Saturday, February 25, 2012

Education in Response to Haiti


Did you know that less than 1% of what the world spends on weapons in a year was needed to put every child in school for the same amount of time, but it did not happen?

The above poster uses this quote and a photo of school children in Haiti.  The community I was in seemed to have a decent number of kids in school; however, most of the kids were still just running around.  All of the children I gave art lessons to were not in school this was about 40 each day.

For each 11x17 poster sold ($25) I will donate enough to Thomazeau, Haiti to sponsor one child in school for a year.  Please do let me know if you are interested.  If you would like more information about sponsoring a child or teacher for a year, please let me know. 

See more artwork inspired by my trip to Haiti.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Black Hair

Startling but true.

When you look at the price of weaves, relaxers and wigs you will understand where these numbers come from.  If you look at the history of black hair in America this statistics takes on another meaning.  Black hair is a social justice topic that is important just like any other topic dealing with self-love, self-worth and beauty issues.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Marcus Garvey

Marcus Garvey is a significant figure in the field of African American religious culture for a variety of reasons.  He played a major role in the Back to Africa movement as well as the RastafarI religion.  In addition he was viewed by many as an African prophet.


Read more about Marcus Garvey on my religion blog, Sick Religion.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

What is The Good Mule?

The Good Mule is a student-led organization that is designed to equip students with the tools they need to fight for their own causes.  This justice based conference was the perfect venue for my artwork and I was honored to be the Featured Visiting Artist for the event.

Why a Mule?

Wikipedia describes a mule as the following…

“The mule possesses the sobriety, patience, endurance and sure-footedness of the donkey, and the vigor, strength and courage of the horse. Operators of working animals generally find mules preferable to horses: mules show less impatience under the pressure of heacy weight.

Mules exhibit a higher cognitive intelligence than their parent species – horses and donkeys. Mules are highly intelligent. They tend to be curious by nature. A mule generally will not let the rider put it in harms way…”

Though I will not be a student next year I am hoping to stay involved with the Good Mule in the future.  I would certainly be interested in facilitating, speaking about art and activism or displaying my artwork again. 

Check out some of the other organizations that I support.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Student Juried Exhibition

The annual Student Juried show is a pretty big deal at the University of Wyoming. This is my first time having work selected for the show.  Persistence certainly pays off.  My Malcolm X poster, titled "Who Taught you to Hate?" made it into this art show.

There are a variety of awards at the opening.  I received a purchase award from the Information Technology department and the Margaret Murdock Award for Social Justice cash award.

After the opening reception all students with work attend an after party with the president of the university, the college, and the Art Department faculty.  This event is referred to as the “Prom for the Art Department.”

Though this event is over there is certainly time to visit the University of Wyoming Art Museum.  There is even an audio recording about this work to which you can listen.

Check out my Facebook page for more artwork and photographs from the event.

Monday, February 13, 2012

The Good Mule: Artist Statement

This past weekend I was fortunate to be able to attend The Good Mule 2012 Conference as the Featured Visual Artist. I participated last year so was pretty excited about being invited to be the artist. See more of my thoughts from The Good Mule.

I am currently finishing up my last semester at the University of Wyoming and will be graduating in May. I will be graduating with a in Fine Arts and a second major in Humanities and Fine Arts (HUFA) as well as a minor in Graphic Design. My areas of emphasis for the HUFA degree are Philosophy, Religious Studies, African American and Diaspora Studies, and Art History. My dream job is to have an art studio where I can continue to create art and work with people through teaching, art therapy, and graphic design lessons.

The pieces that are on display come from a couple different bodies of work and addresses a variety of topics. These topics include LGBTQ issues, Christianity and the LGBTQ community, African American religious culture and history, Native American reservations, and poverty.

Make it Plain is my most recent body of work and focuses on African American Religious history and culture with the goal of helping people understand religious figures such as Malcolm X and James Cone. Make it Plain will be up in the 234 Gallery during the Shepard Symposium. If you would like to see the entire show, this would be an excellent opportunity.

My next body of work will be dealing with sex trafficking and modern day slavery. Be sure to check out my blog and Facebook page to track the progress of my upcoming work and learn more about individual pieces and the research that went into their creation. The URLs are on my business card.

I am certainly up for discussion about concepts, inspirations, the bodies of work these individual pieces come from, collaborations, sales, or art and activism in general.

To learn more about the Good Mule check out their website.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Why We Must Kill Those Bastards: An Essay by General Nathan Bedford Forrest

This book began with a lot of play (you might not have guessed that from the content).  I wanted to see how I could play with form and pages of a book created from one sheet of paper folded to create pages.  It ended as a very strong piece showing some of the hatred our country was built on.


This essay was written by General Nathan Bedford Forrest, Civil War hero and found of the KKK, about why the Klansmen needed to fight against Negros, Jews, carpetbaggers and a variety of other hated people groups.  This essay plays on the fear and ignorance that if they don't fight to the extent that we are willing to kill anyone who is not a white Christian with the same cultural background, they will loose everything. 

This essay was found in a book compiled of the essays of various Klan leaders.  Some gave the history but many really focused on the core values.  This book really helped me gain an understanding of the psychology behind racism.

Much like the modern day Klan the original Klan was formed on the foundational values of hatred, ignorance, and racism disguised as self-love.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Human Trafficking: Art+ Global Justice

My next body of artwork will be focusing on the sex industry and human trafficking.  I am not sure where this will go but I would like to share a photograph I took over Christmas break while back home in Rapid City, South Dakota. I am not sure if I will use this image or not; however, I do think that it is a strong image.  It shows the contrast and addiction that our society possesses.  There are so many addicted to porn, many who think there is nothing wrong with and few who understand the effects that it actually has on our county.  Be sure to follow my blog for more information on the sex industry and human trafficking as well as my artwork in response to the topic.  This link will take you to posts directly relating to this body of work.

My goal is to have an idea by the end of this semester and a body of work by the end of summer (or a couple months after).  This may be pushing it but I think I can make it happen.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Strage Fruit in Book Form

Southern trees bear strange fruit
Blood on the leaves
Blood at the root
Black bodies swinging in the southern breeze
Strange fruit hanging from the poplar trees
Pastoral scene of the gallant south
The bulging eyes and the twisted mouth
The scent of magnolia sweet and fresh
Then the sudden smell of burning flesh
Here is a fruit for the crows to pluck
for the rain to gather
for the wind to suck
for the sun to rot
for the tree to drop
Here is a strange and bitter crop

Composed by Abel Meeropol (aka Lewis Allan)
Originally sung by: Billie Holiday