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?
In the art world, Hashmi is known as Zarina. She is originally from India, one of my favorite places in the world. Her Paper Like Skin exhibition explores her artwork and career since 1961. It is an impressive collection of 60 works. My favorite piece is Shadow House. See photo below.
I am drawn to her work because of her minimalist style, feminist spirit, and the magical way she uses paper. As a printmaker and sculptor, she transforms paper pulp into abstract woodcuts, etchings, drawings, rubbings, and casts. Her work also tells stories of dispossession, exile, and making new homes in different places such as Thailand, Germany, France, and Japan before settling in the United States. When she moved to New York City in the 1970s, she became a prominent figure in feminist art circles.
Today’s blog is wrapped in the creative spirit of the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington, the Civil Rights and Feminist movements, and the phenomenal artwork of Faith Ringgold, one of my creative sheroes. Visit her web site and read her blog for more information about her activism, art, and authentic way of living.
After seeing the paintings for a second time, I can now say the Black Light Series is one of my all-time favorite groups of Ringgold paintings. Her use of African masks in the design of people’s faces and the way she weaves words into her paintings dazzle my spirit. Each time I see the bold colors of red, black and green in the paintings, my eyes sparkle and my heart travels back to my childhood when my parents taught my brothers and I about the “Black is Beautiful” movement. I am madly in love with the Black Light Series #3: Soul Sister (I mention it in my novel, Love’s Troubadours – Karma: Book One). I also adore the Black feminist activist series of four political posters, Women Freedom Now, Women Free Angela, Woman Free Yourself, and America Free Angela.
If you are in D.C. between now and November 10, treat yourself to a morning or afternoon visit to see Ringgold’s fantastic work at the National Museum of Women in the Arts. For more information about Ringgold’s work in the 1960s, click here to read her daughter Michelle Wallace’s Ringgold in the 1960s blog. Enjoy!
Today, I am celebrating the work of mixed media artist and sculptor Lisa Schumaier, an Alexandria, Virginia native. I met Lisa two weeks ago while visiting her studio at the Torpedo Factory in Alexandria, Virginia. She is a down-to-earth woman with a deep passion. She was happy to explain her art-making process and shared several stories about her artwork.
I was immediately drawn to her mixed media collage sculptures of women dancers.
I marveled at how she was able to blend her ceramic work with found objects and recycled materials. Click here to watch a video of Lisa talking about her passion for art and the Torpedo Factory. For more information about her work, visit www.keenthings.com.
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.
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?
Today, I am celebrating the power of creative community. Being around like-minded creative people inspires me to open my heart more to all forms of creativity. It also helps me to express my creativity in unique ways.
On February 8, I attended Live Unchained’s Anniversary Celebration and launch of its “Terrifying, Strange and Beautiful” fundraising campaign at Local 16 in my U Street neighborhood in Washington, D.C. Live Unchained is an international arts organization for women across the African diaspora that was established by Kathryn Buford. Click here to read Digital Sisterhood Leadership Project’s profile of Kathryn.
Live Unchained’s “Terrifying, Strange and Beautiful” fundraising campaign is preparing to bring London-based Somali poet, Warsan Shire to Washington, DC for a “Terrifying, Strange and Beautiful” series and awards ceremony in 2014. The campaign’s name “Terrifying, Strange and Beautiful” is taken from a line from one of Shire’s popular poems, “For Women Who Are Difficult to Love.”
During the February 8th celebration, I had a chance to hug and chat with Kathryn about her amazing work. I hung out with one of my favorite digital sisters and creativity accountability partners, Jessica Solomon, Live Unchained’s Connectivity Director. We chatted about the powerful images Live Unchained has been able to share with its online community for the past several years. In addition, I had some great conversations with my digital sisters Nae Carter, founder of I Choose the Sun blog, and Adrienne Burke, a media curator, as we posed for photos.
My creative heart was thrilled to pieces when I viewed the video introducing the “Terrifying, Strange and Beautiful” fundraising campaign on indiegogo.com. Click here to watch the video. And if you are like me, you will make a donation to support Live Unchained. For more information about the fundraising campaign, click here to read the press release.
It’s been a few weeks since I last posted. Why? Digital Sisterhood Month! 31 days of celebrating women online and the connections they make, conversations they have, communities they build, causes they support, collaborative partnerships they establish, and commerce they engage in with women they meet online and offline. Visit the Digital Sisterhood Network web site to learn more.
This month my heart belongs to Haiti because I want to honor the resiliency of the Haitian people who experienced a devastating earthquake on January 12, 2010. Last year I taught an online yoga class for Yoga Day USA that was dedicated to the people of Haiti. At the beginning of the class, I asked viewers to donate money to Doctors Without Borders to support their work in Haiti. Click here to watch the video.
This year I am serving as an ambassador for the Heart of Haiti campaign, a Macy’s partnership that was created to provide sustainable income to Haitian artisans impacted by the January earthquake. Read my November 29th post to learn more. Also, listen to the following December episodes of Digital Sisterhood Radio that mention my work with the Heart of Haiti campaign:
December 20th show featuring ‘Digital Native’ Lauren Thomas, founder of Digital Aftershock: I discussed how I met Lauren Thomas, former Digital Coordinator of Everywhere, at the Heart of Haiti booth during Blogalicious 2010 and had a powerful conversation that convinced me to sign up for the campaign. I also shared how I interviewed Lauren about the Heart of Haiti campaign with my cell phone for my Cinchcast audio blog at Blogalicious.
I almost forgot to mention that I organized a Digital Sisterhood Month field trip for DC area women in social media to visit the National Museum of Women in the Arts on December 3 to see the “Lois Mailou Jones: A Life in Vibrant Color” exhibit. During her lifetime, Dr. Jones (born November 3, 1905 – died June 9, 1998), a Howard University art professor (one of my favorite artists), created a body of artwork that was inspired by Haiti and her marriage to Haitian artist Louis Vergniaud Pierre-Noel. One of my greatest treats was showing the women who attended the museum field trip some of my favorite Haitian-inspired paintings created by Dr. Jones. Check out the amazing “Water Carriers” painting on the left side of the blog post.
What do you think?
I LOVE IT and HAITI!
Drop by my blog this week and next week for more posts about my passion for Haiti and work with the Heart of Haiti campaign!