05.10.14- 07.06.14 | Kara Walker Exhibits at the Dominio Sugar Factory in Williamsburg, Brooklyn

Kara Walker
Photos Courtesy of Instagram

BROOKLYN—Internationally renowned artist, Kara Walker has unveiled a new exhibit at Brooklyn’s legendary Domino Sugar Factory.

The exhibit entitled “Subtlety” or the Marvelous Sugar Baby is designed to pay “homage to the unpaid and overworked artisans who have refined our sweet tastes from the cane fields to the kitchens of the new world…”

The exhibition features a collection of sculptured sugar figures with the main instillation being that of the ‘Marvelous Sugar Baby’ fashioned in the shape of the Egyptian Sphinx.

Kara Walker has always used her art to open up the dialogue on a range of subject matters but more specifically the subconscious repression of the American-Africans’ contribution to society.

She is best known for her bold silhouettes and tableaus displaying images projecting additional themes centered around sexuality, race and power.

The glorious sugar sculpture stands about 35 feet high and is about 75 feet long.

This exhibit serves as a public arts project that is free and open for the public to explore.

Not only does this instillation provide Walker with another way to express her creativity but it provides an added cultural benefit, attracting more individuals to the Williamsburg community.

This exhibit is apart of the Domino Sugar Factory project, which includes plans to redevelop the area into new residential, commercial and creative spaces.

A proposal was passed earlier this month giving the green light on the demolition and redevelopment of the factory site.

The ‘Marvelous Sugar Baby’ exhibition was unveiled on May 10th and is open to the public on Fridays from 4 to 8 p.m., as well as Saturday and Sundays from 12 to 6 p.m.

Be sure to stop in and check out this wonderful exhibit before it closes on July 6th.

And as always share the Street Intell.

 

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Behind the Brand: The International Natural Hair Meet-up Day (@INHMD)

Adeea Rogers
Adeea Rogers, better known as ‘The Trendy Socialite’, is the visionary behind the world renowned and highly anticipated International Natural Hair Meet-up Day.

Adeea has been a corporate event planner for 14 years and has also managed to plan other exclusive events but INHMD is her biggest endeavor yet. She is currently employed at East Carolina University as the Assistant Director of Marketing for Student Involvement and Leadership.

We had the pleasure of sitting down and speaking with Adeea as she shared a bit of her personal journey and provided some details on the wonderful things ahead for this year’s event.

Adeea first got the idea for INHMD after attending the 2011 World Natural Hair Show held in Atlanta, Georgia. While there she stated being “over-whelmed, inspired and excited all at the same time.” Although she didn’t know much of anyone there, she shared how the atmosphere emitted a sense of familiarity that made the environment so welcoming. Upon leaving the hair show she took that feeling with her and decided that events like that need to happen in her area. Upon returning home she immediately got to work on providing that experience. She hosted her first couple events and began connecting with other natural hair organizers across the country. It was then she realized that many of them weren’t having the same experience like she had at the World Natural Hair Show. She also recognized that there were many emerging natural hair brands that needed more exposure within her community. So she thought “everyone has meet-ups all throughout the year but how impactful would it be as a community to have them all happening at the same time throughout various cities?” This idea is what birthed the International Natural Hair Day.

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International Natural Hair Meet-up Day (INHMD) is an annual one-day event where women from across the world come together to collaborate, connect and celebrate the beauty and versatility of natural hair. The INHMD platform was created to provide women —and men, with the opportunity to join together in solidarity to uplift one another through the exchange of information and networking. Communicating virtually through a variety of events held around the world, INHMD provides a unique experience for the entire natural hair community and any healthy skin or  hair enthusiast  to join in.

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This year’s events will take place worldwide in 60 US cities and 5 international destinations to include Paris, France; Amsterdam, Holland; Toronto, Canada; Tokyo, Japan and Saint George’s, Grenada. All events are happening on Saturday, May 17th , 2014 at separate times or simultaneously. Each city’s host will  provide a select experience that they would like to bring to the community.

 

Adeea has dedicated much of her time to teaching and training city hosts on providing more than just another “typical” natural hair meet-up she wants everyone to receive a full bodied experience. Therefore, attendees can look forward to creative events that reach beyond the standard natural hair meet-up. Some of this years events will be fashioned as social mixers with refreshments,  Natural Hair fashion shows, and even an outdoor festival. You can visit INHMD and check out what exciting event will be happening near you.

This year’s returning title sponsor is Koils By Nature, which is led by the amazing Pamela Jenkins.  Attendees of the DMV area event will have the opportunity to meet Pamela as well as Adeea, but not to worry no one will miss out on the excitement because there will be live Tweeting and Facebooking using the hashtag #INHMD throughout the day’s events.

Tickets are still on Sale but moving fast! You can  purchase yours here today.

 
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Adeea has also dedicated this year’s events to a special initiative called INHMD Cares, which is a call to action that challenges participants to think outside the box and give back a small portion of what they have received as a result of being a part of INHMD. For the main initiative Adeea is asking attendees to bring one NEW Natural hair care product of their choice to be donated to either a nursing home, women’s shelter, service member overseas or extended care facility.

The second initiative is as a result of the recent passing of two amazing young women within the natural hair community. Just last month Blogger, Karyn Washington of For Brown Girls and Natural Hair Vlogger, Domineque Banks of Long Hair Don’t Care, passed away at only 22 and 27 years of age. Adeea made it her mission to raise awareness and has instructed every event host to have some sort of informational session with speakers or pamphlets on mental health, suicide prevention and lupus awareness.

 

Adeea’s Street Intell:

@TrendySocialite“We really want people to know we are concerned about your health. Your mental health, your physical health; we’re concerned about your soul and your mind. You’re more than just a body at an event. I’m really privileged that I’ve been given this platform to show some people the love of God in this tangible way.”
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Up Close and Personal with Fashion Illustrator, V.G. Waymer (Interview)

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V.G. Waymer is an artist living and working in Hampton, Virginia. She was born in 1960. Her A.A. in Fashion Illustration and Graphic Design was received from New England School of Art & Design at Suffolk University where she studied with Frank Raneo, a noted fashion illustrator. Prior to that she attended Pratt Institute where she was enrolled as a Fashion Design major but soon realized that her passion lay with illustration rather than the actual construction of apparel. Subsequently, after raising three children, V.G. pursued a certification as a life coach focusing on helping artists to regain effective work habits and spark new avenues of exploration in their chosen medium.
 
As a result V.G. has spent the last ten years in experimentation and exploration of many other types of art including lampworking, mask making, visual merchandising, costuming for an Afro Cuban dancer, and lately body painting under the name of Besitos Body painting. She studied body painting in 2011 with John Vargas, a world renown body painter. As Besitos owner and chief artist V.G. has provided her services to photographers and dancers in her community. Spending time creating is an important cornerstone of V.G.’s life as an artist.

V.G. is currently preparing for a group exhibition entitled, Art Walk scheduled for later this Spring in Hampton, Virginia. She is working to reestablish her signature style as a fashion illustrator. In the coming months she will be collaborating with several blogs and online magazines, so stay tuned! In the meantime let’s take a closer look at V.G, in our exclusive interview below:

Who are you?

I have all types of labels as most women do. Three years ago I decided that I really needed to diligently pursue my art. I had to put in the time like I’ve never done before (due to family obligations). We’ve raised three beautiful people and I often didn’t have the luxury of being a “starving” artist. Instead I found jobs where I could put my creativity to work, learn about the business end of art and also gain an understanding of what I could do “instead.” It’s true that you can be very good doing something you’re not passionate about. The trick is to take those lessons and use them when you really get to do what you LOVE! I invested a lot of effort into perfecting my skills, time management, a great work ethic, attention to detail, and building relationships; I wouldn’t have had it any other way. Now I am working to find a balance between the desire to draw (every waking moment) and the need to get more sleep. I am beginning to understand more and more that self-care helps you to produce better. It’s always about balance.

Did you always know you had a gift when it came to creating art or did it take some event in your life to push you in that direction?

I’ve always known that I was an artist. My mother is a classical pianist and my dad played several instruments and loved Jazz. Their friends were musicians, artists and dancers so I grew up experiencing creativity. I used to draw the Sunday comics when I was a kid. I originally wanted to become a dancer and did so until I was 16, then I injured my knee. After surgery and months of physical therapy, dancing seemed less of an option than becoming an artist. It just felt right… better than right!

Do you take time to sketch out your illustrations first while staring at an image or is it produced on the spot through your own creative interpretation?

I mostly use photos and fashion videos for reference, generally I block out the pose with an initial sketch. From there, I lay in color quickly where everything seems to fall into place and then I have to be careful to just leave it be. It becomes very hard not to add, just one more line! Sometimes, depending on my mood, drawing can be a release but I seem to tread a thin line between letting my creativity take over and being overly critical of the finished product. As I mostly work digitally, I usually peel back the layers once I’m done. Often the best drawing occurs in the first few minutes.

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Where does your inspiration to create such beautiful pieces come from?

Thank you for saying that! Inspiration is everywhere but it takes living in the moment. That can be hard to do when you’re moving through everyday life. Sometimes it’s something that you see in passing and other times it’s as a result of watching a video, flipping through a magazine or for me listening to some House music!

Name some artists that inspire you and explain why?

I am always inspired by Gustav Klimt and Aphonse Mucha. My heroes during college were and still are Antonio, Viramontes, and Stavrinos. Antonio for his use of color and stylization of great models like Pat Cleveland who I adore! Viramontes because of his spontaneity and how he would lay down a line or swath of black like nobody’s business. As a student I was awestruck by him and used to draw with graffiti markers just to keep myself from doubting my line and my style. When using graffiti markers once your commitments are made, you can’t erase them. Stavrinos’ attention to anatomy and drawing from Polaroids is something that I’m still mindful of. My professor’s mantra was, “Remember there are bones underneath that skin!” Today I am inspired by David Downtown, Donald Robertson and Stephen Stipleman. If you want to do fashion illustrations then you have to study the “masters.” What they saw in the model and the fashions are often represented in a nuance of color, a pose and a simplified brush stroke.

If you could teleport anywhere in the world where would that be?

I would like to go back in time and have an hour with Diana Vreeland. I would love to watch Antonio draw. A place … teleport me to that house where Julia Roberts lived in Eat, Pray, Love in Italy or Indonesia; as long as there is a space to draw and do the things that make me happy.

(See next question)

What makes you happy?

“What makes me happy?” Fage yogurt with blueberries and honey… An avocado in the afternoon… honestly, I think of all the things I could say in addition to my family and my dog Mojo… remembering that moment when I realized my goals are within reach is what makes me happy. I find happiness in someone being interested in my work. Ultimately, happiness is finally being at peace with who I am in this moment.

As an artist, what impression do you hope your work leaves with you audience?

That’s a hard question. I want people to feel something when they look at my work. Whether it inspires them to want to try a certain style or feel the intent of the clothing that I’m drawing… I think that would be enough for me. I think most artists draw for themselves first and then their audience. It’s a very “inside” game. It’s how you develop your own style.

 

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Waymer’s Street Intell:

20140417-134656.jpgMy mantra and advice to other artists is to create. Paint, draw, sketch, write, blog, dance, sew, sing, act, cook, crochet! Anything that gets at the heart of what an artist’s true forte might be. This exploration has enriched my understanding of an artist’s work process and has allowed me to utilize my experiences to guide young artists in my community.

http://www.vgwaymer.com/

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Obama Takes Executive Action on Equal Pay

 

Tuesday, April 8th — President Barack Obama, continued his push on lessening the gender wage gap in the workplace by signing an executive order mandating contractors to publish wage data (by gender and race) in order to maintain compliance with equal pay laws. The order is a push for better wages of contracted workers allowing them extra protection; even when comparing wages, which under the order protects them from being penalized for such actions.

Today is also National Equal Pay Day and President Obama’s action serves as a reminder of the Equal Pay Act of 1963 which established the administration and enforcement of the law prohibiting gender based wage discrimination between men and women who perform jobs that require the same skill sets, responsibilities and are under the same working conditions.

 

 

 

 

 

Photo Credit: Mohamed Ibrahim

Salute to Marvin Gaye!

Marvin Gaye would’ve celebrated his 75th Birthday today. Known notably as one of the pioneers of Motown, Gaye helped shape not only American culture but the sound and presence of Rhythm and Blues. He was born Marvin Pentz Gay, Jr. on April 2, 1939 in Washington D.C.

A groove to make love to. It’s music pure and simple and hard.. and soulful If you insist, full of promise and determination, unity and humanity. My loved ones today is the birthplace of forever. —Marvin Gaye

As a child Marvin was always surrounded by music, especially with his father being a preacher. It was at his father’s church that Marvin discovered music. At the age of three he sang in the choir and would later go on to develop his musical skill playing both drums and piano. Marvin Gaye is considered one of the greatest artists of all time because of his musicality and great ability to deliver on classic American songs such as his duet with Tammie Terrell, “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough”, “What’s going on” and “Sexual Healing”.

New Micheal Jackson Album ‘Xscape’ due out in stores this May

MJ xscape
Epic records has announced that they will be releasing a new 8 track album entitled ‘Xscape’ from the late and great King of POP, Michael Jackson. According to reports, Jackson’s long standing record label of  nearly over 3 decades, has a deal with his estate that allows them to posthumously release music from his archives.

Fans can pre-order the LP now on iTunes but physical copies won’t hit stores until May 13, 2014.

 

Street Intellectuals, what are your thoughts … is the world ready for another MJ album?

Women’s History Month Spotlight: Yulia Brodskaya

                                                                    Simple Complexity.
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Paper always held a special fascination for me. I’ve tried many different methods and techniques of working with it, until I found the way that has turned out to be ‘the one’ for me: now I draw with paper instead of on it.

There isn’t anything complex about paper and glue yet illustrator, Yulia Brodskaya, has used her creative genius to construct intricate and vibrant 3-dimensional pieces using paper and glue, these same elements have quickly garnered her international recognition. Having over 100 pieces in her collection she has worked for big names like: Oprah, Starbucks, Godiva, Bentley, Niemen Marcus, Hennessy, Target and several others (To name familiar US companies). Born in 1983, making her just over 30, she began working as a graphic designer and illustrator in 2006 and quickly left graphic design for her real passion. She accrued over 100 clients within 5 years. If there were any woman illustrators worth highlighting it would be Yulia. Her attention to detail, the meticulous nature of the pieces, her vibrancy of color and emotion all come across clearly in her work. Each piece quite visually pleasing, her work became a muse of inspiration:

I see the culmination of emotion from a lifetime in your face like a tree that has stood the test of time. With lines that circle the trunk round and round so too do the lines on your face tell a story…they tell a truth: Our perception of reality happens in dots and lines and with care and attention we can craft a beautiful reality that celebrates our experience in all of its colors. So be like Yulia, bravely stretching the bounds and lines of art, the bounds and lines of life.

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Dannielle Cayard is a poet, vocalist and free spirit who uses her creativity to guide her audience deep into the corridors of her beautiful mind.

She is also a Mousai House member and Written Expressions contributor.