Search Artz of Culturez

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Empty-Nest Chronicles: Transition of Accountability

It recently dawned on me that I am not the only one transitioning in this empty-nest syndrome experience. My children are also part of the shift, and they become more involved the older they get. 

The corporation I work for is currently going through a transition. The company was sold from one private equity firm to another. The new owners decided to make the human resource department paperless. As a result, all employees have to fill out I-9 forms again, select their W-2 withholding, bring in their social security and one form of picture identification, re-enroll into medical benefits, select 401K options, life insurance and select their beneficiaries. This is when I realized that it was important to get my children up to speed on the ‘what ifs.’ 

Monday, December 29, 2014

Money Method: End of Year Tax Tips

As another year winds down, I couldn't help but notice the money-saving preparation tips trending in the news, social media and my financial journalism inbox. One piece of advice that jumped out at me was from Patrice Washington, aka the Money Maven. 

Washington shared three last minute, time sensitive tax tips that every tax payer, in any tax bracket, can benefit from.  

Washington suggests the following:

  • Make More Donations: According to the IRS, you may deduct contributions in the year they are made. Even if it is December 31st, charge your charitable gift to a credit card or get your envelope postmarked. While you may not pay the credit card bill until 2015 or the check doesn't clear until then, you are still covered. “Don’t forget that if your gift is over $250, you must obtain a written receipt or record of the transaction from a qualified charity,” Washington stated. “If you plan on donating clothing or household goods, look forward to deducting the fair market value as long as everything is in good condition.” 

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

2014 Top 10 Blog Posts for Arts of Cultures

It’s been quite a year for Arts of Cultures

The blog started out with stories about emerging artists in the multicultural art scene, with the likes of Maeva Fouche and Miki Turner

It then branched out and gave tips on how to build your art career. Whether you’re a painter, author, singer or a member of any part of the creative world, there was a tip just for you when Art Tip Tuesdays were posted. 

And as issues in American culture started to become the main topic of conversation on social media, digital news and everyday chit chat, Arts of Cultures peeled back the layers and shed light on controversial discussions. From Shonda Rimes being called an Angry Black Woman to ongoing talks of how social injustice continues to be a problem in America when it comes to people of color and the human race.

Sunday, December 14, 2014

#Justice4All: Why They Marched

Social injustice continues to disrupt Civil Rights in the United States of America. Black teenage boys like Mike Brown of Ferguson, Mo., are being gunned down by the bullets of local police around the country for reasons that are unjustifiable.

And if it's not a gun then police are using their bare hands to restrain people of color. In Eric Garner's case, the Staten Island, N.Y. resident was apprehended and strangled by local law enforcement over the suspicion of selling loose cigarettes. Garner’s last words caught on camera before he died while in police custody, “I can’t breathe!” The list goes on.

The people of America, of all races, took a nationwide stand on Dec. 13, 2014, and held a peaceful protest against police brutality in hopes that they can convince congress that it's time for a change. The national protest took place in major cities throughout the U.S. and Arts of Cultures headed to Washington, D.C. with a couple of young voices to get a glimpse of people coming together.


Did you take part in the #Justice4All nationwide protest? Share your comments below.

Related stories: 



Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Young Voices Discuss Social Injustice of Mike Brown

Welcome back to Better Said Than Written, the podcast supplement of Arts of Cultures where I make a personal connection with today's trending topics.

In this episode I sat down with three young Black American adults who shared their thoughts and feelings about the social injustice of Mike Brown, aggressive police officers, and how American Civil Rights has taken several steps backwards.


Click the play button to hear how these students plan on stepping up and making a change. 
   

Be sure to stay tuned for Arts of Cultures coverage of the Dec. 13, 2014 March to Washington.

Related stories: 

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Better Said Than Written: Introducing Kim Ramsey Pt. 1

Welcome back to Better Said Than Written, the podcast supplement of Arts of Cultures where I make a personal connection with today's trending topics.

In this episode I sat down with Rare Disorder Activist, Kim Ramsey, to discuss the Bill Cosby rape allegations, domestic violence and how the media continues to put negative stories in the Black community front and center. What about the good stories that we don't hear?




What you've missed on Better Said Than Written:

- Episode 1 - Things I Tell My Black Son

- Episode 2 - Domestic Violence - What Are You Doing?

- Episode 3 - How to Be Black

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Empty-Nest Chronicles: How to Revive Your Relationship

If you’re an empty nester who managed to escape the jaws of divorce and stay together with your significant other, well this post is specifically for you. 

The following video showed up in the #EmptyNester trend spotter on Twitter. Dr. John Townsend, author of How To Be A Best Friend Forever, sat down with the ladies of TheBroadcastTV.com  to discuss how couples can rediscover their marriage with an empty nest.

Dr. Townsend has a four step plan to help parents reconnect, encourage and appreciate being free. 



But Dr. Townsend, what about the single empty nesters? 

Disclosure: I haven’t revealed my relationship status in previous Empty Nest Chronicles because I didn’t think it was relevant. Just to give clarity, I am a divorced parent of two teenagers. My oldest is a sophomore in college and my youngest is a senior in high school. I’ve had some help raising my kids from friends and my significant other. ß  Clearly I haven’t remarried, so technically this momma bird is flying solo. 


  • Are you a single empty nester who used to twiddle your thumbs after your kids went off to college? 
  • How did you reconnect with the world?

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

American Civil Rights Ripples Backwards

The emotions of most Americans simmered over into a boiling hot mess of despondency, after a grand jury came to the conclusion not to indict a police officer for fatally shooting an 18 year-old unarmed boy in Ferguson, Mo.
Michael Brown by Demont Pinder

To anyone who is unfamiliar 
with the opening sentence, you might be thinking … “What’s the big deal? It was probably an accident.” But when you add a dash of color to the story, Black and White, and you’ll probably understand that it’s an accident that happens one too many times in America. 

Monday, November 24, 2014

Trending Reads: Recommended Good Reads

On Sept. 25, 2014, I wrote a book review on Steve Harvey’s newest book, Act Like a Success, Think Like a Success, which still pops up in my “What’s Trending” feed on Twitter. However, there are a couple of classic books I would love to see get a hashtag and boosted on the trend-o-sphere.

As a journalist, I have the gene that makes me want to read everything I get my hands on. Well, not exactly everything. I am not a fan of romance novels or crime thrillers. Instead, I am drawn to authors whose real life stories stick with me days, months and years after the story has ended.

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Guest Post: Blacks With Money Spotted in Church

American culture tends to focus on material items and how many zeros a person has in their annual salary. One trend I wish I saw more of is advice on how to invest those zeros, especially within minority communities. If more American minorities knew how to invest their money wisely, imagine the positive impact it would have on the U.S. economy. One of the issues facing minorities and investing is that financial advisors don’t know how to approach particular groups.  

In 2011, a colleague of mine brought a story to my attention and asked me to think about it. When I read the article about financial advisors having difficulty tapping into the African American community for new clients I wondered why. 

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Empty Nest Chronicles: Reorganizing the Nest

For years it's been a struggle to keep my home in order. Dirty dishes in the sink, unswept floors, glass rings on the furniture, toothpaste on the bathroom countertops, and untidy bedrooms makes me anxious. 




Now that my daughter is away at college the anxiety of having a clean house has calmed down quite a bit but I still have one more bird in the nest. My son only has nine more months before heading off to college and I thought that it would be a good idea to prep my home into a calm sanctuary where I can relax, read, write and

Monday, November 17, 2014

Who Reads ProPublica?

There are hundreds if not thousands of ways to attain informative news. To keep up with breaking news by the minute, technology has given us social media platforms with the likes of Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. Although magazines and traditional media outlets still breaks down several facets to a trending story, we also have news app aggregators and online media outlets to turn to. Most of them are tailored to suit demographics where they report on topics geared toward a particular cultural group. 

So where am I going with this?

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Trending Retro Fashion: The Return of the Pin Roll

Have you noticed that men urban fashion has been tapered with hints of the late 1980’s and early 1990’s fashion? Take a look around and you’ll see that pants are starting to fit a little more snug in the waist and even tighter in the ankles. Allow me to explain.

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Empty-Nest Chronicles: Time to Pursue That Dream Job

For the last 19 years my sole purpose in life was to take care of my children. Now that my youngest is on his way to college I'm twiddling my thumbs as to what to do next. Actually, I ask myself everyday - What can I do next in my career?

After four years of being a stay-at-home mom I realized that it wasn't a good fit with my independent personality I decided to return to college to earn my degree in a career that I knew I would thrive in. That decision was an important part of the plan to taking care of my family. I felt that it just wasn't safe with one parent being the sole provider.

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Emerging Artist: Billie Black

It's time to mix things up a little with one of my favorite pastimes ... Music. An emerging artist with a classic or new sound really pulls at my heart strings.


(Billie Black via Facebook page)
Lyrics, style and flow are the three characteristics that I listen out for when I hear a new musical artist. I also prefer the ones who have yet to make it to the airwaves of popular radio stations throughout the U.S. You know like the ones you come across at a small venue, SoundCloud or Twitter, which is where I discovered my new musical favorite – Billie Black.

Billie Black shared her video from her single 'I Don't Need Another Lover' this week on YouTube and then it landed in my twitter feed. The British 19 year-old singer songwriter is not trending in social media just yet but I am sure once her EP 000100 drops on Nov. 3, 2014, people will take notice.

'I Don't Need Another Lover' has a smooth funk soulful vibe to it and I couldn't get enough. Take a listen ... 

 


Billie Black is excited to headline her first "proper show" at Old Blue Last on Dec. 4, 2014. So if you're in London on that night be sure to check out her show and update me on how she moved the crowd. 


I'm rooting for you Billie Black! I know a good voice when I hear one! - @TCsViews


I'm still waiting to hear back from Billie Black for an interview with Arts of Cultures to find out her story. I know she has one.

In the meantime, we just have to keep track of her progress on the following social media platforms:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/thisbillieblack


tumblr: http://thisbillieblack.tumblr.com/

Twitter: @thisbillieblack

SoundCloudhttps://soundcloud.com/billie-black

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

What's Your Story: Why She Stayed

The month of October is winding down, which means Domestic Violence Awareness Month is about to wrap up. 

We all know that domestic violence takes place everyday around the world. So it goes without saying that we should always be aware of domestic violence.

The one question people ask a victim of domestic abuse is, 'why did you stay?' This woman's answer in the following video is one I never heard but as a person who grew up in the Caribbean culture I understood exactly where she was coming from.


I named this new segment to Arts of Cultures - What’s Your Story? This is where I ask people to share their story…no matter how big or small. Here's Kay's story of why she stayed in an abusive relationship and when she realized it was time to leave.


 

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Empty-Nest Chronicles: The 'Empty-Ness' Feeling

The one thing that I can't shake is the feeling of anticipated loneliness. When I come home from work and my son is not home I start to think, "Wow, the house is so quiet. Is this what I have to look forward to next year?"

(*TC's view of an Empty House –
Painting by Pierre-Monet)
At first I get excited at the thought because I'm not going to have to rush home from work to cook dinner, clean up breakfast dishes, or play the role of a chauffeur after a 1.5 hour commute on the NJTransit and MTA. As I start to figure out what to cook for the evening the feeling of sadness fills the air because next year neither one of the children will be home to ask, "What time will dinner be ready?"

Monday, October 20, 2014

2014: The Year of Football Trouble

For me, 2014 will always be remembered as the year of scandalous news in sports, specifically football. The NFL's image has taken a major hit. From domestic violence on an elevator to a child being disciplined with a switch till his skin was bloodied and bruised. 

(via ESPN, Photo Credit: Peter Yang for ESPN - 
found on EliteDaily)
In my zen humble opinion, it should be a prerequisite for athletes to take sensitivity classes, do some yoga and meditate, which should help center their mind, spirit and balance their aggressive behavior. These classes should be offered starting at the little league level and all the way up through the major leagues. The Seahawks meditates and does yoga...so why can't it be a consideration for everyone else? (If you have a better idea leave them in the comment box below.)

The most recent news on the field comes from Sayreville War Memorial High School in Parlin, New Jersey.

Friday, October 17, 2014

We Missed It: Black Poetry Day

Today, Oct. 17, 2014, is Black Poetry Day. I had no idea there was a day devoted to Black poets. 

Even though I found out about Black Poetry Day through my Zite news aggregator app around 6 o’clock this morning, it wasn’t a trending topic on any of my social media news feeds. 

I even tweeted: 


It’s #BlackPoetryDay! Who is your favorite Black poet? 

But no one responded. 

Sunday, October 12, 2014

20 Years and Blogging

Last week marked 20 years since blogging hit the World Wide Web, thanks to the California software developer Dave Winer. Blogging gives millions of people around the world the platform to express their thoughts, ideas, life stories and advice to the masses. 

Dave Winer - Blog Inventor
Courtesy of TheGuardian.com
Winer posted his first blog on Oct. 7, 1994.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Empty-Nest Chronicles: The Emotional Reveal

Empty Nest
Thirteen months have passed since my oldest went away to college. And next year this time my youngest will follow in his sister’s footsteps and also go off to college. My heart is filled with panic. 

“What am I going to do? What will be my reason for getting up every day and trekking it to the place that provides me financial stability?” These are the questions that I ask myself when I walk into my quiet home. 

Friday, October 3, 2014

Better Said Than Written: How To Be Black

How To Be Black
by
Baratunde Thurston
Welcome back to Better Said Than Written, the podcast supplement of Arts of Cultures where I make a personal connection with today's trending topics.

In this episode you'll get a brief rundown on what's trending in my social media feed and I finally share my views on the book How To Be Black. Yes, there's a book on that! Click play and take a listen.



What you've missed on Better Said Than Written:


- Episode 1 - Things I Tell My Black Son

Episode 2 - Domestic Violence - What Are You Doing?

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Trending Reads: Act Like a Success, Think Like a Success

Depending who is in your social media circle you may come across a highly recommended book or two. Steve Harvey’s latest book, Act Like a Success, Think Like a Success, started trending before it was available in bookstores or in the e-book book arena thanks to his appearance Lifeclass on OWN days before its release. 

After Steve appeared on OWN I had to wait two days before my copy was available on my iPad Nook reader. It was 3am when my iPad chimed to let me know that the book was ready to read on my device.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Apollos Hester: Inspirational Words of Success

If you're feeling like your journey to success is moving at a glacial pace, Apollos Hester says it's OK. The Austin,Texas-based running back of the Patriots High School football team, gave an impromptu victory speech after his team came up from the trenches and beat their opponents.

Hester's motivational speech has been viewed more than 5 million times on YouTube, and the numbers are still rising. The twitter world has embraced @apollospockett with social media gratitude.

"It's an awesome feeling when you truly believe that you are going to be successful." - Apollos Hester

Take a look...we all need a little encouragement to keep moving toward the horizon of success. 

Minority Opinion: No Angry Black Woman Here

When I first got wind of the New York Times article, Wrought in Rhimes’ Image, I was scrolling through my Twitter feed. “What did the New York Times do now?” I thought to myself. After searching for a link through the people I follow on I finally found out what all the commotion was all about.

And there it was, in the lede, in black and white … “When Shonda Rhimes writes her autobiography, it should be called ‘How to Get Away With Being an Angry Black Woman.

Alessandra Stanley
I had to read the sentence a few more times for it to really sink in. “What the …?”

Sunday, September 21, 2014

25 to Life: Take 3

William Brawner, the main character in the documentary 25 to Life, built up the courage to share his HIV status on a local radio program after keeping it hidden for 25 years. The documentary showed how friends, family members and female sex partners felt betrayed. 


William Brawner & his wife
To Brawner’s benefit, he has a solid support system from some dear friends and family members, which includes his mother, as well as his loving and supportive wife, who is not infected with the virus. 

Some people who are HIV positive are not as fortunate as Brawner, especially when it comes to a place to lay their heads in a home of their own. 

Friday, September 12, 2014

Better Said Than Written: Domestic Violence - What Are You Doing?

Welcome back to Better Said Than Written, the podcast supplement of Arts of Cultures where I make a personal connection with today's trending topics. 

By now you should be all caught up on the news about what really took place in the elevator between Ray Rice, and his then fiancé, Janay Palmer. Everyone has an opinion about what Janay should have done, and what she should do. Everyone is now an expert on domestic violence. People on social media are the bravest ones to share their honest opinions and comments but no one is doing anything. 

Click the play button before you answer the question ... What Are You Doing to help victims of domestic violence? 


What you've missed on Better Said Than Written:

Episode 1 - Things I Tell My Black Son

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Behind the Canvas: Maeva Fouche

Maeve Fouche (right) & TC
Maeva Fouche’s journey to follow her passion of becoming an artist is truly an inspiration. 

Fouche is a Black American self-taught artist from New Jersey with Haitian decent and her work is bright, bold and  powerful. She’s inspired by the beauty of women, music, pop culture, Picasso, African culture and someone very special … her son.

I met Maeva Fouche earlier this year at the Harlem Fine Arts Show in New York City. It was her first time showing her work to the HFAS crowd and I managed to get Maeva Fouche to share her uplifting story for this Behind the Canvas special. 

I introduce to you, Maeva Fouche…


Wednesday, September 3, 2014

St. Louis Police Officer Speaks Out Through Poetry

Race continues to be the main topic of conversation in the U.S, social media and everyday conversation on weekly, daily news shows and newspapers. Actually race talks never really went away but in the last month and a half racial tension has exploded since the killing of Mike Brown in Ferguson, Mo. by a Ferguson police officer.

10570110_691843817562811_1167420843_n
(From Dissonant Winston Smith)
 It's important to note that some people have a sensitive, nurturing side to them...even the police officers whose lives are being threatened throughout Missouri. To get the point across of how the situation in Ferguson, Mo. has taken a toll on these officers an anonymous police officer launched a blog to share his/her feelings on the matter.

Dissonant Winston Smith posted a heartfelt poem on what he/she feels like. What's so disgusting are the comments that follows. Clearly, those who left negative threatening responses didn't sit back and take in the words on the screen.

If you read the poem carefully you'll see that being a police officer is not easy. If you read the poem carefully you'll know that all police officers aren't corrupt. If you read the poem carefully you should be able to feel sympathy. You will see that his/her spirit and sense of self is held captive because he's afraid of what lurks around the corner.

It's time to take a couple of steps back and think of our actions, the words that spews from our lips, the criticism that hits social media. I'm sick of it...aren't you?

I'm Sick of...

I’m sick of being called a murderer.
I’m sick of “peaceful” protesters threatening to kill me.
I’m sick of being told I’m not trustworthy.
I’m sick of listening to inconsistent accounts of the same story.
I’m sick of adrenaline dumps.
I’m sick of being stuck in condition red all of the time.
I’m sick of not sleeping.
I’m sick of having to watch my back when I go get dinner.
I’m sick of nightmares about my gun not working.
Click here for the entire poem...

Friday, August 29, 2014

Better Said Than Written: Things I Tell My Black Son

*This story has been edited for a correction... see below.
Welcome to the first podcast supplement to Arts of Cultures - Better Said Than Written. This is where I make a personal connection with today's trending topics. The story that is still on most people's minds is the tragic death of Mike Brown, who was gunned down by a police officer in Ferguson, Mo. Mike Brown, as you know, was not armed. This could have been your son, your nephew, your brother. This could have been my son. So what do we tell our children? Click play to hear: Things I Tell My Black Son.



Correction: Renisha McBride was NOT a victim of police brutality or social injustice. (see story here)
Here is the video of the Black Woman who was... 

Friday, August 22, 2014

Artists Takes a Stand for Mike Brown

As I scrolled through my Twitter feed this morning, I realized that the Ferguson, Mo. protest and riots were no longer trending. The uprising was sparked by the shooting of 18-year-old Michael Brown by a Ferguson police officer. Brown was unarmed.



After the death of Brown hit social media I came across a painting done by Demont Pinder on Instagram. Brown’s eyes pulled me right in. Pinder captured the essence of a young boy who was ready to take on the world yet there was still a hint of uncertainty in his eyes.  

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Guest Post: The Beginning

Earlier this year I introduced you to Aria Kier, a rising sophomore working toward a degree in creative writing at Fairleigh Dickinson University. The 19-year-old young lady had a bad case of writer's block. To resolve, I opened up my laptop and said, "You can't leave until you write something. Now write!"

Aria needed to be in her own space, with her own thoughts to write. So instead, she shared one of her poems she was most proud of from her collection. My Refund, Please?

Since that day, Aria's writer's block slowly started to crumble. She started to write again. This makes me happy, because as I mentioned before, "It saddens me to see a young, talented artists slacking off from their passion."

Aria's newest piece, which recently appeared on her blog Vision of My Words, gets in touch with her sensual side. It's a side that some of us neglect because we are either too shy, embarrassed or we believe that sensuality is down right dirty.

WARNING: If you haven't read a romance novel, do not read any further. If you think that 50 Shades of Grey was too explicit, don't read any further. If you forgot what it was like to be touched with lusting hands and would like to remember then read on...

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Summer Discoveries

This summer I spent some time at Point Pleasant Beach along the coast of the New Jersey shore. I also spent a few days in Boston, Mass., to attend the National Association of Black Journalists Annual Conference. During my time away from my day job and Arts of Cultures I found a few cultural topics hiding out in the not so obvious places and I'm surprised more people aren't having these conversations.

First topic: Where do people of color take their vacation?

Monday, July 14, 2014

25 to Life: Take 2

The documentary 25 to Life, which made my list of ‘Films of Color’ to see, tackles the importance of keeping the conversation of HIV and AIDS on the table. 

There are still misconceptions surrounding HIV/AIDS. People young and old seem to believe that there is a cure for the virus and that it is a Gay man’s disease. Society forgot that the virus can be contracted through unprotected sex, intravenous needles, and in William Brawner’s case - who is the star of 25 to Life -  a blood transfusion, which he received back in the 1980s.

Surprisingly the film wasn’t just about Brawner dealing with life after revealing his HIV status to friends, family and casual sex partners after 25 years of keeping his diagnosis a secret. At some point of the movie the HIV story was overshadowed by several issues that plagues Black American culture. Fatherless sons, how to be a man, promiscuity and denial were the main topics that stuck out to me. 

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Building Your Art Career Pt. 5

I get it. You need to lock yourself away and create series of work for that next exhibition. Just be careful not to become a hermit in the process. It’s still important that you come up for a breather every once in a while.

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

25 to Life: Part 1

In the recent post of 'Films of Color', I mentioned a few films that were created, directed, and produced by people of color. 25 to Life is one of the films that made the list. The documentary about this young man who built up the courage to stop hiding his status of of being HIV positive has stuck with me ever since I walked out of that theater. (Movie trailer and a word from the producer below)

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Art Tip Tuesday: Summer Reading

Summer is in full swing and it’s the perfect time to catch up on some reading.

Is there a technique you wanted to brush up on or experiment with on your next painting, sculpture or sketch project? Well, I suggest taking a stroll through your local bookstore, if there are any more around in your immediate area, and head to the ‘Art Technique’ section. You’d be surprised how many art books, magazines, and courses you can flip through.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Building Your Art Career Pt.4

Set your goals

Whenever you set out to do anything it's ideal to have a list of goals in place. This holds true for your art career and it doesn't matter if you are a painters, writer, sculptor, actor, filmmaker, producer or a singer...you all should have short and long-term goals to strive for.

With the help of curator and artist Rhonda Schaller's post from her blog archives, I've pulled together this week's Art Tip Tuesday.

Monday, June 23, 2014

Films of Color

Black films continue to have a hard time tapping into the mainstream movie scene. The ones that actually make it to local theaters near you are usually subject to ridicule and bad critiques.

Take this past weekend for example; Think Like a Man Too hit theaters and generated roughly $30 million during its opening weekend, which placed the film at No.1 in the box office, according to Entertainment Weekly.

Movie critics were harsh prior to the release. US Metro, film and tech editor, Matt Prigge’s headline read, "The second 'Think Like a Man' ditches the self-help and the laughs,” Kate Erbland of Film.com wrote, “It’s all, quite strangely, boring,” and Anita Gates of the New York Times thought that, “Things turn loud and desperate and stay that way.” The critiques on Meta Critic goes on and on but none of the negative critics made any comments once the numbers rolled out Monday morning.

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Behind the Canvas: Kara Walker's A Subtlety

For this installment of Behind the Canvas you'll catch a glimpse of Kara Walker's exhibition in the Domino's Sugar Refining Plant. Although I would have liked to get Walker on camera I thought it was just as important to give my personal view on her first sculpture. 

*The exhibit has since left the building. But the good thing is my view on the Sugar Baby remains ... click the play button to hear and see more...



Did you get a chance to see A Subtlety? Share your view in the comment box below, or tweet me @TCsView.


Construction of Sugar Sphinx
Sugar Baby Face
  
Kara Walker's research 

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Art Tip Tuesday: Do You Have a Card?

Stemming off of last week's tip of the importance of having an online presence (see: Artists, Where Are Your Websites?) I thought it would now be ideal to stress how important it is to have your own personal business cards on hand.

You'd be surprised how many talented multicultural artists I've talked to who did not have a business card. I can understand when an artist run out of cards but it baffles my mind when they say they never had them. It shows me that they may not be ready to take their art career to that next level. The level of professionalism.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Art Tip Tuesday: Artists, Where Are Your Websites?

To change things up a bit, I’m stepping away from Rhonda Schaller’s tips for a brief moment. Don’t worry; I have at least seven more of the curator’s tips to share with you in upcoming posts.

As I stroll through art shows, street fairs and art galleries, the main question I hear from art aficionados is, ‘Do you have a website?’ Too many times I hear artists respond with, ‘Oh, I’m working on it. It’s coming.’ But nothing ever comes.

This week I wanted to emphasize the importance of your online presence. It’s one of the key things that will get you into the doors of exhibitions at a museum or an art gallery.

Monday, June 9, 2014

Got Painters Block?

There are times creative minds hit a road block. As a writer and journalist I get a bad case of writers block, so I can relate when artists say 'I've got painters block.' The one thing that usually gets me back on track is to read an inspirational quote. You know the ones that slap you in the face so hard that your creativity jumps back into you.

Well here are some quotes that I’ve collected that gave me a good back hand. 

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Building Your Art Career Pt. 3

Get Back to Class

It’s another installment of Art Tip Tuesday. As I mentioned in the first post of Art Tip Tuesday, I found an abundance of information from artist and curator, Rhonda Schaller, which I figured I share with you.

This week’s tip: Take a business course for artists. As told by Rhonda Schaller. (This post has been edited for clarity.)

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Maya Angelou: A Phenomenal Being



How Dr. Maya Angelou’s words made their way into my world.

I’ve seen her several times on television, heard her recite lines of her poetry, read about her activism, and I know of most of her accomplishments. I am very familiar with her book, I Know Why the Caged Birds Sing, but I've never read it and the reason why is not important. What is important to me is how Dr. Angelou shared her story of going after her dream, her dream of being a San Francisco streetcar conductor.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Art Tip Tuesday: Building Your Art Career Pt. 2

Get your work online and in artist registries

Recently I introduced Art Tip Tuesday. After observing the multicultural art world for the last three months, I've noticed that multicultural artists are still under represented. Your works are not being shown side by side the European and white American artists in reputable art galleries. There isn’t a big secret to getting recognized as an established artist it just takes the right tools, the drive, and a little push in the right direction.

As I mentioned in the first post of Art Tip Tuesday, I found a plethora of information from artist and curator, Rhonda Schaller.   

Monday, May 26, 2014

Guest Post: My Refund, Please?

It amazes me how many people have talent and let it fall to the waste side, especially our youth who are rising into adulthood. Whenever I see a young, talented artist slacking off from their passion I do my best to push them back into where they shine best. 

Aria Kier is a rising sophomore who is currently working toward a degree in creative writing at Fairleigh Dickinson University. She's a talented artist who has a knack of expressing her thoughts into compelling poetry. When I found out that she stopped writing on her blog, Visions of My Words, I told her that she can't leave until she gives me something. On this particular day Aria had writers block so instead she shared one of her most inspirational pieces. Enjoy.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Art Tip Tuesday: Building Your Art Career Pt. 1

Build a supportive network

It’s been three months since I started educating myself on the art world. The one thing that I’ve noticed is that some multicultural artists are still struggling to get their art work through the doors of art galleries. To tackle the issue at hand, I’ve interviewed artists, attended art shows, panel discussions, and I spend my free time researching, which goes a long way. 

Monday, May 19, 2014

Motivational Monday: Stop Giving Your Art Away

(Melanie Gillman 2013:
pigeonbits.tumblr.com)
Over the past several months, I've spoken to a number of established multicultural artists who gave some great advice on being acknowledged in the art scene.

One piece of advice that really stuck in my mind was from award winning photographer, Miki Turner, who got this tip from others in the business. "There are [several] things that an artists can do. One is to donate to charity," shared Turner in an earlier conversation with Arts of Cultures.

Giving your work to charity is not only gratifying, but depending on the charity your work will be seen by those who appreciate art and those who has the means to write that check.

You must be wondering, 'When do I stop giving my work away?' To be honest, that's entirely up to you but do know that you have to know when to stop.

Monday, April 14, 2014

Motivational Monday:
10 Ways to Feel Miserable as an Artist

I came across this list as I scrolled for inspirational quotes in my social media news feeds. It's been shared with my twitter followers and I sent it along to close friends who are fighting with some of these topics. Are you guilty of doing any of the following?

Friday, April 4, 2014

School vs. Self-Taught

Is a college degree in art even necessary?


It’s that time of year again where acceptance and rejection letters are starting to hit the mailboxes of aspiring college students who are ready to major in some type of art. Families are filling out those FAFSA forms and counting their nickels and dimes to pay for that coveted degree. But how important is it to attain a college degree in art? Does it matter if an up and coming artist attends SCAD or Tisch School of the Arts or if they attend school at all?

Since I started interviewing artists for my multicultural art blog two phrases kept coming up in conversation; – I’m a self-taught artist. – I’m a school taught artist. The school taught artists goes into what schools they went to while the self-taught artists start to explain why they didn’t go to school.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Defining Art: What is Art?

As Arts of Cultures start to take shape, one topic I have to dig into is the definition of art.

Painting, sculptures, photography, drawings, sketches, fashion, music, songwriting, poetry and writing all falls under the description of art.

I’m sure there are several other elements some of you may consider art and I’ll be happy to add it to the list of coverage.

Here are a couple of descriptions I pulled from the Internet when I Googled the phrase: “What is Art”

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Who is Making Noise in the Art Scene: Kehinde Wiley


When you put your ear up to the walls of the multicultural art world, things are a bit quiet. Switch to the walls of the Black American art scene and you could probably hear a pin drop. “Quite honestly, I don't think anyone made any noise since Basquiat. …Maybe Ernie Banks,” award winning photo journalist Miki Turner recalled during an earlier interview with TC’s View. 

Turner’s comment got me obsessed with finding multicultural artists who are making some kind of noise.

Sunday, March 16, 2014

International Women’s Day: Patricia Brintle

Rebuilding Haiti Through Art

Patricia Brintle - founder of From Here to Haiti
Although International Women’s Day has passed there is always time to let you know about another inspiring female multicultural artists who is making a difference in humanity with her art. With that said, I like to introduce you to Patricia Brintle, a Haitian born artist residing in Queens, New York. Brintle is on mission to help those rattled by the catastrophic earthquake that struck the island of Haiti more than four years ago. 

Thursday, March 6, 2014

International Women's Day: Miki Turner



(Photos from tomorrow by Miki Turner)
To pay homage to International Women's Day, which takes place every year on March 8,  I’d like to highlight multicultural female artists who are making a positive impact on humanity with their work.

First on the list is the award-winning photojournalist, Miki Turner. The African-American artist recently published her second photo book, tomorrow, which is filled with snapshots of children taken from around the world.

Monday, February 24, 2014

Basquiat Stripped


(J-MB in Deep Thought, by DWats)
Take a moment to recall when you saw your first nude Black male whether in real life, in a painting, a photograph, sculpture, or any other medium. I’ve seen a number of unclothed men in private but never paid attention to them in the art form. That all changed when I had the opportunity to be up front and center with rare candid photos of Jean-Michel Basquiat, Reclining Nude, taken by Paige Powell, the ex-girlfriend of the Haitian-American artist. (see images nine paragraphs down)

The series of Basquiat's black & white 35mm, stark-naked portraits adorned the white walls of Suzanne Geiss Co. – an art gallery located on Grand Street in NYC. At first glance, my mouth dropped to the floor because Basquiat average body type was spread eagle from ceiling to floor, corner to corner. "Is that his scrotum? All-righty then," I thought to myself. I didn't go to the art gallery to judge and examine Basquiat's package, I was actually there for the panel discussion — Looking at the Black Male Nude in Art.

The panel was quite impressive.

Friday, February 21, 2014

Malcolm X: Remembering the Change

(TC taking in Malcolm X Vinyl by Lobyn Hamilton)

E&S Gallery had a piece of art work of Malcolm X that sparked my attention to write this blogpost. The artist, Lobyn Hamilton, used recycled vinyl records from what I assume to be a snippet from one of Malcolm's speeches to create the  image.

As I examined the broken pieces of vinyl records that made up the image of the human rights activist, I wondered what would our nation, our culture and our views of the Muslim religion be like if Malcolm was still with us today. And as I started to do the math, I realized that nearly 50 years had passed since his assassination. 

As a matter of fact, it was 49 years ago, Feb. 21, 1965, that Malcolm X was shot to death right before he was about to address the Organization of Afro-American Unity at the Audubon Ballroom, which was located in the Washington Heights section of New York City.

Now I don't plan on getting into the specifics of who, what, when and why of Malcolm's death but I do want to take a moment to appreciate the beauty of change.

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Behind the Canvas: Ti Jay

Peace Splash by Ti Jay
I'm amazed with what I've learned since covering the multicultural art world. I've seen multiple techniques blended on a canvas, learned art collectors habits, and I've been able to tap into what inspires artists – new and old.

It's only a matter of time that I'll be venturing outside of the tristate area to get a closer look into what makes artists want to pick up their creative tool of choice. For now I am satisfied meeting multicultural artists who are making some serious moves in the art world right here in the NYC area. 
Coming up is the first installation of 'Behind the Canvas'. This is where I pull artists out of their comfort zone, place them in front of the camera and have a conversation about ... well, them.

First up is Ti Jay. I sat down with the contemporary African artist to get the skinny on how his work is making a "splash" in the world.



Weekly E-Letter

There's nothing to think about, just signup for Arts + Cultures Recap right here, right now.

Have New Posts E-mailed to You