Theodore G. Waters, III or Ted was born and raised in Philadelphia, PA. He always had a keen eye and interest in the visual arts. During family outings, he would claim to be bored, so his mother, grandmother and aunts would give him a piece of paper, a pencil, pen, or crayon, and instruct him to draw. Growing up, Ted’s creativity would seep out onto his book covers, the back of tests, in the middle of class, and group projects. His artistic talents would garner much attention and praise as he continued to practice drawing. He would continue his pursuit of the visual arts through high school until majoring in Fine Art at Cheyney University of Pennsylvania.
Cheyney University of Pennsylvania; America's oldest African American University, is where Ted received formal art training. In the fine arts program, Ted perfected his artistic abilities, expression, understanding, and appreciation of the fine arts. Most importantly, Ted discovered his own philosophy of the creative processes. Additionally, studio classes provided Ted the opportunity to select mediums that best fit his style and approach and put his creative process to practice. Ted’s mediums are oil painting, watercolor, sculpting, and photography.
Ted graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Fine Arts from Cheyney University in 2012. After graduation, Ted spent five years working for the City of Philadelphia as a Digital Recording Technician (DRT) while balancing his love for the visual arts. To date, Ted has taken part in multiple exhibits at Cheyney University, Temple University, and Philadelphia’s October Gallery. In 2011, he won the Philadelphia Italian Market Local Prize as part of the Scott Kelby Worldwide Photowalk. He was also a semi-finalist in the Bombay Sapphire Artisan Series in 2017 held at the Philadelphia’s The Painted Bride. His winning oil painting, “The Barbershop” demonstrated a surrealistic depiction of a boy reading a book at a barbershop for a free haircut. This painting demonstrates a wonderful new phenomenon of African American boys being rewarded for investing time into themselves by enhancing their ability to read. Most recently, Ted’s photography of Philadelphia visual artist, Lavett Ballard was featured in “TIME Magazine’s” March 2020 issue; “100 Women of the Year”.
Currently, Ted is focusing on multiple projects that draw on his many artistic abilities. He is working on completing; with pianist/composer Kendrah Butler-Waters, a documentary about Women in Jazz in Philadelphia. This endeavor focuses on the narratives and experiences of female jazz artists and women’s contribution to the overall jazz genre. The film is slated to premier on July 3, 2020 on Penns Landing’s Main Stage as part of the city of Philadelphia’s Independence Day Weekend festivities. Ted is also working on a Photography series titled, “The Bow Tie Series” that focuses on the African American male expression and storytelling through the use of a bow tie as self-expression.