Summer's kicked off, and where am I you may ask? Well I'm up north, but only for a couple of days though. But it is a different atmosphere than in Dallas, especially with it being the month of Ramadhan, the holy month of fasting for the Muslims. When I got here I figured that I would not fast during my brief stay due to the travelling, but felt that well, maybe I would try Saturday, since it would be a full day. The biggest difference is that here sunrise begins around 3:30 AM!!!! So that's like an hour and a half difference as opposed to Dallas were it begins after 5AM. With that said, I missed my pre-fasting meal, and with the lack of sleep preparing for this trip, I decided that I will resume after I get back. I wish I could stay much longer, I saw some excellent shots that I could've used, but my batteries needed recharging. waaah waah waaaaaaah.... Hopefully I'll be able to take some shots before I leave, but I have priorities back home...Maybe sometimes soon.
But before I left, I completed a display at my local library containing a few piece I'd finished, plus an additional piece I finished a day before leaving. The entire display is entitled Portraits of My Neighborhood, depicting the scenes that I see and wish to talk about in my area in Southeastern Dallas.
The piece on the upper left hand is part of my Complex series, dealing with inferiority complexes in the African American communities, especially among color and class. Usually these talks are taboo in our neck of the woods, but somebody's gotta open up the discussions. It's touchy, but very needed that we get an honest discussion about internal issues as well, that is IF we want to grow and progress. Too many times people fall into the old mode of blaming those who did not follow the footsteps of the civil rights movement as the reason why Blacks are still behind in the social structures of America, but fail to look at the WHOLE picture.
This was the first piece I did, I entitled it specifically Portrait of My Hood, which I exhibited in June's Uncensored exhibit at the Art Hotel, which resided in Downtown Dallas before their recent move to the Gallery at Midtown, in Valley View Mall. This piece has a collage on the sides, which depicted the many aspects in my area, from the lottery tickets, to condom boxes, cigar wrappers, and what have you. The collage on the bottom was my thinking, to give display a little ambience. I was a little hesitant you know, seeing that I was exhibiting things of a more mature theme, but after you see how the youth are behaving, I thought of it as a necessity to point out a few things. The other picture on the right was done in late 2012, where I used sgraffito with oil pastels. Came out nice, I think.
This piece on the right I finished it shortly before Thursday, as a complement to the other portrait, however I was unable to add any collage to it, due to the texture that I constructed on the piece, which didn't allow the pieces to stick consistently, so I just left it as it was.
So overall it's been a very interesting weekend, and it's looking up. On the downside one of my biggest and best supporters from the Highland Hills Library branch will be leaving, she'll be reassigned to another library, where she's making connections to have my work exhibited there as well. At least she'll be present for my project with the youth on July 27th. Ms. Almetta Russell has been very instrumental with my progression as a community artist, along with Ms. Letissa Milburn. They have both been in the trenches as far as the Dallas library branch is concerned, trying to get my work exposed through those channels. It's not easy being from my area, trying to break into certain arenas and bring a voice from the other side. But they've supported me, and I support my area to the fullest....This is just the beginning....
UPDATE: This blog was finished a few hours before the unsurprising verdict of George Zimmerman was handed down. My heart goes out to the Martin family or any family for that matter, but this was not a surprise in the least. At least for me it wasn't. I won't go into a long drawn out tangible over something that didn't surprise me in the least. If you've followed my blog you will know that I have put out articles from Democracy Now about the murders of the Sikhs in their temple, along with Kenneth Chamberlain, and the injustice he received, so it's no surprise that racism rears its' ugly head again, and reason goes out the window. I'm just surprised that a nation who continues to brag and boast about its intellectual prowess can't seem to figure out what type of crash course it's headed towards....oh well...some people gotta learn the hard way....peace out and THINK!