Collection: Ernest Watson

After his graduation from Central Piedmont College in Charlotte, North Carolina, with a degree in commercial art, Watson worked as an illustrator and draftsman for 3 years. "I had toyed with the idea of becoming a fine artist, but I went into the commercial end of it basically for monetary reasons," he says.

In 1981, at the age of 28, Watson became a professional artist. "Most of my work is Of a social nature," Watson says. He tries to capture people interacting in certain Situations: in nightclubs and in churches, for instance.

"Monday Morning on Commerce Street" depicts downtown Charlotte during the mid1970s, when it was thriving metropolis of black businesses. "It has since moved," says the artist. "That was a very important part of my life."

Speaking of another of his poster images, Watson says: "'Nightlife at the Studio' is a particular place that a brother of mine ran for a couple of years in Shelby [North Carolina] called Studio 52."