Chunky crystals and colorful stones adorn in this glorious collection from Katra Awad.
January 1st marked the 150th anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation and recently, the United States Postal Service released a stamp commemorating the occasion. For the 100th anniversary African-American designer George Olden was commissioned to design his now famous stamp (in 1963). This year the amazing Gail Anderson was given the same honor. (You can learn more about her process in this interview.)
I was excited to learn that the design started out as an actual letterpressed poster printed at Hatch Show Print (a famous printing shop in Nashville) and that the limited edition prints are available for purchase on the USPS website. I purchased mine immediately and can't wait to have it framed.
On top of all that goodness, I (along with the help of my wonderful colleagues) are preparing for Gail Anderson's visit to our school next week. She is our spring artist-in-residence and will be presenting a lecture on Tuesday, Feb. 19th. It's open to the public, so if you live in the area come by we'd love to have you.
Gail Anderson Lecture
February 19 @ 6:00 pm
Stevenson University/Greenspring Campus
If you can't make it, please support this design. Purchase the stamps at your local post office and/or the limited edition poster.
In honor of Black History Month I will be sharing a few posts about African Americans who's stories and talents have inspired me. Like, Jean-Michel Basquiat, who's work continues to inform and enlighten us; especially in the realms of fashion, design, and other visual arts.
I always enjoy having a few items around me to commemorate the legacy of people who have played an important role in history. Whether it's something to wear, watch, read or hang, it's good to be reminded of their wonderful contributions to our story and culture.
clockwise, Basquiat by Mark Mayer; Reebok Basquiat I Am Tee; Jean Michel Basquiat: Radiant Child; Basquiat giclee print by Alison Black; Jean-Michel Basquiat x Reebok NPC Clean; BASS-QUIAT Bowtie; Basquiat Dragon Candle.
A few weeks ago I was in Cincinnati at my family reunion and we all went to the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center as a fun family outing. I'd heard great things about the museum so I was curious to check it out.
As soon as I walked into the museum and up the main entrance stairs I saw this piece, called Journeys I and II, by artist Aminah Brenda Lynn Robinson. It's what she calls a raggonon, a textile that goes on and on. She worked on it for 35 years, and it documents moments in history: personally, communally and globally.
I was familiar with their work after seeing the brightly colored murals in a favela in Brazil, so I was quite excited to see them take on a similar project in a city I know so well.
The new project is on Germantown Ave right at the Huntingdon intersection. When I lived in North Philly I would sometimes drive down Germantown Ave to get to school; it was a back way I took to avoid the annoying traffic on Broad Street. Although that particular area has a lot of neglected buildings and property, I always drove through there noticing that it was still pretty vibrant with the shops and activity of the locals getting to where they had to go.
Aside from the amazing colors that bring the drab buildings to life, what I love most is that the community was actively involved in the project. From picking colors to assisting with some of the painting, this mural allowed Haas and Hahn to get to know and work with the shop owners and residents (versus imposing a piece of art work into their space).
It's still a work in progress but I can't wait to see when it's all complete. And I hope they can make their next project happen in Baltimore. My new home.
Several months back I shared the work of Sister Mary Corita after being blown away by her alphabet prints I saw at Art Basel Miami. When I learned there was an exhibition, R(ad)ical Love: Sister Mary Corita, featuring her serigraphs as a social activist showing at the The National Museum of Women in the Arts I knew I had to make time to visit.
I went with my friend e and we were in that room over an hour admiring, reading, and gawking at every single print. Sister Mary Corita's color sense is incredible. She used unexpected combinations with pops of color that vibrated off her thought-provoking pieces. e loved her use of tone on tone ink on paper technique which made some things invisible at first glance but brought in the viewer a little more if they noticed there was something else there to be read.
And the text. Sister Mary Corita was clearly well read and very involved in her community. She pulled quotes, intriguing newspaper clippings, and poetry into her pieces to give them another layer of thought. You could tell she really had her eyes and ears opened to what was going on during that very intense era of the sixties. She interpreted the social injustices and political fires of that time into her work in a way that simply spoke to love, unity, peace, and God.
She also had an eye for design. Sister Mary Corita incorporated pop icons, logos, and imagery into her work giving her messages double, sometimes triple meanings.
I love her work! I really wish she was still with us today, I have so many questions to ask her.
This body of work is a must see. I hope you get a chance to check it out.
(I don't think I was allowed to take pics, but had to for you to see. So please excuse my quick iPhone pics.)
I am so sad that one of our musical heroes has passed away.
Growing up in the D.C. area go-go music plays a major part in the soundtrack of my life. And Mr. Chuck Brown, our Godfather of Go-Go, dominated that section. Every cookout, cabaret (parties thrown in rented out spaces), every party played music by Chuck. (We lovingly and respectfully called him Chuck.) People always had their favorite go-go bands, usually bands that represented where you were from, but everyone loved and would go see Chuck.
When I would come home from college for the summer, every weekend my girlfriend and I would ask, "we goin' to see Chuck?" Go-gos were expensive, but everyone paid whatever to see Chuck Brown. You knew if he was performing then you were in for a good time.
Even if you're not from the D.C. area I'm sure you've heard his songs, if not his own, you've heard his brilliance sampled in songs like "Tambourine" by Eve and Nelly's "Hot in Herre." I knew about these but when I did a search I didn't realize how much his music was sampled (check out this link).
We will miss Chuck Brown but I know for sure his spirit lives on through his music and through the people who loved him.
Thank you for your light, Mr. Chuck Brown.
In celebration of the centennial birthday and the many contributions of artist Romare Bearden, The Studio Museum of Harlem created The Bearden Project; a collection of works by contemporary artists who have been influenced and inspired by the famous artist. Expect to see dynamic pieces from Xaviera Simmons, Lorna Simpson, Shinique Smith, Mickalene Thomas among many others. On The Bearden Project official website some of the featured artists share a some examples of their work along with a synopsis of how they were influenced by Bearden; these are great reads, especially if you can't make it to the exhibition.
To me, there is nothing more visually pleasing than color and a mix of glorious patterns, which is why I adore this collection from Zedeye called Tribal Romance. With elements of grandeur and cultural-overlaps the collection reminds me of a Kehinde Wiley painting, while some of the structured pieces could easily have been inspired by Yinka Shonibare's Victorian sculptures.
Here are a few more pics from my Art Star Craft Bazaar visit this past weekend.
My homegirls Cathey White of Single Handed Ink and e Bond of Roughdraft Books were killing it at the bazaar. Cathey had her fly spray paint embellished accessories and e showcased her lovely handmade books and journals. The two brands shared a booth, and although Single Handed Ink and Roughdraft Books have different brand identities, the two worked beautifully together in presentation.
Beautifully whimsical illustrations by Maira Kalman. If you live in the LA area you can see 100 original drawings and paintings in her exhibition Maira Kalman: Various Illuminations (of a Crazy World) at the Skirball Cultural Center (which ends very soon). The same exhibition will travel to the east coast for a run at the Jewish Museum in New York City starting March 11th. So wish I could check it out.