Tuesday, February 24, 2009


Greetings All,
Sunday afternoon I went to a World Mission Concert to benefit Ubumama, I'm so very glad that I did attend and grateful to my friend Kannali Makundi asked me to attend. Ubumama (Zulu for motherhood) is an arts based project dedicated to bringing mothers' stories of giving birth in the developing world into public view, to honor the lives of mothers and to increase commitment to saving the lives of women dying in childbirth. The garments (below) are made by the women and this is how they tell their stories. These garments are batiks, embroidered, hand dyed and sewn or I even heard woven is some of the areas where the project is in action.

Rev. Bliss Browne is founder and president of Imagine Chicago. Her work in Chicago has inspired a global movement of social innovation on six continents. She pioneered the Ubumama project in 2004 in partnership with WHO (World Health Organizations), the White Ribbon Alliance of Safe Motherhood and Create Africa South in Durban. Organize this event that was held at Grace Presbyterian Church of Wilmette, IL.

One of the evening speakers was Dr. Funmi Olopade (right). Dr Olopade is Director of the Center for Clinical Caner Genetics at the University of Chicago and an international leader in breast cancer research. She received her medical degree with distinction from the University of Ibadan in Nigeria. A former James S. McDonnell foundation Scholar, in 2005, Dr. Olopade was named a MacArthur Fellow and awarded the Foundation's prestigious "genius grant".

The musician of the hours Claudia Schmidt (left) is a native of Michigan and has recorded 16 albums of mostly original songs, exploring folk, blues, and jazz idioms featuring her acclaimed string guitar and mountain dulcimer. Heard frequently on Folk Stage and Prairie Home Companion, her love of music is contagious, so full of like that one critic has described a Claudia Schmidt concert as "a lot like falling in love. You never know what is going to happen next, chances are it's going to be wonderful, every moment is burned into your memory, and you know you will never be the same.

This was a feast of the soul and spirit. Do go to the website link for more information on how you may help spread the word or get involve. Thank you in advance.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

New Season/Piece of the week

Greetings All,

This past week I got the chance to make a small simple piece for one of the young lady at church. Shle Michelle writes poetry and this piece was inspired by her poem titled "New Season". When she was reciting it in church this image was formed as she was saying it. I chose the color purple because it's one of my favorites and the 7 buttons mean completion. All of the fabrics were given to me by my friend Loraine Little and they were passed on from her friend Lora Faloner who died not to long ago. So this piece honors 3 wonderful women and I thank them all for adding to my art/life. Enjoy the piece and poem.

New Season

This is a new season and it’s time for some spirit cleaning. Throw away the jealousy, the hate. Try replacing it with some faith. The envy and deceiving throw it out along with disbelieving. This is a new season and it’s time for some spirit cleaning. Throw away all the selfishness and complaints, the ungratefulness then replace it with some thanks. Grudges and revenges throw them out along with unforgivness, because this is a new season and it’s time for some spirit cleaning.

Shle Michelle

Friday, February 20, 2009

Quilts for Obama - opening

My friend Mary Nelson went to DC during the inaugural last month and she went to see the exhibit of "Quilts For Obama". She took a picture with my piece "Change" (above) while no one was looking and she got one of the gallery entrance (below). Don't forget the exhibit has been extended until July 31st. So if you are in DC go by the Historical Society of Washington, D.C. and check out the exhibit do let me know what you think.
Mary went to another exhibit while in Washington at the International Visions gallery. The exhibit is titled "Forty Four" featuring artists Roy Lewis, Charly Palmer and Preston Sampson. The show runs until February 20, 2009. Check the website for more info.Yesterday I got the postcards(below) for the opening of the "Mermaid and Merwomen in Black Folklore" exhibit and was wowed by the art work on the front. The piece is by Deborah Grayson Bailey and it's titled "Olokum Kept Us". You can visit her blog to see her process in creating her masterpiece. The opening/reception is Saturday, February 21, 2009, 4:00 pm at the Avery Research Center, McKinley Washington Auditorium and the exhibition through March 31, 2009 in Carleston, South Carolina. This exhibit is Co-Curatored by Torreah "Cookie" Washington and Catherine Lamkin. So again if you are in the area go see the show and let me know what you think. Cookie, Catherine and Deborah are also in the "Quilts For Obama" exhibit.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Textural Rhythms

Greetings All,

I got this wonderful flyer about the opening of Textural Rhythms at the American Folk Art Museum, Branch Location at 2 Lincoln Square, New York, NY. March 24 - August 23, 2009. The great art work that's on the cover is by Gwendolyn A. Magee of Jackson, Mississippi and it's title is "Jazz - Hot". So if you are in New York during this time do check out the show and let me know what you think.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Mermaid/Merwomen in Black Floklore

Greetings All,
This morning I got an email that my piece "Going to meet a man" (below) was accepted into the exhibit of "Mermaid and Merwomen in Black Folklore" February 20–March 31, 2009, at the Avery Research Center for African American History & Culture at the College of Charleston. What an honor.

The exhibit is about enslaved Africans along the coast of South Carolina bringing some of the first tales of mermaids and mermen to America. Many of these folktales were stories of African ocean and river goddesses. Because of the rich oral traditions of these peoples, few if any of these stories were written until they were recorded by collectors of folk tales toward the end of the 19th century.

This year has started out with such wonderful art filled time thus far. At the end of January I went to an exhibit of faulty members of the school of the Art Institute of Chicago and met a wonderful artist name Douglas R. Ewart. Fabulous visual and musical artist. Then off to the Mexican Fine Arts museum to a feast for the eyes, spirit, and the soul. I met artist Mary Qian and Marianna Buchwald, artist, teacher, interpreter, translator, director, guide for international and city tours.

Sapphire and Crystals exhibition "BEyONd Race and Gender" open at the Noyes Cultural Art Center in Evanston, IL Participating artists are Rose Blouin, Dorothy Carter, Arlene Turner Crawford, Makeba Kedem DuBose, Juarez Hawkins, Candace Hunter, Renee Williams Jefferson, Marva Pitchford Jolly, Nicole Malcolm, Joyce Owens, Frances Callaway Parks, Felicia Grant Preston, Joanne Scott, Janet Sheard, Patricia Stewart, Shirley J.Sullivan, Dorian Sylvain, Pearlie Taylor, Anna M.Tyler, Shahar Caren Weaver, Rhonda Wheatley and Shyvette Williams. This is a must see if you are in the area. Closing March 12, 2009. (above left Rhonda Wheatley, center Makeba Kedem Dubose, and right Felicia grant Preston). Sapphire and Crystals exhibition on two floors of the Noyes Cultural Arts Center. This is a group of professional African American women artists who have exhibited their work together over a period of 22 years. This exhibition was curated by artist Joyce Owens.

Feb 5th I attended the opening of Congo/Women at Columbia College. "The exhibit highlights the plight of women in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, whom organizers point out have survived "a litany of atrocities," including oppressive dictatorships, political violence and economic crises. The women and girls have also been denied adequate health care and are often victims of "extreme sexual violence," organizers said. This exhibit will close on Feb 14th here in Chicago, but it will be traveling around the country. Do check out their website for more information. The photo above is by Lynsey Addario. Powerful exhibit. Some of the photos are life-size.

Feb 6th on a lighter note I attended the opening of Gregory Coates: Permission. The show runs February 6 - Apr 3, 2009 at the G.R. N'Namdi gallery. The piece above is called "Juan" and it's constructed of feather and acrylic on wood. The 7th of Feburay was spent having a "Play-Date" with some of my favorite people, Judy Coates Perez, Ericka Graff, Pat Grice, and Alice. we get together to share/explore our art, life and food. I am always learning from these women and I'm grateful that they are.

Come Sunday all I can say is WOW! The afternoon/evening was spent at the "Ascension Loft" of El Kahil Zabar of the Ethnic Heritage Ensemble. The ensemble included Ernest Dawkins, Corey Wilkes and Kahil. Great music, food, and people. Again WOW! This week will be a little bit more on the quite side. Two of my grandchildren are or have celebrated birthdays. Sunday was my grandson Patrick Boyd-Keen and today is Mahogany Boyd-Keen. Nana loves/miss you and she hope/prays that you had/have a great day. Last year we were together and I hope/pray that the next year we will be together again.

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