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.
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.
February 19, 2010 · Leave a Comment
By Grace Aneiza Ali
Originally published on February 19, 2010 for The Defenders Online, a publication of the NAACP LDF
“The last time we all got together like this was in 1975,” says Taiwo Duvall as he stands in one of the gallery spaces at the Dwyer Cultural Center. It’s a frigid Tuesday evening in Harlem. It’s been snowing and sleeting for most of the day. Despite the precarious weather, over 200 people have packed the Dwyer, in what looks and feels more like a family reunion than the Center’s opening for the exhibition, Weusi Revisited: 2010.
Duvall is standing with his daughter and his son-in-law. Mounted on the wall behind them are several of his multi-colored woodblock prints. “Art,” says his daughter proudly, “is definitely a family affair.” Sharing the gallery walls with Duvall are the works of sixteen other Weusi artists. They are the reason for the reunion.
January 26, 2010 · 1 Comment
By Grace Aneiza Ali
Originally published on January 26, 2010 for The Defenders Online, a publication of the NAACP LDF
On Saturday, January 23, an amazingly talented line-up of Muslim artists performed for a sold-out crowd at the historic Apollo Theater in Harlem. Hosted by the Inner-city Muslim Action Network (IMAN), the event, one of the first of its kind, showcased the rich cultural legacy and growing artistic renaissance among Muslims in the United States and around the world.
The international ensemble of performers included headliners Mos Def (the hip hop artist and actor), Aaasif Mandvi (a comedian and correspondent for The Daily Show), Outlandish (a Danish hip hop group), Amir Sulaiman and Liza Garza (HBO Def Jam poets), and Azhar Usman (a comedian), among others. They used the Apollo stage to showcase their talent and to plead for the audience’s support of the worldwide Haitian relief effort.