April 1, 2013 · 2 Comments
Stephen Bennett. “Penan Girl,” from Bario, Sarawak, Malaysia. 2006. Acrylic on canvas. 108 x 96 in.
April 1, 2013 · Leave a Comment
BY MISHA McGLOWN | GIRLS ISSUE | SPRING, 2013
Andrea Arroyo describes her hometown, Mexico City, as a big city with a lot of contrasts: the convergence of old and new worlds, complex political dynamics, the energy of 20 million people, and social stratification intensified by an ever-transforming economy. At the heart of it all, the astounding presence of Aztec history, lore, and awe-inspiring public art bathe the city in images of beauty, heritage and honor. Arroyo would carry Mexico City—the breadth of its challenges and culture—in her heart when she moved to New York at the age of twenty.
The young woman who left her native country on a scholarship for dance, studying with avant-garde choreographer, Merce Cunningham in New York, now has more than two decades of experience examining notions of gender, race and social justice via the visual arts. She has become known for her vibrant, colorful curves on canvas, informed as much by her background in contemporary dance as her love for the female figure. Along the way, Arroyo has amassed several honors and awards, including being selected by President Bill Clinton to create the Clinton Global Citizen Award.
April 1, 2013 · Leave a Comment
BY CLARENCE A. HAYNES | GIRLS ISSUE | SPRING, 2013
Katie Yamasaki, a New York-based muralist and children’s book illustrator, is at the helm of a number of community-based, large-scale murals with teenage girls. One of those projects, Voices Her’d, creates a place for teenage girls to come together, choose an issue affecting their community, and express their ideas through public art. In their murals, the girls address serious issues such as women in the military, the exploitation of inner city youth by military recruiters, women and immigration, and homelessness and health. Yamasaki has also created art projects with children and youth in Cuba, Mexico, Spain, Japan, Argentina, and Namibia.
Her work, she says, is about providing “a visual platform where different communities can have a public voice.” She tells us what she’s learned from the girls of Voices Her’d, her experience working with children in Cuba, and her just-released children’s book Fish for Jimmy.
April 1, 2013 · 1 Comment
Soraya Nulliah. “Child Bride.” 2007. Mixed Media. 16 x 20 in.
Artist Soraya Nulliah is Indian, South African, Canadian, and American—all at once. She is of Indian origin, was born in and grew up in apartheid South Africa, immigrated to Alberta, Canada at twelve years old, and now lives in Colorado, USA with her husband and daughter. Her body of work is centered on portraits of women and girls of color and reflects a life spent existing in-between cultures and criss-crossing geographic boundaries. However, underneath her paintings’ vibrant, rich earth tones, lurks a deeper story. Nulliah endured a girlhood fraught with domestic violence. In both subtle and overt ways, her work is a response to the culture of silence that often plagues women and girls who are victimized by this kind of trauma. Many of Nulliah’s portraits are coupled with bold text that, for example, question, “Who are you nameless, faceless, girl?,” or declare, “her story matters,” and “claim my story.”
Here, Nulliah talks with LeRonn Phillip Brooks about the cultural influences in her work, her commitment to empowering women and girls, and the ways in which being a mother of a little girl has transformed her. —Ed. Read more
July 13, 2012 · Leave a Comment
Terrascape 13, Summer 2011, Monoprint Collage © Gina Lewis
BY E. ETHELBERT MILLER
I first met Gina Lewis (ginamarielewiscreates.com) in 2002. She was a student at Howard University working on her MFA. She climbed three flights of stairs in Founders Library to reach my office on the Howard campus. It’s impossible not to immediately love this woman. She’s funny, curious and has that artistic personality that says “I may not be from here but I know where I’m going.”
When Gina invited me to join her thesis committee how could I say no? Our early conversations were about the blues and what some literary critics started defining as the blues aesthetic. I let Gina borrow a few books from the African American Resource Center (that I direct at Howard).
Now years later it might be time for Gina to write a book of her own. Her visual art has undergone an amazing transformation. One finds her walking and singing into the world of abstraction. Gone are the physical images of bodies and lotus flowers. They are replaced with more control over line and color. Gina is doing what I call “deep painting.” Work that might have been hidden behind the heart and beyond the blues. Gina Lewis is a woman who has given birth to herself. What follows is a conversation between two artists and friends.
April 2, 2012 · 4 Comments
"Pretty Angel Baby," Carl Hazlewood. Mixed Media Installation. 2012
BY CARL E. HAZLEWOOD | GUYANA ISSUE | APRIL, 2012
Carl E. Hazlewood is a Guyanese artist, writer and curator, living in Brookiyn, New York. He is co-founder and former curator of ALJIRA, A Centre for Contemporary Art, in New Jersey.
There have been several occasions in recent years where I’ve been accused of being a ‘foreign Guyanese,’ that term being used deliberately to suggest, I felt, that I had no right to be involved with things I assumed was within my cultural sphere of interest as a ‘born’ Guyanese. As one might imagine, such encounters induced moments of extreme psychic dissonance for me. What was I? Who am I? Why do I feel such a responsibility to folks who seem so disinterested in whatever I had to offer? And what is the responsibility of that place and those people to me?
March 13, 2011 · Leave a Comment
“I bring the language of my community and the conditions of my community into the gallery environment.” ~ José Parlá
BY LERONN PHILLIP BROOKS
José Parlá’s paintings are an empire of broken languages governing the landscape of old cities and the decaying spaces therein. Through his work, the artist proclaims a global aesthetic, stretching from Cuba to Beijing, Harlem to Sao Paulo, that exposes the perishable nature of often neglected communities laying at the center and periphery of hard-hearted metropolis.’ By using layers of advertisements, graffiti, posters and bits of typography as source material, Parlá reproduces the rugged lining of the city’s belly. While the artist relies partly on the appropriation of a material culture of poverty for his work’s gravitas, his ability to use fluid and improvised painterly gestures (or as he calls it, “writing”) allows his paintings to blossom into beautiful and imaginative moments.
March 6, 2011 · 2 Comments
“Get carried away!” This is the motto of the Adarsh Alphons Project, a Harlem-based visual arts program for New York City’s youth. The Project provides budding young artists and lovers of art with full-scholarship art classes, professional teachers from around the world, student exhibitions, and showcases in public art projects.
March 3, 2011 · Leave a Comment
Two boys playing near the Tulsi Pipes, Dharavi, Mumbai. Arne de Knegt for Artefacting Mumbai
By Grace Aneiza Ali
Alex White Mazzarella and Casey Nolan are digging their way through Dharavi, Mumbai—literally. Notoriously known as one of Asia’s “largest slum” and dubbed “Mumbai’s Shadow City,” Dharavi is home to over one million residents with a front row seat to the city’s encroaching real estate boom. Mazzarella and Nolan, US-based urban planners, are in India for three months to implement Artefacting Mumbai, a bold project that sets out to prove that one city’s trash is Dharavi’s art. They talk with Of Note about how they are using art to reinvent the way we define wealth.
February 4, 2011 · 1 Comment
Although sculptor Janet Goldner has spent most of her 35 year long engagement with Africa producing sculptures inspired by Mali, it was her stunning gold necklace exploring the working conditions of gold miners in apartheid South Africa that caught Lowery Stokes Sims’ attention. Sims, the Curator at the Museum of Arts and Design in New York, hand-picked the piece for the museum’s ambitious exhibition, the Global Africa Project, which surveys the global influences on African art and vice versa, African art’s influence on the globe. In Ms. Goldner’s creation, black and white photographs of the miners and their families are bordered in ornate gold and hung on an oversized barbed wire-esque necklace. Ms. Goldner spoke with of note about the origin of the 1992 piece, its current place in the exhibit, and its relevance in 2011.