Whether attending a festival to enjoy good music, to serve the community, or to work as a face painter or vendor, festival life has become THE LIFE from Spring to late Fall. With Durham Art Guild's Swing Into Spring arts fundraiser to kick off this year's festival season in the Triangle, I've had quite a few that I enjoy participating in each year. Those include the Eno Festival, the African American Cultural Festival, and the Art of Cool Festival; however, there are so many more that take place. The Dreamville Festival was scheduled to kick off this year in Raleigh, and I was reeeeeally looking forward to being a part of its Art Market. It was canceled due to Hurricane Florence, but will be happening next year on April 6th instead, so I will still be looking forward to that. Mark your calendars now!
Each event has its own type of crowd as well. Being a vendor at events for the past year now, I've learned to better prepare and cater to my audience. I'm still learning and growing, but here are some photos from past occasions where I've vended. The evolution is real. Thanks for reading!
The last few months has jam-packed my days with new and old activities involving Durham Art Guild duties, paint party facilitation, and even a Third Friday pop-up art exhibition opportunity at Golden Belt Arts. There's even more that I'll post about at another time. Typically, I have to completely settle and reflect on my calendar or look through my phone's photo album to realize all of the recent, small victories. That's exactly what happened before I decided to write this post. Since my last one, I've participated in my first Swing Into Spring DAG fundraiser, celebrated the completion of one whole fiscal year with the organization, and attended and/or helped to plan and lead several meetings and programs.
One of those programs, one that I am very happy about, was "Painting Our Privilege." Some photos from the event follow. Participants came and engaged in an exercise and post-discussion led by Alexa Sykes of The Equity Paradigm that explored ways we all personally and collectively enjoy privileges based on our membership in social groups in the United States. There was a good response to and turn out for the event, so I'm really looking forward to repeating and/or expanding this opportunity.
Only days later, I had the chance to transform the same space used to host that event into a pop-up art exhibition I teamed up with Artist Nate Key to show called "Letters, Locks, and Lyrics." Held during Durham's Third Friday festivities, there was a fantastic crowd and very great energy. I am thankful to have been able to experience the process of putting the show together from conception and curation, all the way to community interaction during the show and even uninstalling everything afterwards. I am also thankful for my family, friends and everyone that stopped in to see the show (and special shout out to my Dad who was not there, but is blessed to see another birthday TODAY)! Special thanks to the art community's support and gracious allies at Golden Belt for testing the idea of pop-ups out. Some photos from the exhibit follow.
Last but certainly, not least... there have been a number of painting classes I've had the pleasure of instructing. One of the first places to feature me as an artist was J. Cardinal Events for their 1K Words programming. They reconnected and allowed me to facilitate another one of their painting sessions- this time in connection to an Adolescent Parenting Program graduation celebration. It was an honor to be involved with such an important event and I was so grateful to be able to connect with everyone through art. What a treat it is to have this gift and put it to use!
There were countless classes done at Wine and Design Durham per usual. I taught my first Picasso-styled date night at the studio as well as a "Durham Starry Night" themed On Wheels event at a local brewery; both were awesome! The company is doing so much in all of their studios, and was even a featured business on ABC's show, Shark Tank. You can read more about this and other mentioned topics in the list of related articles at the end of this blog post. On the flip side, it seems I have to be careful with whom I work with from now on due to the Wine and Design franchises having strict expectations of their contracted artists and not wanting their model repeated (even though there are several existing and similar paint and sip businesses). Unfortunately, I'm not sure how that will impact and look for me moving forward with facilitating more classes, i.e. Exotique's Easel Expressions. Exotique did, however, have their first private group in May and they really had a good time. Some photos from their class are below, as well as the many from Wine and Design. Enjoy and thanks for reading!
Today is a Tuesday, and I feel a shift happening-- a transformation. Tomorrow will mark two weeks since I received a welcome to the Durham Arts Guild (DAG) Board of Directors, a two-year term that I will be serving as a board member. I am excited for the opportunity and cannot wait to see what the future holds.
Much time has passed since my last post, but I'll be sure to share what's been going on over the next few weeks for "Throwback Thursdays" and "Flashback Fridays". For now, I'd like to share some photos highlighting what the first two weeks of being a DAG Board Member has been like!
If you would like to become a member of the Durham Art Guild, please join! There is a membership drive underway, and anyone who signs up before June 23rd will receive a $10 discount.
On another note, international recording artist Iyanya from Nigeria is in the U.S. for his 2016 tour! He made his way to Farotage Nation Lounge on Saturday, June 11th and put on an excellent performance for his Carolina fans. This is what I heard... because I wasn't there. I was totally bummed knowing I'd miss the afrobeat star's energetic show because I wasn't in town. Little did I know, I was in for a pleasant surprise the following day.
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