Today, I am celebrating the artwork of Kesha Bruce. I adore Bruce’s work because it marries collage, written words, storytelling, drawings, and painting with memory, personal mythology, and spirituality. When I see her work, I dream and reflect all at the same time!
The Totem Series which features her narrative portraits of hybrid beings is one of my favorite collections. My favorite piece from the collection is a Totem for Sistah Johnson.
Last weekend, I attended Filmfest DC’s screening of Ballin’ at the Graveyard, a documentary written and produced by Basil Anastassiou and Paul Kentoffio that tells the story of what happens when men come together to play pickup basketball at Washington Park aka the “Graveyard” in Albany, New York. Click here to watch the film trailer.
In the midst of watching Ballin’ at the Graveyard and listening to the men’s trash talking, I learned their weekend warrior basketball adventures are much more than fun and games. They are fueled by a passionate energy that expresses itself through hours of exchanges on and off-the-court. Their emotions and experiences paint a tapestry of brotherhood, commitment, community, family, friendship, history, intergenerational bonds, leadership, legacy, mentoring, nurturing, and sharing I hadn’t expected to see. The relationships they have formed and continue to build are soulful, life affirming, and rooted in a deep love for one another, their community, and pick-up basketball. This movie has stolen my heart and become one of my favorite films. Please go see it when it comes to your city. Also, tell others about it.
PS: Be sure to LIKE Ballin’ at the Graveyard on Facebook and follow it on Twitter!
Happy Creativity Thursday and National Poetry Month!
Today, I am celebrating the poetry of Derrick Weston Brown, an educator and a “people’s poet.” He is also the author of Wisdom Teeth. Derrick is a dear friend and an extraordinarily gifted wordsmith.
His poetry gets underneath my skin and travels to the depths of my soul. When I hear him read his work, I am stopped in my tracks. Click here to watch his Wisdom Teeth trailer. Be sure to check his book out on Amazon.com. Go on and buy a copy! His poetry will expand your mind! Enjoy!
I am excited about seeing the Spring Fashion Show and meeting Daisy Lewellyn, style expert, author, and TV personality, who will be sharing her spring style tips. Daisy is known as the “Queen of Effortless Chic.” I hope she brings copies of her book, Never Pay Retail Again.
I’ll be live tweeting during the event. So follow me on Twitter @anandaleeke. I’ll be using the event hashtag #5Essentials and including @Macys and @DaisyLewellyn in my tweets.
PS: I’ll post a recap blog about my Fashion Field Trip to Macy’s in a few days.
DISCLAIMER: I am a member of the Everywhere Society and Everywhere provided me with compensation for this post about the Macy’s event. However, all thoughts and opinions expressed herein are my own.
FIERCE is the best word to describe the Be/Longing exhibition. It is emotional and filled with stories that give voice to the rapture and struggle of fierce identity from the diverse perspectives of South East Asian women. It included the artwork of several powerful women artists: Samira Abbassy, Jaishri Abichandani, Nida Abidi, Amina Ahmed, Shelly Bahl, Marcy Chevali, Ruby Chishti, Chitra Ganesh, Monica Jahan Bose, and Sa’dia Rehman. Click here to learn more.
Did you visit any woman-centered art events during Women’s History Month?
After the session, I visited the AMA’s exhibition, On Common Ground: Dominican Republic & Haiti which featured the works of emerging artists of Hispaniola, the island that these two countries share. I fell in love with the artwork at first glance! It reminded me of my 2011 visit to Haiti with the Heart of Haiti Campaign. Check out some of my favorite paintings from the exhibition below.
Every person is born with a spark of creativity that can awaken them to an amazing life. Throughout my life’s journey, I have witnessed my spark of creativity expand through the nurturing support of other artists. Today, I am remembering Tasko Bey, an amazing master artist I met while working as an artist-in-residence for Smith Center for Healing and the Arts at Howard University Hospital. When I met Tasko, he was a patient living with cancer and a graduate student in Howard University’s Master of Fine Arts program. Prior to attending Howard, his work was exhibited at the Corcoran Gallery of Art. Our first expressive arts sessions turned into a mini workshop where he served as a teacher and coach. He even gave me homework. For the next two years, he utilized our sessions as teaching moments. In 2005, he urged me to pick up a pencil and draw and use a paint brush to paint my first series of paintings. He showed me how to tap into my intuition for creative guidance and encouraged me to experiment with watercolor, gouache, and acrylic painting.
I fell in love with acrylic paints. As a result, I created a series of paintings that I later used to illustrate my book covers for Love’s Troubadours – Karma: Book One and That Which Awakens Me: A Creative Woman’s Poetical Memoir of Self-Discovery. One of my favorite paintings from this series is “That Which Awakens Me: Kreative Grooviness.” See photo above. It hangs in my sunny yellow kitchen and reminds me of Tasko and his passionate love of art. Click here to watch a video about the painting (starts with an introduction to another painting and some of my collages) and my art studio. Enjoy!
Do you draw or paint?
Who or what inspired you to begin drawing or painting?
Today, I am celebrating the amazing wounded warriors, military families, and hospital staff I get to work with as an artist-in-residence for Smith Center for Healing and the Arts each week at Walter Reed Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland.
I’ve been working as a Smith Center artist since 2002. My work at Walter Reed began in 2010. Since then, I have grown to deeply appreciate the many sacrifices our military women, men, and families make on behalf of the United States of America. I have also been able to witness the fantastic creative expressions of military women, men, and their families. What a blessing!
Click here to see photos from my Walter Reed experiences. Enjoy!
When I am not working at Walter Reed, I am always on the look out for creative inspiration. I find it in books, films, magazines, music, social media (Pinterest), web sites, and yoga. This month, I am getting a lot of inspiration from Poets & Writers magazine.
What are your sources of creative inspiration?
PS: If you would like to read about my creative journey, check out my memoir That Which Awakens Me on Amazon.com. It is available on Kindle.
My debut novel Love’s Troubadours – Karma: Book One features a main character who works as a museum curator and art consultant in Washington, D.C. Click here to visit the Love’s Troubadours’ Pinterest board which contains some great information about the novel. You can purchase it on Amazon.com.