Crafting Community Through Monumental Art: The Power of Placemaking

In the heart of every community lies a unique tapestry of stories, histories, and shared experiences. These elements, woven together, form the vibrant fabric of communal identity. As an artist deeply committed to fostering this sense of belonging, I believe in the transformative power of placemaking through monumental, artist-guided community artwork.

Placemaking: The Art of Belonging

Placemaking is an action-oriented approach that brings people together to shape their public spaces. It turns physical environments into communal havens, fostering social interaction and engagement. Through monumental art, placemaking becomes an immersive experience where each community member has a role to play.

Monumental Art: A Canvas for Community

Monumental art transcends the ordinary, capturing the essence of a community on a grand scale. These projects are not just about creating impressive visuals; they are about embedding collective narratives into the landscape. Each element of the artwork, reflects the voices and visions of the community it represents.

Artist-Guided Collaboration: Uniting Voices

Guiding a community through the creation of an artwork is an enriching journey. As an artist, my role is to facilitate this process, ensuring every participant feels heard and valued. This collaboration infuses the artwork with diverse perspectives, transforming it into a mosaic of collective identity.

Impact Beyond Aesthetics

The impact of artist-guided community artwork extends far beyond aesthetics. It strengthens social bonds, fosters pride, and ignites a sense of ownership among community members. These creations become landmarks, both physically and emotionally, standing as testaments to the power of collective effort and shared vision.

Join the Journey & Free Your Mind

I invite you to join me on this incredible journey of placemaking through “Free Your Mind”. Free Your Mind is a public textile art project aiming to collect, exhibit, embed and release personal narratives about Microaggressions in a multi-sensory installation. 

This year, Free Your Mind is engaging audiences at Touchstone Center for Crafts in PA from May 17- September 20 and the Delaware Contemporary June 7- August 30th.

Together, we can create work that resonates with meaning, vibrancy, and a deep sense of community. Let’s turn our shared spaces into living canvases, where every member of our community sees themselves reflected and celebrated. In the spirit of collaboration and creativity, let’s craft artwork that enriches our collective spirit.

The Power of the Outsider: Building Your Own Alternative

In a world often governed by norms and conventions, the outsider holds a unique position—a position of strength. Freed from the constraints of mainstream thinking, the outsider is empowered to craft their own narrative, forge their own path, and envision alternative realities.

Being an outsider isn’t about exclusion; it’s about liberation. It’s about embracing difference and finding strength in individuality. By constantly challenging the status quo, the outsider becomes a catalyst for change, offering fresh perspectives and innovative solutions.

In this space of creative autonomy, the outsider cultivates a rich tapestry of ideas, birthing new paradigms and reshaping the landscape of possibility. So, embrace your outsider status, and revel in the power of building your own alternative. After all, it’s often on the fringes where true transformation takes root.

Insider Outsider

I’m Counting Down to 6 Weeks Stateside

As the countdown begins, I’m gearing up for an exciting six weeks stateside, packed with artistic endeavors and meaningful engagements. Touching down in New Jersey on April 27th marks the start of a whirlwind of creativity.

My first stop? Installing my work at the 1-54 Contemporary African Art Fair on April 29th, setting the stage for a showcase of diverse perspectives and artistic voices. From May 1st to 5th, the fair will be abuzz with inspiration and dialogue, offering a platform for African art to shine.

Next I transition into the Touchstone Artist Residency from May 10th to 24th, where I’ll immerse myself into my microaggressions series and exploring new dimensions of expression and healing. This residency promises a fertile ground for experimentation and growth.

An exciting highlight awaits on May 22nd, as I share insights and reflections during a talk on “Free Your Mind” at the Touchstone Center for Crafts—a moment to ignite dialogue and foster understanding through art.

The momentum continues with the opening of “Uncontained: Reimagining Basketry” at the Hunterdon Art Museum on May 19th, an exploration of traditional craft intersecting with contemporary vision.

And marking a crescendo to my journey, I’ll unveil “Free Your Mind” at the Delaware Contemporary during their season opening on June 7th—a celebration of art, expression, and liberation.

When the curtains draw on this enriching chapter, I’ll carry home with me a tapestry of experiences and connections, further fueling my artistic journey on the vibrant shores of STX. Until then, let the adventure unfold.

My process…

My art process is a tapestry of community, found materials, and collective memory. I gather discarded items, each carrying its own story, and weave them into new narratives. Through collaborative workshops and beach clean ups, I engage with community members, listening to their stories and incorporating their memories into my work. This shared journey transforms individual experiences into a collective history. My art is not just a creation, but a communal act of remembrance, healing, and celebration of our intertwined lives and histories.

Why I Love Textiles…

I can’t help but marvel at the incredible role textiles play in carrying the torch of tradition. It’s like they have this magical ability to bridge gaps—be it cultural, temporal, or geographical. Textiles aren’t just fabrics; they’re storytellers, weaving together a vibrant tapestry of history, techniques, and artistry that breaks through boundaries.

Take a moment to appreciate the intricate patterns adorning traditional indigenous garments, the meaningful Ankara motifs gracing ceremonial textiles, or the subtle, timeless codes hidden within quilts. Each thread, each stitch, is a vessel carrying the essence of our heritage, traversing the vast canvas of human experience.

As these textiles unfold their stories, they become tangible links across time and diverse cultures. It’s a beautiful dance—threads weaving through the loom of different traditions, connecting the past to the present. And here’s the magic: they don’t just stop there. They effortlessly extend into the future, allowing traditions to intermingle and unfurl seamlessly.

So, let’s celebrate the enchanting journey of textiles—their ability to carry the weight of history, to stitch together cultures, and to create a fabric that binds us all. Every weave tells a story, and every pattern echoes the whispers of our shared heritage. 🌐🧵

Holiday… ah can’t see

The song “Holiday” by Problem Child is crazy viral in my Caribbean social algorithm with hundreds of videos with mega views, so why doesn’t the music video have more views?

The song is destined to be a 2024 Carnival monster hit, so show some love to “Holiday” and crank those views up… #obsessed

Embracing Uncertainty: Finding Opportunity in Chaos

I wanted to drop a quick note about something that’s been on my mind lately—the beauty of embracing uncertainty. Life can be a bit chaotic, right? But here’s the twist: within that chaos lies the potential for something truly extraordinary.

As I navigate my new life on St Croix USVI, I’ve come to realize that the unexpected, the unplanned, and the downright chaotic moments often pave the way for the most exciting opportunities. It’s like dancing in the rain when the sun is still shining—unpredictable, a little messy, but oh-so-refreshing.

Sure, uncertainty can be a bit nerve-wracking. The unknown can be like a dark tunnel, but guess what? There’s always a light at the end. And sometimes, that light leads to doors we never knew existed.

In a world that loves order and predictability, I’ve decided to embrace the chaos. Because within that chaos, I’ve found the space to explore, to create, and to stumble upon opportunities that I wouldn’t have discovered in a neatly planned life in New Jersey.

Think about it—the most beautiful flowers often bloom in the wild, not in perfectly manicured gardens. So, why not let life be a little wild, a little untamed?

I’ve made it my mission to see every twist, turn, and unexpected detour as a chance for growth, learning, and discovery. The next time life throws a curveball, I’m catching it with open arms, ready for the adventure it brings.

So, here’s to embracing the uncertainty, to finding joy in the unplanned, and to recognizing that within chaos lies the opportunity for something truly extraordinary. Life is an adventure, after all—let’s make it a remarkable one! 🌈✨ #EmbraceUncertainty #FindOpportunities #LifeAdventure

Knotting found marine line

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.