An Accidental Day


I’m somewhat of a planner not every day but most days.  I don’t have a set in stone daily routine or plans but a general outline in my head of my day.  My days are pretty consistent there is my morning routine, work routine, and evening routine.  Then I sleep and repeat just as most people.  Some days during the week there is a switch up.

Sunday was one of those days that I had planned out.  Regular morning worship, then stopping for a cool cup of Italian ice, then stop to see an art exhibit at my local art museum, then buy something for a pot luck poetry workshop.  Morning worship received a completed check mark and so did buying Italian ice.

I entered the Columbia Museum of Art to view the “Enduring Spirit” exhibit by Tyrone Geter.  I wove through the Salvador Dali exhibit titled “Fantastical Fairy Tales”, which I had seen but was packed since yesterday was the exhibits last day.  Entering the gallery space that contained Mr. Geter’s work, I was drawn to one particular piece titled “Homeless in the Promised Land.”  I was mostly pulled in by the message which was derived from Trump’s “Make America Great Again” theme.  The figures depicted did not appear to be doing well and it showed an America that has always existed with poor and homeless regardless of race.

Homeless in the Promised Land

“Homeless in the Promised Land” by Tyrone Geter, 2016

“Homeless in the Promised Land” is a multi-media and multi-layered piece of art.  Complex in messaging and depicting magnetic figures.  A Trump supporter, a homeless woman, and a homeless man.  There is a collage inspired 3-D effect of a blanket with a unique pattern.  Hidden in the piece is messaging that makes it clear Trump’s political rhetoric does not address the simple truth of those depicted.  Food, clothing and shelter are their most urgent need.

Stepping away from the piece, I was told by the security guard the artist was in the building.  The best part was he would be giving a gallery talk at 2pm.  I immediately was conflicted because I had a poetry workshop at 2pm.  However, how often do you get to hear a shy artist speak about his work?  I quickly updated the Facebook event for the poetry workshop to “can’t attend” along with a quick status comment.

Trying to confirm where the talk would occur, I went to the information desk to ask.  To my surprise standing next to the desk was Mr. Geter, the artist himself.  A kind elderly gentleman who had just learned he was speaking.  While standing and chatting with Mr. Geter, a museum employee approached responsible for a renovation space tour for visitors from another museum.  The best part was I was invited to tag along.  There definitely are perks to being a dedicated museum member and volunteer.

Tyrone Geter, Artist of "Enduring Spirit"

Tyrone Geter, Artist of “Enduring Spirit” Exhibition

Both the tour and gallery talk did not disappoint.  Along with members from the Mint Museum in Charlotte, NC I heard about detail of upcoming renovations and expansion of gallery spaces.  The cherry on top was the gallery talk by Mr. Geter in front of his artwork.  Learning of his history and the determination of his mother who only had a 3rd grade education was inspiring.  However, above all was to hear the various muses and motivations behind his artwork.

"My Beauty is Not My Beast" by Tyrone Geter, 2016

“My Beauty is Not My Beast” by Tyrone Geter, 2016

 

Mr. Geter indicated the ultimate goal was to emotionally move those who view his work and tell a story.  His goal is definitely met with the “Enduring Spirit” exhibit.  The exhibit will be at the Columbia Museum of Art until June 11th.  The CMA is a winner of the 2016 National Medal for Institute of Museum & Library Service.  Thought provoking and current as well as historical art collections is one reason for visiting the award winning museum.  Even with renovations in the permanent galleries there is still plenty to see.  The National Medal was awarded to the CMA, primarily for its impact to the surrounding community and it does that with outreach to various youth orientated programming.

I know if you visit the Columbia Museum of Art and check out the “Enduring Spirit” exhibit you’ll love them as much as I do.  And you just may have a great accidental day as well.

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Representing the CMA at the White House


On June 1st awaking to an azure blue Washington, DC sky, I had a flutter of butterflies while preparing for a very special visit.  I had taken great effort to select an ensemble that reflected the inspiration exhibited in the Columbia Museum of Art galleries.  The main pop of color was a hue of chartreuse.  Entering the lobby of the hotel where CMA Executive Director Karen Brosius was waiting, I laughed when I saw two other ladies wearing similar color schemes. Director Brosius and I, were among a total of 20 individuals that would later stand on stage with First Lady Michelle Obama in The White House.

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Part of the Official Invitation

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Official IMLS Booklet and My Bio

The 20 (10 institution heads & 10 community members) represented 5 libraries and 5 museums.  We all were in the nation’s capital for the 2016 National Medal for Museum and Library Service ceremony.   The national medal is awarded by the Institute of Museums and Library Services; and is presented by Mrs. Obama.  It is a once in a lifetime award and Columbia Museum of Art was the only art museum this year.  I was honored to be selected as the community member who accompanied Director Brosius and Board President Claude Walker to Washington, DC.

Telling the cab driver “White House please” was a dream come true.  Upon arriving to the designated gate you could feel the electricity of excitement.  We were all as giddy as children on Christmas morning.  Once done migrating through the various security areas we entered into a space just outside of the East Wing of the White House.  We were all guest of Mrs. Obama and therefore were able to carry purses and use the powder room to freshen up.  Ascending a beautiful staircase to the second floor we entered into the grandeur that is the people’s house.  There was a quick walkthrough of the ceremony and then we were free to roam.

In front of Jackie Kennedy Portrait

In the First Ladies Portrait Room

Looking out on the South Lawn

Looking out on the South Lawn

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Looking toward the Rose Garden

Chilling In The Red Room

In the Red Room before the ceremony.

I enjoyed wandering between the East Room, Red Room, Blue Room, Green Room, and State Room.  I never wanted for anything and I truly felt like an honored guest.  Sitting and chatting with the other attendees, such as Robin Sparkman CEO of StoryCorps was magical.  Shortly before the ceremony we had a private meeting and photo with the First Lady, Mrs. Obama is everything you’d imagine and more in person.  She is regal and gracious.  Upon entering the East Room for the ceremony it was a humbling moment to hear the applause guests and attendees.

The Columbia Museum of Art had the pleasure of sitting directly in front of the podium.  Listening to the opening remarks by both IMLS Director Dr. Kathryn K. Matthew and Mrs. Obama showed the importance of the institutions receiving this year’s national medal.  Due to the work in the community the CMA & the other awardees are anchors and a resource to uplift.  A reception directly followed the ceremony with delicious heavy hors d’oeuvres.  Both Director Brosius were interviewed by the Post & Courier regarding the ceremony and what the national medal will mean for the CMA.

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Photo Credit IMLS Staff: CMA Director, First Lady, Community Member(Author)

Mingling in the Blue Room it seemed as though it couldn’t get any better.  Visiting rooms steeped in history, I spoke with the President and Community Member of the Chicago History Museum, one of my favorite hometown museums.  Someone in the White House staff directed us to the Blue Room window, where we saw in the distance a helicopter.  Upon its we realized that it was a military helicopter and then it clicked.  “It’s Marine One”, we shouted.  Excited we looked and waited to see if President Obama was aboard.  He wasn’t but soon he came out to the lawn to board and before boarding, he waved to us.  What a fabulous surprise.

Surprise Marine One and POTUS

Photo taken by: Christian Hopkins, Community Member, Tomaquag Museum

Meeting First Lady of the United States and seeing the President of the United States was definitely a major highlight of this trip.  However, the beacon and jewel was definitely the awarding of the 2016 National Medal of Museum and Library Service.  It was a surreal and amazing experience to be selected as the Community Member.  I know the CMA Board & other leadership will not rest on their laurels after receiving this prestigious award.  I believe now they we will have an even wider wing span to soar.  I look forward to working with the CMA to ensure expanded outreach to the community.

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Beauty II


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In conjunction with the blog defining beauty, sharing some additional images and poetry related to abstract and cultural beauty.

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These Gullah inspired woven creations are made by Sufia Giza-Amenwashu who has recently added weaver to her many talents, which include poetess, documentarian, film festival organizer.  Be on the look out for an interview with Sufia coming in January.

Sufia's Woven Treasurers by Sufia Giza-Amenwashu (c) 2012

Sufia’s Woven Treasurers by Sufia Giza-Amenwashu – Gullah Inspired Creations (c) 2012

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Her name is. . .

.

She strides with a regal pose

Dreadlocks trail down her backside.

Highlights of copper and gold

weave throughout her crown.

Her physique taunt and limber

like that of a dancer.

She bathes in Frankincense and Myrrh.

The glow of olive oil illuminates her ebony skin.

No catcalls follow her along her journeys

for men are breathless by her aura.

Young and old love her the same

the young see the child within

the old garner strength from love she sends.

Cypress trees bow to touch her lips.

Weeping willows encircle her in tender limbs.

She leaves every place better than before her presence.

Her name, you ask. . .

Her name is, her name is, her name is

Beauty. . .

.

by: Joyce M. Rose-Harris  (c) 2006

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Most people know Jackson Pollock for his splash type paintings.  But early in his career Pollock who was part of the Art Students League of New York created more structured abstract artwork.  Look in the lower left corner do you see the drummer?

The Key by Jackson Pollock (c) 1946 displayed in Art Institute of Chicago

The Key by Jackson Pollock (c) 1946 displayed in Art Institute of Chicago

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Fashion is personal.  Some mix plaid and polka dots and others dress monochromatically   Whatever your preference  your choice in clothing helps to set your identity.

New York Fall Fashion Week 2012

New York Fall Fashion Week 2012

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Africa Fashion Week 2012

Africa Fashion Week 2012

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Recap: The Freshniz Vol. 3


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Saturday, October 13th Izms of Art an organization of artist doing artsy things held it’s third Freshniz event. What is Freshniz you ask? Well it is a unique fusion of creative individuals interviewed in front of a live audience. This installment included an architect, martial artist, painter, and a producer of music among other things. Normally present is DJ B with an eclectic mix of music; however, though he was absent those in attendance received a special DJ B mixed cd. The cd contains 30 songs running over 1 hour of music.

Architect Tripp Riley principle architect with Studio 2LR located in Columbia, SC was the first interview. Tripp described Studio 2LR as a boutique firm that caters to a client looking for unique and innovative design. Known for designing a residence that has been deemed a spaceship house Studio 2LR is definitely not a cookie cutter architecture firm.

We learned about the art of Capoeira Angola a form of martial arts and dance from two local instructors. We learned that it was and still is practiced in the Congo and was brought to the United States and hidden in the form of dance. To the naked eye it is a performance art. Be on the look out for possibly seeing it performed live at an upcoming First Thursday event.

The third interview was with Whitney LeJeune a local artist known for painting with focus of human form and elements such as a hand or leg. Her paintings also mix vibrant colors together pulling the eye to the focus of a particular painting. Having studied at SCAD she decided to make Columbia her home and works as a full-time artist.

Jah Freedom was the fourth and final interview. By day he has a regular 9 – 5 but by night he is a producer of music among many other ventures. His music and beats have been used by television shows such as Pimp My Ride and Cribs as well as most recently in a Brooklyn Nets commercial. He explained that he can stay up for hours getting a track just right.

Each of these artist have a different medium but all of them share a passion for their art. Freshniz is a good way to bring together artists of different genres. I applaud Izms of Art for bringing together these five individuals who are pivotal in their genre.

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PHOTO RECAP: COLA-CON 2012


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A few memories of Cola-Con 2012 captured via iPhone.

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That’s all folks.

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THE END

COLA-CON 2012 LIVE


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Today is the second day of Cola-Con 2012.  Cola-Con is a fusion of hip-hop, comics, and culture and it is being held at the Columbia Museum of Art in downtown Columbia, SC. In it’s second year Cola-Con brings together the world of comics and music into one big convention-festival.

Old School and New School

Cola-Con started in 2011 by hip-hop artist and show organizer Preach Jacobs and comic book creator Steven Prouse. It opened to a sell out crowd with featured guests Talib Kweli, 9th Wonder, Sanford Greene, and Jody LeHeup.  Last nights featured guest was Ghostface Killah from the legendary Wu-Tang Clan.  And tonight’s featured guest is Phife Dawg from the legendary A Tribe Called Quest.

Women In Comics Panel

Hosted for the first two years by The Columbia Museum of Art, Cola-Con holds all forms of art, music, and “alternative” culture in highest regards and hopes to display them respectfully while keeping an informal, fun atmosphere.  There are workshops and panels like Women in Comics and How to Get Started and Published. This event is geared toward older teens and beyond so come out and be inspired and learn something new.

Written By Women and About Women

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