Friday, August 14, 2015

Mini portraits week 3.

These are the latest portraits that were done this week. I feel like this project is really growing my portrait skills as well.

Tuesday, August 04, 2015

The northside arts FLOW and National Night Out: Mini Portraits

The last weekend I was honored to play another part of the art crawl in North Minneapolis.  I love our cross but in North Minneapolis there usually isn't very many people was able to purchase artwork because the prices are too high.  I'm really a big proponent of allowing artwork to be in the spaces of bourbon families and homes.  For at work is cool but I really had to heart desire to do something more to get oil paintings at peoples homes.  Don't really know very many people in North Minneapolis who owns an oil painting in a home more or less a portrait of themselves or family member.  Yet prayed about this thought about it a lot kind of went through some ideas on what I could do about this problem that we have in our community, so I settled on small 5 x 4 panels that I created and someone purchased and I started to do self-portraits and oil for people for $15 each.  Now this is very affordable for a lot of people it's cool to have a small little gift like this for someone for birthday for holiday for anniversary or even to prepare for Christmas so I thought that this was a really cool opportunity to launch something great, but small, pun intended.  So since last Saturday I have payment 17 self-portraits of people and I'm very excited about the process and the way things are going.  Is an example of a few.

The coolest part to this project that I started it's just like a sketchbook it allows me an opportunity to grow and get better while I'm getting paid while people are attaining small oil paintings for me to hang in our homes are to build a collection.

A giant red egg

Two weeks ago I was blessed to finish the arts us program for the second summer.  Having the opportunity to work with my kindergarten through eighth graders was truly a treat for me.  One of the greatest things are working with kids is knowing that I can never assume the talents or gifts they come with and their range is so vast.

One of the most exciting things are happening in education watching how creativity in the ours is spilling over into other curriculums.  My goal as an artist educators always to expose the opportunities the crossover the arts and education the arts and science and the arts and math the arts in language arts etc.

Through this summer's program I was able to work with a local poet hip-hop artist Truth Maze, the resident artist/Dancer Sister Patricia, brother Ahanti on the drums, and Brian Grandison who's an incredible theater organizer producer director and drama therapist.  One of the coolest things we were able to do this summer was to collaborate as diverse artists in our curriculum to build a story about youth playing in the playground and encountering a giant red egg. This story was really awesome because the narrative was about allowing the students to support each other through a stream of emotions, ideas and theories about what could possibly be inside of the egg. So a lot of the work was laced with social /emotional learning, it supports and how that process works with a lot of our urban kids.  I ended up working with the youth on creating a giant children's book the help illustrate the story here are a few of the pages.

If you would like to take a closer look at the book you're more than welcome to come to the arts us in St. Paul the book is on display for the next few months and if you wanted the PowerPoint presentation with the books information I can also send it to you if you just inquiring through this blog.

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Arts US 2015

So far it has been a very amazing summer working with the group of first-graders through eighth graders in St. Paul public schools Arts US program.  We're currently working on The creation of portraiture through sculpture and painting,  this process is very satisfying on how students are creating the images through papier-mâché it allows them to actually have-hold-squish and mold the materials. It allows the material to breathe into itself so that they will become their own portraits.  I think I'm always trying to allow students to see the materials for what it is without taking away from the knowing of what it could look like it gives more appreciation for the art being created. Youth are smarter than usually given credit for. The influences that they draw from is exactly what we present to them. I wanted the young people to express themselves through how they perceive themselves with the most basic instructions.  I don't care much for the traditional instruction where the result has to be a certain way it takes away from the integrity of the individuals too much in my opinion.  As the students used glue and cut newspaper on foam core panels they sculptured their perceived head shape. (Some are funny while others are interesting and create an examination in their own).  After a few days we painted our portraits and these are a few of the ones that we have so far.

Monday, May 11, 2015

john biggers seed project : Our Influences, Christopher-Aaron Deanes

“There is no one form of black art.” Seitu Jones
This process has been an adventure. We started by studying African American artists; the deep creativity, culture and history of North Minneapolis; Dr. John Biggers murals and paintings; the Celebration of Life mural; and Adinkra symbols. The evolution all artists is based on a set of influences— our artistic lineage, symbolism and patterns in our heritage. Seitu Jones and Tacoumba Aiken shared with these influences to strengthen our artistic voices:
  • The Benin kingdom and the Royal Family residence, where artists only could live in the City.
  • Sungbo’s Eredo system of walls and ditches near the Yoruba town of Ljebu-Ode in Ogun state, southwest Nigeria.
  • South Carolina and Georgia’s large earth works where rice was grown in the low country near the coast. Earth works representing the continuity of human life, now used for canoe tours that navigate the canals.
  • Kongo cosmic gram.
  • The Afro Atlantic tradition of the earth diagram.
  • Haitian art verve.
  • Mud used in sculpture reliefs and images in Ghana.
  • The Sankofa symbol, which looks back on the past to create a future. A “call to prayer”.
  • Objects that were not made not only to last, but so traditions and people would last.
  • Thomas Day a noted wood worker, carpenter, and the black craftsman who built the Capital of Saint Paul, designed by Cass Gilbert, with a team of stone masons from Georgia, including Cass Blakey.
  • Phillip Simmons iron gates in Charleston, South Carolina.
  • David Drake (Dave the potter).
  • El Anatsui, the Ghanaian artist, who creates very detailed works in reclaimed metal and stainless steel.
  • In Chicago the Victory monument by Leonard Crunelle, honoring the Eighth Regiment (entirely African-American) during World War I, and William Walker’s Wall of Respect.
  • Maurice Carlton. Rondo artist. He was a Garveyite (follower of Marcus Garvey).
  • Hale Woodruff’s murals in libraries and in Hampton University.
  • Edmonia Lewis, whose sculptures portrayed Native American and African American people.
  • Richard Barthe, relief artist.
  • Augusta Savage, artist and educator, beautiful piece called the harp.
  • Aaron Douglas’s paintings at Phillips Wheatley and Bethune Elementary.
  • Charles White.
  • Romare Bearden.
  • Faith Ringgold.
  • Alvin Carter.
  • Franco the Great.
  • Cush bay (look him up). graffiti artist
  • Kerry James Marshall.
  • Tyree Guyton’s Heidelberg project.
  • In 1966, the people who started tagging and writing on public spaces, in train stations and transit ways.
“Sketchbooks keep the evolution of your craft honest.” Bing Davis
The art historical presentations that were part of SEED were quite extensive, but the sketching component was also extensive. These histories gave our team of artists a great understanding of where we needed to go next. We began to outline a story about the foundations of a seed and its growth from the inception of humanity. Afterward we began a group of sketches. Our first drafts were quite complicated, with each artist creating from their own personal view and style. The images were beautiful and vibrant and individually quite stunning. Each resembled the particular qualities of the personal work of each artist. Over time, however, through an extensive process of collaboration and revision, we have moved from these individual ideas to a series of segments that work together contributing to a strong continuum We are using deep, rich colors, taken from Dr. Biggers works, to celebrate the life of African Americans and the history and contemporary symbolism.
As an artist I enjoy this opportunity to create an orchestrated design that weaves the history of a community, the culture of a people, and the language of the two into the evolution of a future North Minneapolis.
Image: This sketches (left) and enamel works (middle and right) created for the Seed Project by Christopher-Aaron Deanes

Thursday, May 07, 2015

No Teacher Left Behind

The Painting I did was of a studnets, "NATE" who I have been mentoring the last four months.--Oil, Rice, Gesso, pastels on wood
One of the most phenomenal shows that I was blessed to play a part of this year was the No Teacher Left Behind Show at Homewood Gallery Studios. This show allowed for teachers to explore the possibilities of the how to teaching with passion when the boundaries and barriers at placed by politicians whom are usually disconnected form education and the process of it. I was fortunate to work with Christina Benz who is not only a teacher/advocate and artist herself (our world is small). Here is sample of the call for tis show that went out:



The education of our children has been controversial since Aristotle’s time and probably before. Concern for, awareness of, AND community concern for the plight of teachers has been as serious a concern but has received less, and often little or no, attention.

The Elementary and Secondary Education Act, more commonly known as the No Child Left Behind law since its 2001 reauthorization, legislation which has been in effect in one form or another since the 1960s, but was thrust into the hotbed of disagreement in the early 2000s, has placed an inordinate burden on teachers. The law, perhaps with the best of intentions for our children’s welfare and learning, has created an almost untenable situation for teachers who are required to spend inordinate amounts time documenting how they are following the law’s precepts. The sad result is these dedicated teachers have little or no time to create and sustain meaningful, nurturing relationships with their students.

If you are a teaching artist, or an artist/teacher, and you would like to submit work addressing this disparity, please consider an exhibition being planned for March 2015 at Homewood Studios in North Minneapolis.

Already created work, (in any medium), or new work, (also in any medium), which addresses how NCLB has affected you as an artist/teacher is eligible. Anyone working in public education, including charter schools, in any school district, may apply.

Inspiration for this exhibition
Christina Benz, six-year art teacher in the Minneapolis Public Schools, (Washburn High School), brought the idea for this exhibition to us with an installation informed by the question the show proposes. After an initial meeting with her we became quite interested in mounting a show exposing and exploring this issue. In a recent e-mail Christina invited other artists to participate:

This past year I've been part of Minneapolis Teachers Institute and completed my fellowship at the U of MN this spring. My presentation was about the constraints I face as an art educator under NCLB. So I created a three part installation piece including photographs, school desks, and a video. I've attached one part of my project so you have a better understanding of my project. As a result George from Homewood Studios is interested in my project and I have a reserved a few weeks in March to display my visual art work. I am really interested in opening this space up to other visual art teachers in the district and even expanding it to other district art teachers to give them a space, voice and to create a piece using the same theme I was given for my fellowship.

The show itself was amazing experience, the house was packed full of educators and artist and the connected ones. This exhibition was the sliding post for some other work that I have been working on as well dealing with community, and education.

Monday, January 05, 2015

Inside my..... FREELANCE WORLD- 2014-

With Several new projects that I am currently working on has a lot of valid perspectives added to the understanding of commissioned works and murals for organizations.  One such project was a commission done for a woman who hired me to do a large scale painting of an outlined image of a black woman's face.  I'm not sure where this image came from but it has a mesmerizing effect on viewers and pushes the viewer to become enveloped with the image and its soulical perspective of you as the audience.

I am currently working on another project with Family Focus in Robinsdale an amazing non-profit who works to restore families and individuals.  They have some incredible services for broken and damaged family units who look for assistance to renewed lives.  Over the summer I worked with the d irector to create a new logo for them. I recently completing the mural that will be used to cover the entrance to one of their meeting rooms.  This mural will cover a smaller space but will be power packed with color and life.
                                                 This is the Logo I designed
Mural reflects the community and familiy

Another project I recently completed was a commissioned piece by a family that would like a painting of a soldier and the text over it "...but as for me and my house we will serve the Lord".

Throughout the holiday break I worked with Arts Us in Saint Paul working with youth to paint a canvased mural with several panels this is a glimps of some of this project.

Theses are just a few updates of what I've been up to continually working of a show for late 2015, stay posted and as always appreciate you keeping up with me.