I am excited to announce that I will begin working with Community Mennonite Church of Lancaster and Grant Street neighbors on a brand new mural! The mural will be located here once the building renovations complete:
Our plan is to meet with community members and the CMCL congregation to discuss potential themes, ideas, and designs that would inform the final design of the mural. When I do community based projects, I like to have at least five sessions of input and exchange to get to the know the community, find points of convergence or shared values amongst stakeholders. This Saturday will kick-off our first round of community engagements with an Ice Cream Social! On Saturday the 24th from 6:30-8pm we will meet in the parking lot with ice cream, frozen treats, coloring pages, a mind map and visioning activity as an ice breaker and kick-off to this exciting project! I will continue to update on progress and insights here as we go.
The past few months have been full! Updates:
Starting Tuesday I'll have a more flexible schedule and I'm looking forward to diving deeper into a new portrait series I started. I'll talk a bit about them below:
This is Self Portrait as Atabeira. As you know if you've been following my work, I'm obsessed with Atabeira and Taino mythology. I'm still learning a lot and plan to read even more. I had been thinking about goddesses a lot after an interaction with Line Bruntse (former mentor during the EAR program). I had been avoiding saying it out loud and she sort of took the words out of my mouth when she said that my work was about goddesses and self-determination. I decided to start imagining myself as various goddesses as a way of reclaiming my history and identity. I also like the overlap of saints and goddesses and using bold colors. I've been looking at prayer candles a lot and their label designs. I'm interested in how we represent deities and how that informs our spiritual life too. for this painting I wanted to play with texture and crowns as halos. I also liked the idea of playing with the Latina hoop earring (which I own many of thank you) and blurring the line between my face and the face of Atabeira. A direct likeness used to be a sign that I made a good painting but lately, I've taken to trying to be fast and loose and mix bright colors. This is the first portrait I did that I'm happy with the final outcome.
I'm really happy with this one. I started playing with the star sequins (mostly because I have a huge bag I'm trying to figure out what to do with) but it just didn't work. The pallete was too much too so I moved on to a more toned down pallete with the finished piece.It's smaller (just under 8x10) and it forced me to pull back a little. I was thinking about symbols that mythlogize Puerto Rico and the flamboyan flowers came to mind. I was also wanting to channel Frida Kahlo's pallete for the skin here. I like her yellowy and ruddy tones a lot and I have a more yellow undertone to my skin. I was taught to mix paint more for pinker tones and I'm still trying to undo that learning. I started to take on and learn how to paint other skintones at the Art Students League of NY and that was really eye-opening in terms of how limiting Lancaster can be. That's for another post though. I'm definitely going to continue this smaller series and play with more ideas of saints, myths, and identity pieces.
This blog functions as a space for me to articulate what goes into making my artwork.