Saturday, June 20, 2015

Changed Waters:Thrown Rocks, Building Castles to open Aug1

 “You can do two things when people throw rocks at you. Pick them up and throw them back, or collect those stones and build yourself a castle. ~Terence Howard

 There will be a number artists exhibiting their work in this exhbition with expressing where they are today or reflecting where they were when boulders was being hurled at them during the storm.  I searched for visual imagery for my own story and decided I need to go back for a moment...

Fortunately my neighbor at that time, musician Ben Schneck of the Panorama Jazz Band was kind enough to return to the house and shot these images in Oct rough about 5 weeks out from the storm

The images I am showing here were from my old place Uptown New Orleans roughly about 5 weeks after Hurricane Katrina & Rita and the levees breaking.  I had a viscereal response.

If anything, it solidifies for me why I must do the "Changed Waters: Thrown Rocks, Building Castles" exhibition that will open Aug1 through Sept 6th,2015.

Fortunately in one way, I am I was not here but actually had just been ask to extend my residency at Bennett College for Women in North Carolina. I was literally two weeks out from the storm preparing to return back to New Orleans.

But for all intent and purposes I was.  More on that later.

You can see the bags caught in the trees outside my bay windows.  Mind you this is two floors above ground.  The murals were done by artist Michele Lambertthat I had commissioned in 2000.

Bay window view

In my dining room

Dining room

Inscribe by the person who rented the house after I moved out

The fire that took out the whole block across the street from me.

Thursday, June 4, 2015

"Changed Waters: Thrown Rocks, Building Castles"~Call for Artists

"Changed Waters: Thrown Rocks, Building Castles"

CALL FOR VISUAL ARTISTS: The focus of this exhibition is to showcase works
of art that depict transformation. The process of change takes on many forms,
but what does change look like to you? Coinciding with the 10th anniversary of
Katrina & Rita, the will be held Wednesday, Aug 26, 2015 from 4-7p.m at Rhythm
& Hues Art Space, 1501 Canal St, New Orleans, LA 70112.

SUBMISSIONS: Artists can submit 1-3 works for consideration. Accepted media
can be any 2-D or 3-D media, such as painting, photography, fiber, mixed media,
pencil, ink, prints or sculpture. All work accepted must be ready to hang. Artists
must provide their own easels or pedestals for free standing pieces/sculptures/.
Included with your submission should be one to two short paragraph artist
descriptions of each submitted piece.

Submission deadline is July 1, 2015. All art images must be submitted
electronically. Please e-mail submissions as jpegs to
for review. Selected works must be delivered to Rhythm & Hues Art Space at
1501 Canal St New Orleans, LA 70112 by July 6, 2015.

You must be a member in good standing of Ashé Cultural Arts Center’s Side By
Side program.

EXHIBITION DATES: July 17, 2015 - August 31, 2015
Rhythm & Hues Art Space, 1501 Canal St, New Orleans, LA 70112.

Wednesday – Saturday| 10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. & 4:00 – 6:00 PM
Monday – Tuesday | By Appointment Only
For questions and any other additional information, please contact:


Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Get Another Dream if You Must: Just Don't Stop Dreaming!

I just discovered this blog from Tyler Perry in 2008.  It bore repeating and very timely for me.

I’ve been reading a lot of messages on the message board about how the
opening of the studio affected you. Some of them brought tears to my eyes,
and what has stayed on my mind is that so many of us have stopped
dreaming. Listen to me, having no vision is death to your spirit. Why stop
dreaming, because one of them didn’t come true when you thought it
should? Why stop now? You’ve come so far. Listen to me, when I started
building this studio I wasn’t thinking about being the first black person
to do it. I wasn’t thinking about how many acres it is. I wasn’t thinking
about what it would feel like to own it. I was just following a dream. I
am no different from you. If you can make your mind line up with your
spirit man, and your dreams, then your dreams will become your reality. It
has to. It has no choice.

Now hear me here for a moment, if you will. I know that a lot of different
kinds of people from a lot of different backgrounds and faiths read this
email, but I want to share something with you, if you’ll indulge me for a
second. One of my favorite stories in the bible is of Joseph. Joseph had a
dream and his brothers wanted to kill him for dreaming. Sometimes when you
dream you will go through all kinds of hell to see it come to pass. I used
to tell people that I thought I could do plays and movies, and when I
would tell them they would get mad at me, talk about me and eventually try
to discourage me.

When I started to do plays in the beginning things started to fall apart
and these same people would laugh and say things like see, "I knew you
couldn’t do it." Where am I going with all of this you ask? Well right
in these times in our country there are lots of you who are wondering how
you’re going to pay the mortgage or the rent, or feed your families. And
there are lots of you who have lost your houses and jobs and the very same
people that brought over the house warming gifts are laughing at you
now. I have been there. I UNDERSTAND THE HURT, but I’m here to tell you
don’t let it get you down. You know what you say to
them? "SSSOOOOO!!!" 

I admire and respect people so much that have a dream and go for it. Don’t ever lose that GO FOR IT attitude because you will see your dreams come true as long as you don’t operate in fear. After you’ve done all to stand, stand some more. So what happens when you had this big dream and it seems to be falling apart? You seem to be losing it…what do you do? I look to this story of Joseph, and you really should read this bible story. It’s fascinating. It is so parallel to what is going on right now in this country. But this is what happened. When his dream seemed to be falling apart he did something awesome. The bible says Joseph dreamed another dream, and that is what I wanted to talk to you about today.

 Dream another dream.

 If one thing fails, try something else. Learn from your mistakes and try it again. So what if it got hard for a season, it will only be that way for a season. I cannot even begin to tell you all the times I failed, but every failure in your life will bring your dream closer to you. I know that sounds crazy but it’s so true. It’s okay to fail, now get up and keep dreaming. Don’t stop dreaming because you may have lost something. When I was doing plays for the first time, my dream was that 1,200 people would come and sell the place out. Only 30 people came. It crushed me. But I didn’t stop. I kept dreaming. I believed and dreamed all the way down to living in my car. But I kept dreaming, and when I was at my lowest I would talk to God. Sometimes all I could get out of my mouth was "Jesus help me," but that was a prayer I prayed a lot. And you know what else I did? I got out and encouraged myself. When I was homeless and sleeping in my car I would hustle up enough gas money and drive down to the nicest neighborhood in Atlanta where there were beautiful homes and I would dream and say "one day." On Sundays, I would go to open houses. I would go to the dealerships and test drive whatever kind of car I thought I wanted. Now I know these are material things but you would be surprised as to what it would do to help you see that all things in your dreams are possible. It’s hard to see a dream come to pass, but if you believe, it has no choice. Everywhere you look you see all of this talk about the economy and gloom and doom. Turn that mess off. Stop letting that get into your spirit. Tune it out, watch things that will encourage you. Listen to things that will uplift you. Now this part is to a certain group of people, not to everyone. 

This is for the people who have been feeling like they are being led by God to do something in these economic times that most people will think is crazy. The ones who may not have a dime but are feeling like something great is about to break free in their lives. You are so right if this is what you’re feeling. I have a suggestion if you’ll take my humble advice.



Give thanks for where you are. I know that may be hard to do, but there is a liberty in being thankful. And lastly, give, give, give. The reason I’ve fed thousands of families, paid rent and taxes for the elderly, dug wells in Africa and helped establish churches and built homes for poor families is because I know the power of giving. You reap what you sew. If you want favor from God, sew it into someone else.

God bless you and know that this too shall pass, and you will be so much better when it does. Tyler Perry

Art by Jenn Brigham

Shake, Rattle & Roll

Truth telling can be the hardest but the most necessary thing in the world to do.  But you can save yourself in the process.

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

And Still...

If I knew the Answer

There are those days, man... it just make you wonder and then that is too much work... When there is Time for Beauty just because I needed to See...



And then...

One of my favorite artist Agnieszka Kukawska

If I knew all the answers
To every question you'd ever asked, thought or imagined,
Would it change how things are now?
If I could stop time, speed it up or slow it down
Would it all be different somehow?
If I could give you the world on a plate, special powers
Or an amazing trait
Would life still remain mundane?
I wonder if you'd love me more, less or just the same.
If I knew,
I'd give it all to you