Over the past few months, I have been busy busy BUSY!
Gya by yeyoarts collective has been going well. Formally and professionally streamlining community work is difficult! It's well worth it though. Its been extremely enjoyable curating the space for all of our beautiful artists.
Yet, I feel bad because I miss 19th and the studio. Although I sneak in time to go to the studio, I am unable to deeply engage in my artmaking at the rate I'd been during, lets say: February, March. I am glad that I can keep my private space and instead create my public functions in a new venue. At Gya, I do not have to worry so much of over exposing my process, or wondering if someone will step on a nail, or my art.
Outside of all that: "gya, Gya GYA" talk I have had an eventful and thoughtful summer. Going to the Us. Social Forum in Detroit opened my eyes to possibilities in my artmaking moreso than any other happening. I am still unraveling all that I collected and learned.
San Franciso did not spark my creative juices as much, but still a good trip. I've been a member of the Women's Caucus since attending community college. I surprise myself that I am still involved. I further surprised myself by keeping my focus long enough to invest time and commitment to the organization. I wonder the perspective of my fellow members who has seen me, my daughter and my art grow . (?) I enjoy many of the relationships that has grown out of WCA, but i look forward to more diverse artists and art groups being involved. Hopefully I can contribute to that happening through exhibitions. I am the local exhibitions chair as well as the VP of Development for the National Women's Caucus. wowzers. The title is just that, but really the two things I believe I've dedicated myself to in the position is getting resources to help the needs of the organization and building relationships with artists (again) outside of WCA who shares the same vision. As far as the trip goes, it was cool. Nothing hard hitting, but a good experience.
At the local level of WCA a good art friend Erica Popp and I have just started a mentorship program. The only thing holding us back from the program growing is committed artists to help in the mentoring. So, if you are an artist and you are interested please email me firstname.lastname@example.org
Wall Ball went very well. My work was purchased by a gentleman from the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra. I have to thank Emily Hemeyer for inviting me or the connection would have never happened. Also her panel discussion at Urban Art Studios went very well. Mike Mansini was my co-speaker and it was wonderful to hear him speak about his experience as a participant of the Inquiry to Action Group that I facilitated back in April. I look forward to seeing more artwork from that group!
Hmmm, what else is going on? I am curating an exhibition in Chicago in December. Im definitely looking forward to that. urbanartretreat.org
Oh- and the hands down worst professional experience I've ever had, has been with Diversity Awareness Partnership's Summer Art Program this year. The experience for me was a friendly reminder how rascism is still alive in the small occurences of daily interaction, how stereotyping is still prevalent, especially when people in position of power, self admittantly do it because of my "looks" and their "feelings" and how independent artists are so often seen as employees. I hope the young people got the opportunity to benefit from the glue, fabric and yarn that I donated the program. Hopefully they will research the artists I showed them during the lecture and gallery visit. But, the question of the year is: "How do I look unapproachable???" I hope the administrators running the program from Metro Theatre Company and DAP really are able to be honest with themselves, others and when dealing with people in the future, because when a staff person explains to you how your actions have been discriminatory your response should not be that the staff member is expected to forgive you.
Outside of that horrible experience. Life is good. Art is coming and I look forward to the future. I will be updating images soon.