This was my first time ever attending the Chashama Gala, and it was like nothing I’ve ever seen before in person. So much craziness going on in every corner, but it was a lot of fun. I had four of my larger sculptures there for the night, and I am thankful that I was able to leave them in place so that I could walk around and take a look at everything. Most of the other artists were performers, so they didn’t have this luxury as I did. There was a BDS&M room, live music, live painters, dancers and a group of people from “Lust” who prepared sushi and placed it on naked people for guests to eat off of. It was a one night only event, so I had to wait for them to drop off my work in the morning. I hope to be chosen to participate next year as well!
I had my first show in Chelsea, and it was actually for my video coverage and photos that I took during the Black Lives Matter protests. I was tired of hearing the rhetoric on the news and from people who have never dealt with police racially profiling them, so I decided to show the side of the demonstrations that the news wouldn’t cover; peace, love, art and positive thinking. Every time you would turn on the news at the time, you would see that same damn CVS on fire in Baltimore, and the coverage made it seem as if everyone were angry rioters and looters. That one incident shaped the whole narrative for people rightfully protesting police brutality, and it made people believe that everyone demonstrating had bad intentions. With my video, I showed many of the positive and uplifting speeches that was given, the locations of demonstrations and the creative and beautiful signs that people made for the protests.
A Riot Is the Language of the Unheard -Dr Martin Luther King Jr
This weekend, I took a trip down to Philadelphia to check out an artist opportunity in their state prison. It has been out of commission since the seventies, and a non-profit took it over to allow people to take tours to learn more about it. In addition, the organization has been inviting artists to work on installations that deal with issues that are related to prison such as reform, life in prison and who is more likely to end up there. If an artist is chosen, they are given a stipend and a full prison cell to create their installation that will occupy the space for 2 years. This is by far, hands down, one of the creepiest places that I’ve ever visited, but I am will to accept the challenge if my proposal is chosen. Wish me luck!
A cement sculpture that I colored with red acrylic paint. I’ve read in places that there are pigment dyes to color cement with, but I found them to be a bit expensive. I’m not sure if the paint that I used will break down the structure of the cement down the line, but I know that it didn’t hinder the cement curing process. I later added a layer of Bondo car body filler to test out the texture and see how it would perform outdoors. Seems to be fine so far and I love how smooth this stuff sands down. I will be posting more photos of my research as I find out more information!
I have been on a quest lately to try out stronger, weatherproof materials that I will be able to handle without using special equipment. In this round, I have been playing with cement and mixing it in a metal pot. I put a thin coat over a clay figure that I created for the sake of experimenting. I like the rough texture of it, but I would like to be able to smooth it out a bit more than I already tried to do here. My next material will be stucco as I have been reading good things about it and how it’s a bit easier to work with.
I finally decided to get all my ducks in a row and create a press kit! It’s so much easier to send one of these out than trying to track down of all the pieces such as the resume, bio and samples separately. It took me a while to decide what layout I would go with, but I decided to just keep it simple and clean with lots of white space as in my 4″x 5″ cards. Here’s a few of the pages that I’ve put together for it, I’m pretty happy with the way it turned out!
Happy Thanksgiving everyone, Eat Everything! If someone tells you different, eat them too!
This past Saturday was my first and Barnes and Nobles’ first Mini Maker Faire. I wasn’t sure what exactly to expect, whether I would be on a panel or if I would just be demonstrating how I go about making my dolls. Luckily for me they just expected me to show my dolls to people and explain how I construct them. Seemed easy enough, but what I didn’t know was that I would be the first table directly in front of the elevator on the second floor in the children’s department. I love children and all but I WAS NOT READY lol! The staff had to sneak me out so that I could take a break and they also had to block the children so that I could pack up to leave when it was time for me to go. I really enjoyed them, they asked me everything from how I made the dolls to why did they look so sad. One was extremely pro-active, she had her mother take a tally of all the materials I used so that they could pick them up and get to work on making a doll that very evening. Another little girl outed her mom who secretly called my dolls creepy by shouting “I don’t think they’re creepy, I love them!”. She gets a gold star in my book for coming to my defense. Overall, the staff was amazing, the children were adorable and inquisitive and I went home without any of the promotional cards that I brought with me.
I have been doing some more work on the doll that I’m creating for Billy Black over the past few days. I was kind of stuck trying to figure out which face paint to put on him since he has so many different styles that he wears. I decided to use the one that he wore when I met him for our meeting since that seems to be the design that he wears more often. All I need to do now is work a bit more on his mustache and style his outfit, I’m getting a lot closer now.
I was off to what I thought would have been a slow time for me and I honestly was looking forward to taking a break, so I decided to stop applying to open calls and learn how to enjoy life and the fresh air. I Instead found myself juggling a Maker Faire workshop that I was asked to conduct at Barnes and Noble on the 7th of November, a group show at The House of Visual on the 13th, a commission that needs to be done by October 30th for a recording artist, an ongoing redesign project that I’m working on for the National Domestic Workers Organization and I still need to make my damn costume for Halloween! I’m very excited by all of this but this is ruining my plan to sleep more lol!
I was asked by the Community Business Manager of Barnes & Nobles who I met through a friend to participate in the mini Maker Faire workshop. I knew that he was a fan of my work but apparently his whole branch is as well, I’m looking forward to being at the event but I just wish I had more time to prepare for it. To make life a bit easier for myself, I’m going to rehash a workshop that I’ve done where I demonstrate how to start building a doll from scratch. I really need to finesse it since Margaret Honey who is the President of the NY Hall of Science is going to be there, so I better not screw it up!
The idea of the show at The House of Visual has been kicked around a few times by me, Cisco and Robert who are the founders of HOV previously, but we’ve yet to plan on a date. Since they are now mentoring a new artist who also makes dolls, it was the perfect time to have it. Thankfully with this show I will be able to bring work that I already have on hand and not create anything new.
The commission that I am working on is for an artist named Billy Black. He found me on Instagram through one of his friends and contacted me since he and his girlfriend loves dolls. I am currently making a doll of him so that he can present it on stage at his show on October 30th in Philly. I’m hoping on a bus to see the show and come back in the morning just in time for Halloween. Hopefully my costume will be past the initial sketch stage that I am in now… Can you tell who it is? I’m definitely an 80’s baby lol!