Goddess Guadalupe

August 30th, 2014

Dear MOTHER-Goddess, protect my family from these sinners that speak hate and spread negative energy.

Liberty

August 27th, 2014

At the Jefferson-branch Library, I came across a GREAT magazine the other day on “Religious Freedom”. I found this discovery pertinent to a violation towards one of my children.

Liberty and JUSTICE for all…

Evolve

August 24th, 2014

Several yeas ago, about 1997, I took a trip to London and discovered an exhibit on Lucy, the infamous Australoithecus afarensis. Though I wish I could find those pictures for this post, I felt it necessary to write this piece without my images-for the moment. Incidentally, based on findings out of Ethiopia, the journey of scientific evolution strongly suggest humans derived from a missing link…a sort of monkey-bone connected to hominid(s). Though this fact may be shocking for some; my question is, if Angels are believed to be true (a supernatural force), why can’t the notion of Lucy remain an option to those that choose to combat the book of Genesis? The later preaches and or conveys, that apes were created the same day as humans. This statement sounds like Biblical Creationists and Evolutionists are in some sort of agreement. It’s a start. I mean Jesus can still continue to be a savior for those that wish’ to believe, and at the same time, scientific fact can still be appreciated respected by those that see Lucy as a sort of savior?.! After all, we all derived from a creature’, if you will, that morphs out of and into a female phenomenon known as the cosmic; some calling this Big Bang universe G-d. However, I don’t entertain this idea of a male beginning. Yet, at the same time, the language of religion has always been an issue for me. I can remember sitting in church, as a youth, feeling so angry about the tone. I suppose tolerance is the key? But, please note-we are all apart of Mother-Earth, this we can agree! I mean we all didn’t just appear here out of dust. Well, we did in a sense-Star-Dust. But, you get the point.

 

Fight on…

Jefferson Branch Library

August 9th, 2014

 

Come out and experience a community talk on METRO RAIL SAFETY via the Jefferson Branch of the Los Angeles Public Library. On Tuesday, August 12, a program will be conducted on how to be safe around trains. All ages are welcomed and light refreshments will be served. The address is as follows: 2211 W. Jefferson Blvd 323-734-8573.

CAAM  featured a series of three music documentaries. I had the pleasure of viewing one called “The Girls in the Band”. It is by director Judy Chaikin who was there at the museum to discuss the journey of Women in Jass, such as big band instrumentalists. The movies explored how women were and are an important aspect of this rich music culture. However, their special gifts have been overlooked, neglected, and or understated in comparison to their male counterparts. In the thirties and forties, hundreds of women musicians toured the country in glamorous All-Girl Bands. Nevertheless, by the mid-fifties female jazz musicians had disappeared from the arena; their names, their contributions to music, totally elapsed. These gifted women put up with sexism, racism and diminished opportunities while trying to preserve their place in herStory.

 
Some notable female musicians that were featured include the following: trombone player Melba Liston known for her jazz arrangements and compositions. Incidentally, she worked as a freelance arranger and composer for studio sessions of various artists including Marvin Gaye and the Supremes. I was first introduced to this musician’s music, in the 1970’s, through my mother that was a music promoter in the Caribbean community for over 30 years. Consequently, Liston spent six years in Jamaica on a music education appointment at the University of Jamaica and served as director of popular music studies at the Jamaica Institute of Music.

 
Some other inspirational female jazz legends that the film covered included the great Lil Hardin Armstrong. Ms. Armstrong was the most prominent woman in early jazz. She played piano, composed, and arranged for most of the significant Bands from New Orleans. In 1921 she met Louis Armstrong. In 1924 she became his wife and she is commonly credited with persuading Louis to be more ambitious and serve as his own band leader. The documentary also focused on the International Sweethearts of Rhythm Band. In fact, one of the first “white’ band member’s, Rosalind Cron, was at the event that CAAM sponsored. She spoke on her experiences as a traveling musician on a sleeper bus that was caught up in Jim Crow law, at the time. She went into further speaking on the code of Jim Crow.
In conclusion, I was so upset when my camera stopped working for the filming. The reason being, some great pictures would have been captured. Nevertheless, it was a great event. If you’d like, one can purchase a copy of this film on the following website;

The Girls’ in the Band

Stay tuned as I will revisit MOCA to explore their art-world…

Art for LIFE

June 23rd, 2014

The brain responds to ART and Music in a way that is useful in therapy. Just like writing helps those that need to speak in a language other than verbal words. This is why it is vital that these crafts be kept in schools and made available to children, young adults, and wise elders. Thus, ART is for everyone.

Research will show that one needs to stimulate their right brain in order to have a balance in learning. This is how the brain works! WE need both sides of the brain and should appreciate and nurture this large muscle to a point of a free expression.

This section brings me to an announcement in this post. I’ve respected Russell Simmons, for years, in his endeavors to help youth have access to an arena that public schools no longer really includes. Why is this?

Incidentally, this year marks the 15 annual gala for his ART for LIFE that supports art education and exhibition opportunities for underrepresented artists. If interested, one can purchase their tickets through the above link. It will be great to attend and report on one of these events in the future.

14th Annual Art For Life Gala: A Field Of Dreams at Fairview Farms on, July 27, 2013  in Bridgehampton, New York.

14th Annual Art For Life Gala: A Field Of Dreams at Fairview Farms on July 27, 2013… in Bridgehampton, New York.

 

A Memoir in Movement

June 14th, 2014

Carmen De Lavallade & Geoffrey Holder

I first had the pleasure of meeting the great Geoffrey Holder as a child. I can remember him being very involved in the Caribbean community that my mother and her peers succeeded in pushing forward. His energy, then, came across as a gentle giant. Therefore, I was pleased to discover an art exhibition that the California African American Museum currently has on display of him and his elegant wife, Carmen De Lavallade.

In fact, as a child, I knew him through his music composition/Calypso and his 1970’s 7up ads. And of course, who can forget him as Baron Samedi – in the Bond movie Live and Let Die. I recall his infamous laugh. It always ROARED across sound waves.

 

After walking through the collection I can, without question, say that it is dedicated to their LoVe. It’s FULL of photographs, images, paintings, sculptures, custom designed gowns, and Tony Awards, just to name a few things. In fact, when one walks up to the display of gowns a true impression is given of just how small and delicate this wonderful dancer’s form help birth a master artist.

In fact, De Lavallade began studying ballet at the age of 16 and after graduation from Thomas Jefferson High School. Her beauty is timeless and his class is evident.

In addition, there are four short films and tons of books and newspaper articles which transfer over as a rich his/her-story that will be left as a golden legacy. It’s evident that their individual and joint-bond help CreaTe a union in the arts that will last for eternity.

A most notable piece that struck me was a painting Holder did of his wife in 1980,oil and canvas. It was captivating.

The exhibition was originally curated by the DuSable Museum of African American HIStory and expanded by the CAAM (California African American Museum). It runs through July 6, 2014. I recommend viewing this very special genre of art. The impression will last forever in my memory and I appreciate  its tribute.

Museum Notes

June 13th, 2014

California African’ American Museum

Today, one of my sweetpeas and I took a visit to USC. She and I went to experience FILMS AT CAAM. While there, we caught a glimpse of some public art. It was entitled: Wishing on a STAR (2009), by Charles Dickson. It was made out of Recycled metal and re-purposed objects. It was something to sEE…there he was dancing across the sky…shooting stars. It was very impressive.

It reminded me of scene when my son and I were astronauts for the day. He and I explored California Science Center’s Pompeii and the Space Shuttle ENDEAVOUR, on the same day. It was as if we were traveling back in time on a space mission hubble!

Look at this very interesting piece from the Pompeii exhibit. I thought it so mind-blowing. Read the inscription:

There he was, waxed in time…shining under museum display.

Nevertheless, later that day we received complimentary passes to experience further Stars at this great space station:

This is the Endeavour.

I’ve had an unforgettable time enjoying some of the things I love to do for the past few days. Stay tuned for more on the inside experience of FILMS AT CAAM as I review- The Girls in the Band: Women Jazz Musicians.

Arts of Palm

May 21st, 2014

Beverly Hills is hosting a Display of Public Art

Behind Florida and the Caribbean, California is known for its towering Palm Trees. Incidentally, being that Los Angeles is a desert, it’s beneficial that Palms don’t drink a lot of H2o or tear up the sidewalks along major streets. So the question remains, “How did Angelinos get to experience the landscape of such beautiful trees known to symbolize victory, peace, and fertility?”


Well, back in 1932 Los Angeles had the opportunity of hosting the Tenth Olympiads. This prompted City Hall to launch a 10-year plan to set thousands of Mexican fan palm trees, native to Sonora and Baja, along major boulevards as a beautification project. In addition, land and home owners started to plant alike, such as Canary Island date palms. Pretty soon, California tourism was known for these statuesque beauties.

However, these lovelies, Mexican fan palms, don’t provide much shade from the burning California sun. Thus, in 2006 city councilors approved a policy not to replace the MFP once the older ones eventually need revamping.  The substitute trees, when new projects are launched within the city, consist of mainly QUEEN Palms. These types are native to South America, from northern Argentina north to eastern Brazil and west to eastern Bolivia.
What better subject to morph into a muse? Consequently, that’s what six renowned artists have done. They have created a temporary public art installation collection that includes sculptures, a mosaic and a book. All are available, as Public Art, to view until January 2015. The pieces are loose interpretations of palm trees. The project’s curator is Kate Stern.

*

Today, I had the pleasure of having some time in order to view this exhibition.

Not Socrates, The Other Guy by Brad Howe

I truly admire such an accomplishment by an artist. The reason being, to be encapsulated into time by having one’s creation publicly displayed is a mark most noteworthy.

 

Reckon by Brad Howe

 

*

Zenobia

Did you Know…

May 19th, 2014

TRIVIA

 

The figure of Thomas Jefferson was originally started on Washington’s right side. After 18 months of carving the sculpture of Jefferson it had to be blasted off the mountain and restarted on Washington’s left side. An unforeseen crack in the granite forced the artist to turn the second Jefferson sculpture five degrees. Thomas Jefferson was not completed until 1936.

Mount Rushmore is also known as the President’s Mountain. It is located in the Black Hills of  South Dakota.  The sculpture cost $989,992.32 to build. Incidentally, the Mount Rushmore National Commission began a project in 1933 and it became part of the National Park Service. It took 14 years to complete Mount Rushmore.