming your Artist Page now!