0 comments on “Happy Creativity Thursday: Celebrating Kesha Bruce’s “The Guardians” Exhibition in DC”

Happy Creativity Thursday: Celebrating Kesha Bruce’s “The Guardians” Exhibition in DC

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Happy Creativity Thursday!

Last weekend, I hosted the Digital Sisterhood Month field trip to see artist Kesha Bruce’s “The Guardians” exhibition at Morton Fine Art in Washington, DC. Kesha’s work is rooted in her personal mythology. The paintings in “The Guardians” series evoke ancestral energy. They make me think of the many women and men who came before me. The people who sacrificed so that I would be able to enjoy my life. They remind me to show gratitude to my ancestors. They also inspire me to create some ancestral art work in 2014. So get ready for some surprises!

Kesha was recently named 2013 Digital Sister of the Year – Creativista. While I was at the exhibition, I reconnected with Adrienne Fikes, 2013 Digital Sister of the Year – Enchantista. We had a great time chatting about Kesha’s work. What a great day I had!

Have you attended any gallery shows or museum exhibitions this holiday season?

0 comments on “Happy Creativity Thursday: Posing Beauty at Spelman College Museum of Fine Art”

Happy Creativity Thursday: Posing Beauty at Spelman College Museum of Fine Art

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Happy Creativity Thursday!

Last week, I visited Spelman College Museum of Fine Art’s Posing Beauty in African American Culture exhibition. Posing Beauty features over 75 photographs that span 12 decades (1890 to the present). It is the first exhibition I have ever seen that explores and challenges widespread and historic notions of African American beauty in photography. Deborah Willis, Ph.D., served as the curator of Posing Beauty. Willis is one of my favorite authors and photographers. She is also one of leading historians of African American photography.

While exploring the exhibition, I discovered and fell in love with a selection of cabinet cards featuring Spelman College faculty, students, and alumnae. Cabinet cards are photographic portraits mounted on 4 1/4 by 6 1/2 inch cards that people traded with each other in the early 1870s. They reminded me of several cabinet cards I have of my great grandmother Eunice Ann Thomas Roberts.

If you are in Atlanta, make sure you see the exhibition. It closes on December 7. Be sure to follow Spelman Museum on Twitter and Instagram. Like it on Facebook.

1 comment on “My Week in Review – NYC, Me, and My wire sculpture at the Caribbean Cultural Center’s Wearing Spirit exhibit on March 11”

My Week in Review – NYC, Me, and My wire sculpture at the Caribbean Cultural Center’s Wearing Spirit exhibit on March 11

 

All Photos –  Credit: Caribbean Cultural Center African Diaspora Institute

 

Greetings All,

Well, it’s been a great week.  I spent Wednesday night, Thursday, and Friday morning in New York City.  I came to Gotham City to attend the Caribbean Cultural Center African Diaspora Institute’s opening reception for the “Wearing Spirit: Aesthetically Personifying the Feminine in African Sacred Traditions” exhibit. 

“Wearing Spirit” is a multi-media exhibition of paintings, sculpture, photography, textile art, video and installations honoring the power of the sacred feminine in African spiritual traditions.  When I walked into the gallery, I felt a powerful energy wash over my spirit and ‘heart as I took in the beauty of each piece of artwork.  AMAZING!  Each artist”s work touched me deeply.  I felt the presence of my ancestors in their work.   

Attending the opening reception for “Wearing Spirit” was a HUGE moment for me because my mixed media wire sculpture “Erzulie’s Black Heart” was included in the exhibition. Below is my artist statement for the exhibition.

Artist Statement

Ananda Leeke’s passion for African goddesses began while she was studying Kemetian and Yoruba religions and writing My Soul Speaks, her first chap book of poetry, in 1992.  In 1995, Leeke began using coat hangers, an assortment of wire, found objects, vintage jewelry, fabric, and amulets to sculpt images of African goddesses including Oshun, Yemanya, Oya, Maat, Auset, and Het Heru.  Over the past fifteen years, she has explored these goddesses in her artwork, writing, and travels to Cuba, Egypt, Ghana, Louisiana, and Senegal.  She discovered Erzulie, the Haitian goddess of love, while writing her debut novel, Love’s Troubadours – Karma: Book One.  Erzulie influenced the lives of many characters in Love’s Troubadours. Erzulie’s veve is incorporated in Love’s Troubadours logo and artwork on the book cover.

Erzulie’s Black Heart is a goddess of love and healing who was born out of the middle passage experience of enslaved Africans in Haiti.  She is a Petwo spirit.  Her love and healing energy are hot, aggressive, and quick to act when the children of Haiti need her.  Her black heart represents a sanctuary for Haitians when they are faced with life’s hardships including poverty, illness, violence, and natural disasters such as hurricanes and the magnitude 7.0 earthquake that occurred on January 12. Erzulie’s Black Heart heals the pain and suffering of Haiti’s sons and daughters. She protects them with the fierce love of a Black warrior woman.  Her intention is to bring the children of Haiti to higher ground.

I also had a chance to reconnect with Dr. Marta Moreno Vega, the founder of the Caribbean Cultural Center, and my dear sistalove Shantrelle Lewis, the curator of ‘Wearing Spirit.”  Shantrelle also serves as Director of Programs & Exhibitions for the Center. Dr. Vega and Shantrelle agreed to share their thoughts about “Wearing Spirit” with Ananda Leeke TV. See their videos below.

My NYC play dad Fred Mays and sistalove friends Jill Barrett, Toni Blackman, and Zahava came to the event to show their support.  In addition, I met artist Michael Cummings and filmmaker Spike Lee (love his movies She’s Gotta Have It, Mo Betta Blues, Malcolm X, School Dayz, and Bamboozled). Click here to see the Center’s photos from the opening reception.

My NYC play dad Fred Mays and I

Thanks for stopping by! Enjoy your weekend!

Peace, Creativity, Compassion, and Gratitude for the Sacred Feminine,

Ananda

1 comment on “Ananda’s Great News! Her wire sculpture featuring the Haitian love & healing goddess Erzulie will be on exhibit at Caribbean Cultural Center African Diaspora Institute on March 11-May 24 in NYC”

Ananda’s Great News! Her wire sculpture featuring the Haitian love & healing goddess Erzulie will be on exhibit at Caribbean Cultural Center African Diaspora Institute on March 11-May 24 in NYC

Great News All!

Yesterday I learned my wire sculpture “Erzulie’s Black Heart” will be featured in the Caribbean Cultural Center African Diaspora Institute’s exhibition “Wearing Spirit: Aesthetically Personifying the Feminine in African Sacred Traditions” from March 11 to May 24 in New York City.  The opening reception will be held on March 11 from 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.  If you are in the Big Apple on March 11, join me at the reception.  It will be BIG FUN!  For more information about the Caribbean Cultural Center African Diaspora Institute, visit www.cccadi.org.  Many thanks to Shantrelle Lewis for inviting me to submit my work!

Ananda Leeke's wire sculpture Erzulie's Black Heart

Photo Credit: Leigh Mosley (the greatest photographer in the universe! – www.leighmosley.com)

Below is my artist statement for the exhibition.

Artist Statement

Ananda Leeke’s passion for African goddesses began while she was studying Kemetian and Yoruba religions and writing My Soul Speaks, her first chap book of poetry, in 1992.  In 1995, Leeke began using coat hangers, an assortment of wire, found objects, vintage jewelry, fabric, and amulets to sculpt images of African goddesses including Oshun, Yemanya, Oya, Maat, Auset, and Het Heru.  Over the past fifteen years, she has explored these goddesses in her artwork, writing, and travels to Cuba, Egypt, Ghana, Louisiana, and Senegal.  She discovered Erzulie, the Haitian goddess of love, while writing her debut novel, Love’s Troubadours – Karma: Book One.  Erzulie influenced the lives of many characters in Love’s Troubadours. Erzulie’s veve is incorporated in Love’s Troubadours logo and artwork on the book cover.

Erzulie’s Black Heart is a goddess of love and healing who was born out of the middle passage experience of enslaved Africans in Haiti.  She is a Petwo spirit.  Her love and healing energy are hot, aggressive, and quick to act when the children of Haiti need her.  Her black heart represents a sanctuary for Haitians when they are faced with life’s hardships including poverty, illness, violence, and natural disasters such as hurricanes and the magnitude 7.0 earthquake that occurred on January 12. Erzulie’s Black Heart heals the pain and suffering of Haiti’s sons and daughters. She protects them with the fierce love of a Black warrior woman.  Her intention is to bring the children of Haiti to higher ground.

Thanks for stopping by!

Peace, Creativity, Compassion, and Gratitude for Erzulie, the Haitian goddess of love,

Ananda

0 comments on “African American Art at the White House and in Ananda’s Debut Novel, Love’s Troubadours -Karma: Book One”

African American Art at the White House and in Ananda’s Debut Novel, Love’s Troubadours -Karma: Book One

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Cut by Kara Walker – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kara_Walker

 

Happy Saturday!

I read a great post on Black Visual Artist’s blog that featured an article by Kinshasha Holman Conwill, deputy director, Smithsonian Institution, National Museum of African American History & Culture. It discussed African American art, one of my passions and a major subject area in my debut novel, Love’s Troubadours – Karma: Book One (www.lovestroubadours.com). Click here to read the post: http://blackvisualartist.blogspot.com/2009/07/african-american-art-still-needs.html.  The article was published in the July/August 2009 issue of The Art Newspaper: http://www.theartnewspaper.com/articles/African-American-art-still-needs-support/18560

I enjoyed reading about how President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama have launched the White House campaign to bring greater diversity to its art collection—including more works by African American artists.  I agree with Conwill’s assessment that the Obamas’ efforts are having “a catalytic effect—stirring conversation, raising expectations. And that’s a good thing. The move is also throwing a strong light on African American art and the artists who create it.”  Several of the artists that Conwill mentions such as Kara Walker, Betye Saar, and Lorna Simpson are featured in my novel, Love’s Troubadours – Karma: Book One (www.lovestroubadours.com).  I have included a blurb about the artwork in my novel below.  Enjoy!

Who are some of your favorite African American artists?

Enjoy your weekend!

Peace and Creativity,

Ananda

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African American Art Featured in Love’s Troubadours – Karma: Book One (www.lovestroubadours.com): 

Art plays a major role in the life and museum curator career of Love’s Troubadours’ main character Karma Francois. It inspires, consoles, and teaches her. Love’s Troubadours offers you a wonderful opportunity to look at life through Karma’s eyes as an art enthusiast and museum curator. Through Karma’s eyes, you will learn about exciting artists and photographers from the African Diaspora, such as Lois Mailou Jones, Kara Walker, Renee Stout, Faith Ringgold, Chris Ofili, Marion Perkins, Elizabeth Catlett, Jean Michel Basquiat, Annie Lee, Betye Saar, Alison Saar, Amalia Amaki, Joyce Scott, Lorna Simpson, Eldzier Cortor, Sister Gertrude Morgan, Archibald Motley, Adrian Piper, Hughie Lee Smith, and Charles W. White.  Artists from other countries are also featured.  Click here to read more: http://kiamshacom.blogspot.com/2007/09/blessings-all-my-debut-novel-loves.html.

Are you looking for a great summer read that discusses African American art?  If yes, click here to purchase a copy of Love’s Troubadours – Karma: Book One from Amazon.com:  www.amazon.com/Loves-Troubadours-Karma-Book-One/dp/0595440819/ref=pd_bbs_sr_1/002-2834089-1615222?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1192066805&sr=8-1.