Wednesday, January 30, 2008
Strang weather today, it started out heavy grey clouds, windy, cold and rainy. Now it bright sun, windy and cold,... that said, my skin is so very dry… real “Ashville”
As the sun is setting, I am racing trying to tear myself away from this computer so that I can get to the Whitney Museum and see Kara Walkers exhibit tonight. This exhibit is going to close in a few days, so I really have to make a effort to see it.
It's a month and a few weeks before the opening of my exhibit titled RE-POSSESSED at the Jersey City Museum March 20 2008 – Aug 15, 2008, it looks like it is going to be a exciting installation. This is going to be a interactive, 7 year traveling installation, with a very small but brilliant group of artist and designers,
I was working on the press release draft today, I already submitted it to the museum public relations, but, I will post the content of the release to save the time of explaining the project.
This project is the next stage of the project that I started in 1999, when I was a artist-in-residence at The Studio Museum of Harlem, Titled “PARADISE UNDER RECONSTRUCTION IN THE AESTHETIC OF FUNK”. That was a 7 year crochet meditation on the aesthetic of Funk, From that project is when the crochet artifacts from RE-POSSESSED came from.
So here’s the press release, I will update it later with the time, date and direction to the museum. This release is going to be edited.
(PRESS RELEASE STARTS HERE)
“Like water, be gentle and strong. Be gentle enough to follow the natural paths of the earth, and strong enough to rise up and reshape the world.” –
The Jersey City Museum is hosting the eve of the dawning of “THE RE-POSSESSED TEA SANCTUM”. A Ceremonial Mystical Environment in the Aesthetic of Cosmic Funk,
This Enchanting installation is reclaiming the valuable cosmic properties of the aesthetic of Urban Funk, through the formal practice of a reinvented Tea Ceremony.
RE-POSSESSED is a Cultural Rehabilitation Project conceived and created by Fiber Artist Xenobia Bailey,
With invited artist & designers
1. Chandelier Designer: Dorian Webb,
2. Tea Set designed by Lifestyle Creator: Barbara Garnes,
3. African Tea Collection by Caranda Fine Foods,
4. Soundscape by Jazz Musician Rene Mclean.
RE-POSSESSED is an “aesthetic-remix” works-in-progress, an assemblage of reconstituted artifacts, reflecting the dynamics of a Neo African aesthetic and the cultural impact of the European & Early American colonial experience of African-Americans, This aesthetic was unconsciously continued to some degree, into the aesthetic of the southern rural lifestyle of the newly emancipated African-Americans in the mid 1800’s. Which evolved into a Pop Culture of the Urban African-American lifestyle near the end of the 20th Century and into the present 21st Century.
RE-POSSESSING the culturally stripped is a ceremony that maintains a responsible relationship with Culture, Community, Commerce and the Cosmos.
This installation includes hand crocheted wall Mandala’s, A Crochet Revival Tent and The Tea Masters Crochet Ceremonial Garments. This is a body of invigorating, hand crochet & embroidered Cosmic Tapestries, created for meditative practices:
The space is graced by a stunning collection of custom designed crystal chandelier and sconce lightings. These masterful works of art are beautifully composed assemblages of multilayered dazzling crystal prisms, colorful semiprecious stones and splendid miniature Venetian Glass sculptures of nature.
A classic porcelain Tea Set of indigo and white decoratively patterned toiles of pre-colonial, African village pastoral life.
A luxurious Tea Collection of fines blends of Black, Green, White and Herbal Organic Teas from the continent of Africa.
With a beautifully haunting soundscape created by jazz musician Rene Mclean incorporating sound tracks from performances of him and his Father the Late Great Jackie Mclean.
This is an inspirational environment created for the ceremonious tea, prepared to aesthetically strengthen, enhance, and enlighten. So that one can reap the benefits of a journey into long periods of Deep Fulfilling Meditation in the Cosmic aesthetic of Funk for the Culturally RE-POSSESSED and for those who can relate.
(END OF PRESS RELEASE)
There is going to be a website built for the exhibit that will contain more information a contacts with the artists.
Monday, January 21, 2008
What a way to start this memorable "DAY FOR A KING"!!!.... I just had an amazing telephone conversation with a New York Performance artist named Rha Goddess, who has created a powerful performance piece (that I just missed) at the Public Theatre, The project she is working on really hits right on the “HEALING ELEMENT”. She is working with Mental Health Issues of Communities of Color.
This touring project was just launched Jan. 15, 2008 at The Public Theater in New York. Artist-as-Cultural-Activist, working for the community…. That’s what I’m talking about.
Check out the details of the project in the Link below.
Try and get on the mailing list to stay connected to this vital project.
TAXPAYERS MORE WILLING TO PAY FOR REHABILITATION THAN FOR INCARCERATION, REPORTS FIND.
Posted on January 21, 2008
Taxpayers More Willing to Pay for Rehabilitation Than for Incarceration, Reports Find
The American public supports the rehabilitation of youth offenders and is more willing to pay for rehabilitation than incarceration, two new reports funded by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation find.
Based on data from a poll performed by the Center for Children's Law and Policy, Potential for Change: Public Attitudes and Policy Preferences for Juvenile Justice Systems Reform (executive summary, 12 pages, PDF) found that more than 70 percent of Americans believe that incarcerating youthful offenders without rehabilitation is the same as giving up on them. Ninety percent of those surveyed believe that "almost all youth who commit crimes have the potential to change."
Based on research conducted by the MacArthur Research Network on Adolescent Development and Juvenile Justice, the second report, Rehabilitation Versus Incarceration of Juvenile Offenders: Public Preferences in Four Models for Change States (executive summary, 17 pages, PDF), found that the public is willing to pay an average of nearly 20 percent more in taxes for juvenile rehabilitation than incarceration.
During the 1990s, state legislatures across the country enacted statutes under which growing numbers of youths could be prosecuted in criminal courts and sentenced to prison, often because policy makers assumed popular demand for such action. But youths in the adult criminal system are at greater risk for assault and death, receive less in the way of rehabilitation and treatment services, and are 34 percent more likely to commit crimes than youths retained in the juvenile justice system. The MacArthur Foundation is working to address these issues through its Models for Change initiative and by supporting action networks designed to develop systemwide changes in Illinois, Louisiana, Pennsylvania, and Washington that can serve as national models for reform.
"Momentum is gathering across the nation to replace harsh, ineffective measures with programs that address the welfare of young people while preserving safe communities," said MacArthur Foundation president Jonathan Fanton. "The public understands that youth in trouble with the law are not lost, and that working with them to solve problems is a better approach to public safety than just locking them up."
“Rehabilitating Juvenile Offenders.” John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation 1/15/08.
REHABILITATION PROGRAMS LINKS BELOW
Sunday, January 20, 2008
JOSHUA JOHNSON was a FREE AFRICAN AMERICAN ARTIST — THE FIRST "KNOWN AND DOCUMENTED" AFRICAN-AMERICAN ARTIST IN AMERICA TO EARN HIS LIVING AS A PROFESSIONAL PORTRAIT PAINTER. He worked in Baltimore for over 30 years, from 1795 – 1825. Painting during decades of dramatic growth in Baltimore, Johnson produced more than 80 portraits of sea captains, shopkeepers, and merchants. By accepting commissions from Baltimore’s newly affluent families, Johnson produced portraits in oil in the years before the camera was invented. No other artist except Johnson painted so many portraits of parents with their children during this period in Maryland.
Although we know a great deal about the people who posed for Johnson’s paintings, we do not know much about Joshua Johnson himself. Few clues survive to help us piece together the puzzle of his life and career. Like most members of Baltimore’s free black community, he remains an elusive figure. Joshua Johnson’s BALTIMORE MD. HAD A LARGE POPULATION OF FREE AFRICAN-AMERICANS. By 1810, Free African-Americans outnumbered enslaved African Americans by more than two to one.
The Maryland Historical Society now owns a 1782 court record regarding 19-year-old Joshua Johnson, a slave in Baltimore County who was apprenticed to a blacksmith. Previously purchased by his own father, the record orders that Joshua be freed as soon as the term of his apprenticeship ended or when he arrived at his 20th birthday, whichever came first. No further records appear about Joshua Johnson the blacksmith, but in 1796 the Baltimore City Directory has an entry for Joshua Johnson the portrait painter. Are these two men one in the same? We are not sure, but it is possible. With each new clue or intriguing suggestion regarding Joshua Johnson’s life, the mystery only deepens. But in the best traditions of historical scholarship, the quest will continue. Perhaps you will someday be a part of it! If you would like to see some of Joshua Johnson’s paintings, come to the Maryland Historical Society. We have several of his paintings in our permanent collection.
Competition among artists during the late 1700s and early 1800s was not unusual in a city the size of Baltimore. In 1798, Johnson placed a newspaper advertisement in the Baltimore Daily Intelligencer. In it he describes himself as a "self-taught genius," and offers to provide "the most precise and natural likenesses" of his subjects.
Saturday, January 19, 2008
Thursday, January 17, 2008
From a bend in the Alabama River, a small, rural community is taking the art world by storm with a unique style of abstract quilts. The Gee’ Bend quilters have refined a distinctive, sophisticated quilting style that is gaining critical acclaim worldwide.
The quilts reflect the geometric sensibility of modern art and the works have been compared to those of important artists like Henri Matisse and Paul Klee. The New York Times called the quilts "some of the most miraculous works of modern art America has produced." The sensational compositions, colors and innovative designs of the quilts of Gee’s Bend have an aesthetic impact that transcends the medium. Unlike the square patterns of other American quilt styles, these works reflect inventive, personal perspectives inspired by surroundings, history and the fabric’s origins.
Quilting in Gee’s Bend is an art that spans at least four generations. The community began in the 1800s as a cotton plantation owned by Joseph Gee and Mark Pettway. After the Civil War, freed slaves continued to live in the area, working as tenant farmers and then buying pieces of the land in the 1940s. Quilting here, as in most of America, was as much a necessity as an art. The community was isolated by its river border which made self-sufficiency essential. Well into the second half of the 20th century, the community lived in unheated homes without running water or electricity. The women of Gee’s Bend pieced strips of available material together to keep their families warm and some made hundreds of quilts throughout their lifetime.
Their work is infused with imaginative design. Such creation is often presumed a luxury of leisure of patron sponsored artists or sufferers of self-inflicted torment. But the women of Gee’s Bend earned everything the hard way. Gee's Bend men and women survived slavery, grew and picked crops, lived without modern amenities, survived the Depression, and lived through the raucous environment of the South during the Civil Rights movement. In the 1960s, the lifeline ferry across to Gee’s Bend was shut down and people in Alabama who registered to vote in support of or march with Civil Rights protesters were systematically persecuted through loss of their jobs or repossession of their homes.
Despite the toll of history, the quilters of Gee’s Bend continued producing their quilts gathering inspiration from continuing struggle as well as from the love and peace they distilled in their own lives. Quilts were made from faded work clothes, textile scraps and any other usable fabric. Some were inspired by loved ones who had passed, others by backyard scenes and some by the freedom marches that brought Martin Luther King, Jr., to Gee’s Bend in 1965.
In 1998, social historian and art curator William Arnett stumbled across a photo of a “work-clothes” quilt by Annie Mae Young. The stunning original design prompted him to find the quilt and its creator. He succeeded and after buying several quilts from Young, he became known as the crazy man in town “paying good money for raggedy old quilts.” Arnett promptly began to promote the work of the Gee’s Bend quilters. The impressive artistry and originality led the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, to organize an exhibit titled The Quilts of Gee’s Bend in 2002.
The exhibit of 60 Gee’s Bend quilts then traveled nationwide to museums in twelve cities including the High Museum of Art in Atlanta, Georgia, Boston’s Museum of Fine Arts, Corcoran Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C., and the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York City. The impressive list of institutions that displayed the Gee’s Bend quilts rank among the most sought after spaces by artists.
In 2003, after the success of the first exhibit, women of Gee’s Bend formed the Gee’s Bend Quilters Collective with help from Arnett and a non-profit he formed called the Tinwood Alliance. The Collective was founded to help market the magnificent quilts. Some quilts sold through the collective have fetched more than $20,000. The funds are distributed between the quilt’s creator, the collective and its other members.
A second exhibition is currently making waves across the United States. Gee’s Bend: The Architecture of the Quilt was organized by the Museum of Fine Arts Houston and opened in June. The exhibit features work spanning fifty years of Gee’s Bend quilters and includes work from the newest generation of quilters, signifying the continuation of this long tradition. Many of the quilters of Gee’ Bend are elderly but have children, grandchildren and even great-grandchildren who have taken to learning the art of quilt making.
The current exhibit will grace the Indianapolis Museum of Art, the Orlando Museum of Art, The Speed Art Museum in Louisville, KY, the Denver Museum of Art and the Philadelphia Museum of Art, just to name a few, and will run through October 2008. Gee’s Bend: The Architecture of the Quilt is changing the way we think about modern art and recognizing the amazing collective talent from a small, rural community in Alabama.
The Collective has their own website which provides further details on where you can see their art or purchase your own piece. There are also two books about the women and the art: The Quilts of Gee’s Bend, and Gee’s Bend: The Women and Their Quilts (available through Tinwood Media, Tinwood Alliance or the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston).
Wednesday, January 16, 2008
OK Folks,... All that other stuff I was writing about in this blog journal... It was'nt nothing compared to this News Scoop!!,... My (ultra busy, hard working, elementary school teacher, Mother, Home maker, etc.) Cousin, Mrs Starmayn Gosa-Walker-Mackie, Got a New Husband, Mr Henry (New Cousin) Mackie, and they bought a Brand New Designer Martha Stewart Home in Atlanta Ga. in 2007.
Plus... My Cuz and her "New Honey-pinch" got their photograph on the front page of the Real Estate Section of the Wall Street Journal Newspaper.
Check out the article and read about how "Home Girl" Martha Stewart is "workin" her domestic skills to the "max". There are lessons to be learned here Folks!!!
Martha Stewart, KB Home Lure
Buyers Despite Housing Slump
By Michael Corkery
From The Wall Street Journal Online
All across the country, home builders are gasping for air as sales plunge, inventories rise and profits disappear. But in one small corner of the housing market, the sales picture is a little brighter: There is steady demand for houses designed in part by Martha Stewart and built by Los Angeles-based KB Home.
"I love all her things," says Menyon Green, a 42-year-old nurse who bought a Martha Stewart-KB Home in this Atlanta suburb earlier this year. "I just knew this was going to be a good subdivision."
The Martha homes are a rare source of good news for KB, the nation's seventh-largest builder by market value. Last year, the company's chief executive left over a stock-option backdating scandal and two weeks ago KB reported an unexpectedly large quarterly loss, amid deteriorating markets.
Right now, the Martha homes, representing less than 5% of KB's overall home-building production, aren't large enough to lift the builder's flagging earnings. But with the Martha developments outselling most of KB's other subdivisions, the company is expanding the Martha brand to as many as 36 new markets, as soon as it can obtain the necessary permits and land, a KB spokeswoman says.
Gregory Duriez, KB's Atlanta division president, says he is struggling to keep up with demand. "My problem isn't how can I sell more Martha homes. It's how can I get more lots in front of me," he says. From March through June 15, the two Martha Stewart developments alone drew 42% of the people who visited KB's 22 subdivisions in the Atlanta metro area, according to KB.
But the success of the Martha-KB venture, launched 16 months ago, could pose a potential dilemma: how to expand a successful product fast enough to boost profit, but without weakening the brand from overexposure.
"Right now it's a unique type of offering," says Rita Rodriguez, chief executive of Enterprise IG in the U.S., a brand and design agency. "You can invite someone to your home and say, 'This is a Martha Stewart home.' But if it's replicated and stamped across too many odd markets, the uniqueness can be gone. That cache and aspiration isn't there and you just become like everybody else."
The Martha-KB partnership is a closely watched experiment in brand marketing. The conventional wisdom among home builders was that home-buying decisions were based on two primary considerations: price and location. While those factors are still extremely important for home buyers, the success of the Martha homes shows that branding also matters in some cases. The Martha homes target a broad market, with prices ranging from $148,990 to about $500,000.
Here in the Atlanta area, where new-home sales dropped 20% in the first quarter of 2007, traffic at Martha-KB new-home developments has been steady. The largest Martha-KB Home development has been outselling the average Atlanta subdivision 2 to 1, according to SmartNumbers, a real-estate information and analysis firm, based in Marietta, Ga.
The Martha homes are modeled after Ms. Stewart's current and former residences in New York, Connecticut and Maine. She and her design team helped design many of the 64 floor plans from which buyers can choose. KB heavily markets the domestic diva's personal influence: open kitchens and dining rooms suited for entertaining, plentiful windows to capture natural light, and an exterior trim available on some homes that supposedly matches the color of Paul Newman's eyes. (The actor was Ms. Stewart's neighbor.)
Some buyers say they are attracted to the Martha homes because they suggest quality, functionality and class. Others say they expect the homes will have a better resale value than other homes.
"I have faith that Martha's Stewart's name is going to help market the property later on if I want to sell it," says Melanie Washburn, a 35-year-old marketing manager at a gaming technology company in Atlanta, who closed on a Martha home in Fairburn in April.
Currently, in addition to the Atlanta area, Martha-KB homes are on sale in Perris, Calif., east of Los Angeles; Katy, Texas, near Houston; and Cary, N.C., near Raleigh. Construction has begun on Martha developments in Denver, Daytona Beach, Fla. and Lancaster, Calif., outside Los Angeles. The company says it could extend the Martha Stewart brand to up to 10% of the homes it builds, which totaled 39,013 units in 2006.
"It's our version of the iPhone. It illustrates the power of something different with a brand tied to it," says KB's chief executive, Jeffrey Mezger, who has set a clear goal for the company: "Let's get these things open everywhere, as fast as we can."
KB and Martha Stewart's company have been selective about how they market their co-brand. For instance, plans to build "mock" Martha homes in Macy's stores around the country have been put on hold for now, amid the weak housing market. Neither company will disclose the financial arrangements of their partnership, but Mr. Mezger says the company still has higher profit margins from Martha homes than other homes. Michael Meltz, a Bear Stearns analyst who covers Ms. Stewart's company, says it receives a fee of up to $10,000 per house.
Even if buyers pass on buying a home, they come away with a full dose of Martha. For Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia Inc., which is seeing declining viewers, but strong advertising on the "Martha" television show amid shrinking audiences for daytime TV, the KB venture is a marketing opportunity. The homes are a showcase for her bedding, paint colors and magazine, "Martha Stewart Living," which is displayed ever so subtly in the model homes. A large picture of Ms. Stewart hangs in the sales office and adorns marketing brochures. One couple visiting a Martha community near Atlanta told a saleswoman they weren't interested in buying a home. They came only to look for decorating ideas.
That explains, perhaps, why Ms. Stewart's design team is so meticulous about outfitting the model homes in the subdivision. The team tries to pay close attention to domestic details, including the color of the lentils stored on the kitchen counter, and the matching colors of the book bindings on the shelves. Buyers can pick from hundreds of different options for their own homes.
The KB Home staff says when the sink in one model wasn't large enough to clean a Thanksgiving turkey, Ms. Stewart had them rip it out and install a larger one. She also ordered up a new kitchen counter top. She wanted a surface large enough to roll pie dough on.
Even though certain elements of the houses are meant to resemble Ms. Stewart's own homes in the chilly Northeast, buyers in the balmier climes of Atlanta, Raleigh, N.C., and Riverside County, in southern Calif., feel a connection, too.
"This is southern living," said Beverly Clermont, while passing through a massive kitchen in a model of a Martha home in Fairburn. Her sister, Anges Young, corrected her: "I think Martha is from Connecticut."
"Yeah, but she lives like she's from the South," said Ms. Clermont, who says she would buy the house, if she could sell her current home, which has sat on the market for six months.
Ruth Green, whose daughter, Menyon, bought them a home in the Martha subdivision in Fairburn, called "Hampton Oaks," said it "reminds me of the glamour of the Hamptons" in Long Island, N.Y.
Menyon Green watches Ms. Stewart's TV show during breaks at work, buys Ms. Stewart's linens, and recently bought a glass bowl to display seasonal fruit, as Ms. Stewart suggested on her show. "If I could afford to do it, I would do the whole thing Martha Stewart style," she says. "Matter of fact, I would like her to come to my house and show me how to do it."
While some buyers might not be able to achieve a place that is appointed as smartly as Martha's model homes, they are trying to get close. KB Home's Mr. Mezger says buyers of Martha Stewart homes in Atlanta spent, on average, 15% above the base price of the home on option upgrades, compared to 7.5% for non-Martha homes. Nationally, buyers of Martha Stewart homes spend on average 50% more on options than buyers of non-Martha homes.
Mr. Mezger also boasts that in the hot, arid climate of California's inland empire, 85% of Martha home buyers installed a fireplace that was featured in Martha's model home. Among the buyers of KB's non-Martha homes in the Inland Empire, 25% installed fireplaces.
Norm Lynde, a chief financial officer at a visiting nurses association, broke his home buying budget to buy one of those fireplaces in his Martha home in Perris, Calif. He said the fireplace made the "home more personal." He likes other features, such as the electrical outlet outside, on the second floor, for hanging Christmas lights. "I never could have imagined buying a home this beautiful." But Mr. Lynde, 49, added, "I was afraid to tell my friends. I am a single guy, and I am buying a Martha Stewart home."
Tuesday, January 15, 2008
1. Close detailed image of fine (missing) tooth combs from CJ. Walker portrait.
2. Detail image of graphics of fine (missing) tooth combs from CJ. Walker portrait.
3. Full image of Madame C. J. Walkers fine (missing) Tooth Comb Portrait.
Sunday, Jan 13, I went to the opening of the exhibit titled TRANSFORMERS.
Featuring Fiber Artist Sonya Clark and Artist David Ellis at Danny Simmon's Corridor Gallery in Brooklyn, This exhibit is the reconstitution of common objects. among the many works of Art, Artist David Ellis has composed and merged together a assemblage of album covers incased in clear acrylic that creates a wonderful graphic-cubist sculpture.
The one work of Art that stands out for me, is the piece titled Madame C.J. Walker, a very appropriate, exquisitely executed re-vision of a photograph of Madame C. J. Walker, This Neo-Portrait is reproduced, using fine tooth plastic hair combs.
What is so very "real" about this Fine Work of Art, is it's intellectual properties and historical statement it makes.
The missing teeth in the fine tooth combs (Ouch!!). These deconstructed assembled combs are true to the fact, of the missing, bent & mangled teeth in the fine tooth combs owned by healthy-headed African American Woman (Ouch!!),... back in the day (Ouch!!),... when we "Got-our-Hair-Did" (Ouch), in it's natural state, when our hair was stronger than the plastic combs (Ouch!!),... before Madame C. J. Walker created her hair straightening products, for our assimilation into the main-stream American Culture (Ouch!!!... You burnt me!!!)... "Can I get a witness here"!!!
As always... YET, ANOTHER BRILLIANT WORK OF FINE ART FROM SONYA CLARK!!!.
"I'M REALLY FEELIN THIS MASTERFUL WORK".
ARTIST PANEL DISCUSSION
David Ellis and Sonya Clark will discuss their art work. moderated by Artist/Curator Danny Simmons
Saturday, February 2, 2008 4 - 5 pm.
Danny Simmons' Corridor Gallery
334 Grand Ave.
Brooklyn NY. 11238
G train to Clinton/Washington Stop.
C Train to Clinton/Washington Stop
(images cannot be reproduced without permission of the Artist)