Confessions of a Guilty Pleasure: Pumpa’s “The A List” Takes Over My Playlist

I’m here to admit something that some might consider a guilty pleasure, but honestly, I couldn’t care less because Pumpa’s “The A List” is a total vibe, and I’m ready to shout it from the rooftops!

It all started one night on the boardwalk in Christiansted harbor St. Croix. “The A List” was blasting from one of the bars and hit me like a ton of bricks. Before I knew it, I found myself succumbing to the irresistible urge to wind my waist and bend right ova, just like the song instructed. I must say, it was a transcendent moment – a blend of infectious beats and an undeniable call to dance that I couldn’t resist.

The catchy lyrics and the energetic rhythm of the song quickly turned “The A List” into an ear worm that refuses to leave my head. It’s the kind of track that plays on a loop in your mind, and honestly, I’m not complaining. I’ve fully embraced the obsession, and I’m not afraid to admit my name ends with an A, so… bend right ova.

And then came the music video – an absolute visual feast that took my fascination to a whole new level. The athleticism of the dancers leave me in awe. I have to give major props to these talented ladies mind-boggling moves. At my age, attempting to replicate most of these dance moves is a major a stretch, but who cares? The video is a celebration of movement, freedom, and pure joy, and I can’t help but be inspired to try.

Sure, I may catch some heat for publicly declaring my love for this song and video, but guess what? I don’t care. “The A List” has a magnetic pull, and I’m proudly surrendering to its rhythm. As St. Thomas Carnival season approaches, I can’t help but daydream about being in the midst of the festivities, fully equipped with my feather back pack and enthusiastic attempts to wind it up.

An Affirmation

Creativity often requires stepping outside of my comfort zone, challenging conventional thinking, and being willing to embrace uncertainty. This vulnerability is not a weakness but rather a strength, as it allows me to connect with my emotions, tap into my unique perspective, and create something authentic and meaningful.

February  & Beyond Blog

Artist in Residence @ Surface Design Association:  – Parallel Play  

Conference Dates:  January 27- February 3

Open Studio Jan 29 @ 2:00pm ET

Open Studio Feb 1 @ 2:00pm ET

Artist Talk Feb 3 @ 3:00pm ET

Warriors

Exhibition Dates: February 3- 25

Opening Reception: Saturday, February 3 from 5 to 8 pm.

Location: Art House Gallery: 345 Marin Blvd, Jersey City, NJ 

Weaving As Artistic Expression

Date: February 8th, 8:00pm ET

Location: Hudson Valley Mohawk Weavers Zoom

Metamorphosis: Recycled, Repurposed, Reimagined

Exhibition Dates: February 9- April 21

Opening Reception: February 9 from 5 to  7pm.

Location: Annmarie Sculpture Garden & Arts Center; 13470 Dowell Rd, Solomons, MD 

ONGOING

Ponytails and Door Knocker Earring Installation

Dates: January 17-  July 17

Location: Time Equities Lobby 55 5th Avenue, New York NY

UPCOMING

Touchstone Artist Residency

Dates: May 10-24

Location: Touchstone Center for Crafts; 1049 Sr2003, Farmington, PA 

Free Your Mind @ Touchstone

Dates: May 17 – September 20

Location: Touchstone Center for Crafts; 1049 Sr2003, Farmington, PA 

Uncontained: Reimagining Basketry

Exhibition Dates: May 19, 2024 – September 2, 2024

Location: Hunterdon Art Museum, 7 Lower Center St, Clinton, NJ

Free Your Mind @ 2024 Discover

Exhibition Dates: June 7 – August 30

Opening Reception: June 7, 5:00-9:00 pm

Location: Delaware Contemporary; 200 S Madison St, Wilmington, DE

Beyond: Tapestry Expanded

Exhibition Dates: August 1- December 15

Location: Peeler Art Center at DePauw University; 204 E. Seminary St., Greencastle IN  

Touchstone Artist Residency

Dates: September 13-27

Location: Touchstone Center for Crafts; 1049 Sr2003, Farmington, PA 

In Person Free Your Mind Artist  Talk 

Dates: September 20

Location:  Touchstone Center for Crafts; 1049 Sr2003, Farmington, PA 

Art as Catalyst: Part 3

In a society where division often overshadows unity, my practice endeavors to break down barriers and build bridges. It is a commitment to fostering empathy, understanding, and a shared sense of responsibility. By harnessing the transformative power of art, I strive to create a ripple effect that goes beyond the gallery walls and resonates within the hearts and minds of those who encounter it.

My journey as an artist is not just a pursuit of aesthetics; it is a deliberate and conscious effort to contribute to the larger narrative of social change. Through my art, I aspire to inspire, challenge, and mobilize communities towards a collective vision of a more just, equitable, and compassionate world. Art is not the end in itself; it is the tool that propels us towards a brighter and more inclusive future.

Healing, Bridging, Thriving: A Summit on Arts and Culture in our Communities

The White House Domestic Policy Council and the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) are hosting a first-of-its-kind summit “Healing, Bridging, Thriving: A Summit on Arts and Culture in our Communities” on January 30th in Washington, D.C. to celebrate the transformative power of culture in shaping our lives, communities, and nation, and to find new paths to arts integration across government agencies.

Many arts agencies, service organizations, and cultural institutions across the country are leading innovative efforts with artists and arts organizations, working across disciplines and with multiple sectors to address serious issues in their communities. Through this national conversation the NEA will consider the ideas, policies, and actions they can take to better integrate and elevate the arts and humanities throughout our country. If you would to help tell this story, please sign up as a virtual attendee.

Healing, Bridging, Thriving: A Summit on Arts and Culture in our Communities
Tuesday, January 30, 2024
9:00 a.m.–3:45 p.m. ET

Signup as a virtual attendee of the Summit 

Navigating Media Narratives: A Creative Response

In a recent survey conducted by the Pew Research Center, the nuanced perspectives of nearly 5,000 Black adults shed light on the enduring challenges faced by Black Americans in media representation. The findings reveal a pervasive sense of concern, with a majority expressing skepticism about the prospects of positive change in the foreseeable future.

According to the Pew Research Center, 39% of Black Americans frequently encounter news that is perceived as racist or racially insensitive. Furthermore, a substantial 43% believe that media coverage predominantly relies on stereotypes when depicting Black individuals. The survey also exposes a concerning sentiment, with almost two-thirds of Black adults (63%) asserting that news about the Black community tends to be more negative compared to coverage of other racial and ethnic groups.

Addressing Issues Through Art:

As an artist deeply engaged with societal narratives, I find inspiration and purpose in confronting these challenges through my creative endeavors. The act of weaving, a fundamental part of my artistic practice, serves as a transformative process for me to address and visually reinterpret the negative portrayals present in media narratives.

Creative Transformation:

Through my work, I intentionally integrate these negative stories into the textiles I craft. This intentional act of creation is not merely about representation; it’s a powerful tool of transformation. By weaving these narratives into my art, I navigate a process that both confronts and separates me from the weight of these stories.

A Visual Commentary:

The textiles I create become more than just artistic expressions; they become visual commentaries on the media landscape. Each piece bears the threads of societal narratives, challenging viewers to consider the impact of media representation on the perception of Black individuals. It’s an invitation to engage in a dialogue that goes beyond the surface, encouraging reflection on the broader implications of biased news coverage.

Empowering through Art:

In the face of media challenges, my artistic practice becomes a means of empowerment. By reclaiming agency through the act of creation, I seek to unravel the negative threads woven into the media discourse. The resulting artworks offer not only a critique of biased coverage but also a testament to the resilience and transformative power inherent in art.

As the survey highlights the persisting challenges in media representation, artists play a crucial role in shaping the narrative. By creatively responding to these issues, we contribute to a broader dialogue that challenges existing norms and fosters a more equitable and nuanced portrayal of the Black experience. Through art, we transform negative narratives into expressions of strength, resilience, and empowerment.

Bottle Cap Pearls

Art as Catalyst: Part 2

Through my social practice, I strive to create spaces that transcend the conventional boundaries of artistic expression. I mobilize communities, encouraging them to participate in a collective dialogue about the issues that matter. The power of art lies not just in its visual or auditory appeal, but in its ability to challenge preconceptions, question norms, and inspire action.

Art, as a tool for social change, is not confined to grand gestures or monumental installations. It is found in the subtle nuances of everyday life, in the stories of individuals, and in the shared experiences that bind us together. My work seeks to tap into this collective consciousness, fostering connections that serve as a catalyst for change.

Collective Resilience

Free Your Mind is a collective expression of resilience, a visual testament to the shared experiences of individuals who have faced microaggressions.

It is through this communal act of storytelling, participants find catharsis and the opportunity to reclaim a sense of agency.