Friday, October 17, 2014
last three weeks I've been working with Minnehaha Lutheran Church in south Minneapolis. I've been working with group of teenagers and young adults some of which were former students of mine. And the newer students that I've met are very awesome young people that are motivated and trying to do some great things with their lives. The pastors there are Pastor Dan and Pastor Sally also a dynamic couple, who has been leading the church in courageous conversations about social change. Very encouraging to hear and see them work with the congregation. During this time I had an opportunity to minister, speak/fellowship and encourage these young people. The mural that we created was all about communicating with each other and communicating with God.
Thursday, September 18, 2014
I've come to a place on this painting I'm working on, where I could you done advise. This piece I've been working on for quite some time has come to a halt. This image is titled "mother of the earth". The image is a pregnant woman with the The 12 tribes of Juda in her belly. The image depicts the original tribes that made up the nations of the world. Here in lies the problem I always try to deal with my audience from an intelligent perspective, but how do I show that this is the tribes if I don't label them? Please inquire!
Tuesday, September 16, 2014
This summer I have had an opportunity to show art work at the Lowry Cafe in the North-side community of Minneapolis here a large number of urban families live including mine. I'm honored to show work near my home and support the ideas of expanding the communities of color through arts and visual challenges. These two pieces are currently hung there. The first piece is "Praying Hands" it is Oil and rice on wood. The second is "Cosmic Praise" Oil, Rice, Pastels on Wood. I have two other pieces there as well. The Lowry Cafe is a nice cafe positioned next to a black owned book store, Ancestry Books, and a hardware store. There is a Family dolor stare nearby an Aldi's and Subway as well. This area is key because it is situated in a prime area for business and neighborhoods, shopping and eating. I'm excited to continually show work in our neighborhoods to assist with the exploration of the arts and art making in Minneapolis, if you have the time please stop by and eat and view the art work.
Wednesday, July 16, 2014
This summers so chill with arts galore. Working with 5th-8th graders. In Saint Paul Public Schools Arts US program. I'm so excited to work with this team of 16 young people who are by far one of the most talented/creative group of students I've worked with. They have already dubbed themselves as the "swaggy spunk". Here you see the students designing and painting a name plate for their class. They have worked diligently to express themselves and their creative ability to think outside of the box is incredible. One of the classes they have is a drama/dance class where the students did synchronizing movements without sound these young creatives moved for thirty five minutes nonstop afterwards the reflection was positive and inflective.
Student working with the gardener to make spring rolls.
It's been great to see the growth of these youth here is Saint Paul's Arts US program . There were several parents who came to me saying how they enjoyed this program. My artist friend, Mica Anders-Turner (the interim Director in the spring) put together a great staff of teachers and their Board of Directors hired Kirsten Fisher as the Director; who did a dynamic job managing our program this summer as well. This camp was six weeks where kids learned about dancing, drumming, stepping, painting, gardening, science and was saturated with ideas and opportunities.
One of their step classes.
Saturday, July 05, 2014
other Minnesota artist and I ) are here at Camp Bovey, and so far this experience is stellar, I can't imaging what a young person would think of this opportunity but it's rare to have these type of chances to work with professional artist and have a blast all in one at camp. This experience is great working with four other artist who are fabulous in their own right. Monday my students walked around the woods discovering sticks and rocks that we painted and did collage over. These objects will be placed back in the woods creating creative spaces and cool objects for viewers to discover stripped sticks and or polka dotted rocks, etc. this is exciting in itself.
Xavier or he goes by Xa (Xa) did some wonderful paintings at camp, the last image is a collective effort by he and David, his best friend, who's portrait is show above in yellow.
By Thursday evening my class and the developed a glery showing of all the creating project too on in their classes that were offered.
Jasmine dis these wonderful abstract paintings at camp that were layered with texture and sweet complementary dept.
Portraits, discoverable objects, mini trading cards, with characters that students created. Young art is so refreshing to see and inspiring it unfiltered until your teaching principles of art and art making, what a delight.
Little Daria was impressive for a second grader. This is her portrait she drew and painted. She also did an amazing abstract painting as well as her sister.
Tuesday, January 28, 2014
It's been a long run but we have arrived at a completed project . Parent, student, teacher and staff feedback has added critically needed feedback that delivered great perspectives.
I had a Somalian boy staring at the mural asking me when I was going to put a Somalian boy in the painting and he was clear that the boy had to be playing soccer. Another student thanked me for adding words that affirmed their successes. While a third student was excited to see kids that look like him.
As an artist I am continually interested in developing strategies for people to have critical conversations about learning and religion. While this piece has nothing to do with religion it does offer a great platform for critical thinkers/ classrooms/ staff and parents.
One of the most exciting parts of this project is working with the youth that were 11-15 year olds and nearly 35 students. This project developed a lot of sketches and ideas for new paintings.
I will post a preview of my newer painting next week. Our artist team has an artist critique session at my home on Friday whoa very excited!
Monday, January 06, 2014
John Biggers Seed Project has begun with several local artist including one from Detroit Bing Davis and Jon Onye Lockard, who also leads the team with Ta–coumba T. Aiken and Seitu Jones.
This artist group was selected by the City of Minneapolis to develop, build, create, and paint a new public arts project that will replace the former mural that was designed by the late great Dr. John Biggars. Though I was not of of hoses artist painting that mural I did have the honor of meeting
Dr. Biggars, had dinner with he and his wife a few nights and he spoke with me about painting frogs??? Interesting guy I was honored and blown away as a young artist looking for feed back
and inspiration. I ended my meet with the Biggars by painting a few fogs for him personally. Not sure what he ever did with this but it was a great experience. Needless to say, four years later
he passed away in 2001 and his mural that was designed as a corridor to North Minneapolis community was destroyed due to a new housing development being built. The city felt like the wall would create a space liken to projects, and as I say all the time perception is everything. This won over protest and pleas by local artist and community leaders. Since then Obsidian Arts Gallery, The City Of Minneapolis, and The University of Minnesota's Urban Research Department gathered to collect funds from several supporters to attain over 1/2 of a million dollars to redo a project that will reestablish the original thoughts of this project and honor Dr. Biggars. Stay posted and I will keep you updated on this project and the exciting new mural that will arrive in North Minneapolis in the next 10 months.
this is an example of a sketch box i painted in response to Jon Onye Lockard, paintings it will act asa a sketch in the process of development for this project.
Check us out and send feedback.
news/11718-thirteen-emerging- artists-selected-to- participate-in-john-biggers- seed-project
Friday, December 27, 2013
It might not look like it as of yet however I believe there's about 10 to 12 hours left to complete this mural project. The ultimate goal is for students to you at home and comfortable. For students to know that this is there space and it's all inclusive. The mural shows students as successful leaders and professional students. I must say the process for writing the grant to do this mural was even an experience for me.
I've done few before but it's been years the Balence is quite different than before and I appreciate what it takes to go through with this process. After all as a professional artist this is what I expect more of. Today I worked4 more hours on this project painting and quite naturally enjoyed it . There were 9 students yesterday and today that came out to assist along with Marlene Maloney an art teacher/ friend who also assisted me on this project. It's interesting how painting youth changes as the process also changes, smaller necks , bigger eyes, bigger ears ( because they don't grow much in the process of becoming an adult). The cheeks are generally puffy or rounded more so tha adults. This reminder allowed me to examine youth more so than before, gestures and mannerisms. Youth are interesting and painting this mural and teaching middle school kids gives me that perspective.
Wednesday, November 27, 2013
Ok so a friend and local artist told me about this mural that was painted here. In a park about five years ago. She had this concern about the ethnicities and posturing in the work, I've gotta say that on first looks there seemed to be racial undertone but it wasn't a definitive approach to the piece. While I only see white civilians surrounding a pool area,I also recognize the looking upward in the piece this was her concern. All this to say that I've experience several layers of prejudice and racism in my short lived life however this might not have been one of those moments, I tend to lean towards trying to offer the benefit if the doubt before I judge, so I jumped in the car and had her showme this mural.
Now at the first look I noticed that it was painted by a community and it is in the Dr. King park, where just two years it's senior there was heated debate about turning it into a dog park. How insulting to the legacy of Dr.King jr.? Never the less the community in favor of canceling the dog park won, soon afterwards this mural was erected. So as I saw it it was focused immediately on the mid left corner where all the figures were looking upward much like the Duluth lynching in 192? Where five men where accused of raping and killing a white woman. Two were lynched the next day national security took the others for trial and it was later realized that all the accusations were false. Ok so all this is perception with regards to one thing that was blindingly obvious to me........ The monkey hanging in the tree above the crowd. No other animals in the entire mural, subtlety painted. We'll you tell me what I should think, see for yourself.
Tuesday, November 26, 2013
Monday, November 18, 2013
Saturday, November 16, 2013
I am enjoying this process. I took some of the images that we have photos for the school with the students working on this project. The input that we're getting for this project is very interesting. I have a head input about the ethnicities of the students on the wall, the students that are actually in the images. I also have received a lot of input about the students are actually working on the project as well it's a very diverse crowd both ends. While I am very excited about this project still there are some complexities to deal concerning the background of the hieroglyph images that I'm still trying to work through. These background images are going to be in black-and-white and they will be cultural icons for Hispanic community, african-American community, Somalian and African students, native American community namely Ojibway which represent the population at Sandford middle school, The Monk population of students we have and the Asian population of students that we have. Whew! That's a lot, but the more sensitive issues that I'm dealing with surrounds the idea that I don't want to be insensitive to any culture any religion or any background of people. What helps the most I think with that is the diversity of the staff members that are involved in the process and the amount of students and diversity of the students that are involved in this process as well. Please stay posted and send me your input on what we have so far for pro global we should be done mid-December-ish.
Wednesday, November 13, 2013
Monday, November 11, 2013
Tuesday, October 29, 2013
- Describing the elements of a piece (which includes line perspective, space and movement)
- Explain the subjects matter of the art (what's in the piece, what recognizable and why are they there how do these images play together in the communication of the objects)
- Detailed qualities of the work, ( the materials used and how to get the best usage from these tools)
These are my primary question I ask students in the critique session that we have with each other however it was amazing to hear their feedback about the mural project and ask some of the same questions. Incredible job young people, incredible job.
The fun thing is seeing the diverse students interact and show how they are superstars among each other. This project is turning to an exciting and fulfilling assignment. Each morning I have a team of 3-5 students work with me for an hour and, Wednesdays I have out art teacher Marlene Maloney (artist/teacher) art class' work with myself and a few other students on this project. I will do another posting on next week to keep you up dated on the progress, stay posted!!
Monday, October 14, 2013
Just attained Arts for Academic Achievement Grant through Minneapolis Public Schools to design and paint a mural for Sanford Middle School. This is the mural that is currently in place.
It was there in 1990.
It was there in 1990.
The new mural will be titled after the new theme of out school success about Professional Students. This theme came from our newest Principal Dr. Emily Palmer. "Pro Global" as you see this mural is going to be quite large. I plan to incorporate images of our youth in professional student actions. I'm excited because this project will aide students in the quest to experience learning in a global community here at Sanford, using sketches, photos, journaling, through the process of inquiry and critique. These artifacts will come together into a mural of inter-cultural life, which will cover the commons area of the cafeteria.
Project begins October 21, -December 15, 2013
(Stay Posted for stages of this project)
This is one of my newer paintings that will be displayed at the UROC (University of Minnesota Urban Research Center) with ROHO Collective artist Group ( formerly TAWU). This show features new works by Seitu Jones, some work he did while in France. This incredible artist will be displaying large scale drawings and paintings he recently completed about collard greens. ( gotta see it incredible stuff ). Curator: HawonaJanzen Sullivan always does phenomenal work with artist, go visit and stay, Opening will be this Thursday October 17th The UROC Center near teh corner of Penn and Plymouth North, Minneapolis, MN.
Saturday, October 12, 2013
Here are the images from the Chicago Arts Project. This part of the project I worked with neighborhood youth discussing their opinions about adults. The majority of their thoughts dealt with how adults were closed minded when it comes to talking to or even dealing with them. This series was titled, "boxed IN", some of the text is directly from the the quotes of what the youth said.