First Friday Open House

Join us on First Friday for Helikon Gallery and Studio’s open house. The artist studios will be open to the public, so you can see where the magic happens.

Here’s a sampling of what you will find.

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International Holiday Market

The Cause

This Thursday the Spring Cafe is hosting it’s first annual International Holiday Market. The mission of the Spring Cafe is to support immigrants and train refugees to work among us. Many people come to this country and work in factories because of language barriers. They work among other individuals who also don’t speak English which makes it almost impossible to learn.

Spring Cafe recognizes this and employs refugees for six week training courses. They learn about customer service in the US, get to practice their English and learn other job skills that add to their resumes. Spring Cafe gets these folks out of the factories and into the American workforce.

How Afro Triangle fits in

Some of you may not know this about me, but I am actually an immigrant. I was born in Barbados and was naturalized as a citizen in 1999. I came over with my mom and we had the help of my grandmother and aunts as we got used to living in the US.  The folks at the Spring Cafe were kind enough to include me in their holiday market. I get to join the ranks of those whose journey to this country was far more difficult than my own.

In addition to the market, there will be a live auction, a silent auction, and food and drinks available by donation. The proceeds will go toward helping the Spring Cafe continue their mission. I will be donating one of my paintings to the cause.

Dicitonary.com’s word of the year is xenophobia, the fear of the foreigner. Don’t let that be this year’s legacy. Come, participate, donate. Show our new friends that this country was built on inclusion. Come and support them as they learn how to contribute to our country and our economy.

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I will be donating this piece to the auction at the Spring Cafe this Thursday. If you want it, come get it.

Women in the Arts

In keeping with the theme of Women Behaving Badly, I want to take some time to showcase the women in our community who are making a difference right now. This week, come for an evening of talks from women in the arts. These ladies range from the performing arts to visual art and each one is incredible at what she does.

The Artists

Debbie Scheer – Comedian
Lelija Roy – Painter
Lady Speech Sankofa – Spoken Word Artist (among other things)

Check back in for more information about these ladies. And if you haven’t been down to see the show, the art will be up until the end of this week, so come early and look around.

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Art Games Meet Historical Context

Good morning Afro Triangle Friends. This weekend I have been binge-watching Tac au Tac, a French TV show from the 70s. Famous cartoonists of the time get together to play all kinds of fun drawing games. There are no prizes, just the final picture.

I have watched the following video over a dozen times. I appreciate the way these guys ran with a single concept and expanded upon it. Jean Giraud begins with a box, then each man follows instructions to create elements of the past, present and future. What I hadn’t done before was think about what was happening at the time they were creating this image. You see, this episode was filmed in 1972, while the Vietnam war was still raging. Two of the artists, Neal Adams and Joe Kubert, are American.

People had been protesting the war for almost a decade in the States, and both artists would have already formed their opinions about it. Adams was staunchly against the war while Kubert was known for drawing war comics. I thought it was interesting that once the drawing was on the war path, to hear what Adams was saying to Giraud. He said that no matter what you write on that box, violence could be what comes out. You could put love, you could put religion, and still people would find a reason to fight.

I’m still mulling over what I think about that. Another observation… Giraud drew a guy who looks very much like a German soldier. He would have been 2 years old when the Germans invaded Paris in 1940. I couldn’t tell you how much he remembered of those four years, but it must have been embedded in his psyche somewhere.

My work on Women Behaving Badly has made me think differently about older footage now. Thinking about the context in which things are happening has given me a richer experience of these older films than I could have imagined. I finally understand history!

[embedyt] http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tY3Rf0i9hgU[/embedyt]

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Afro Triangle at Common Grounds

If you happen to be at Common Grounds Coffeehouse on Wazee this month, you may notice some art on the walls that looks a little familiar. That is because I have hung some of my pieces from the past year. If you have missed my last few shows and haven’t had a chance to see my work in person, now is a great time to check it out. I have a good mix of original pieces, as well as prints mounted on wooden boards.
My work is accompanied by that of three other talented artists: Keith Oelschlager, Sarah Paz Hyde and Zoe Hopkins. Our art will bean the walls for the remainder of May and all of June. Come the 9th of June, around the halfway point, and watch as I create a brand new painting before your eyes. Bring yourself, bring your friends, (bring your wallet), and let’s have a good time.