Lightship 95 on the River Thames in London.
The recent public outcry about the Obama’s official portraits has generated a lot of social media buzz. People seemed puzzled and even angered by the artists, Kehinde Wiley and Amy Sherald.
I’m not sure there’s anything the artists could or should say to the critics. They’ve already said it. I mean a picture is worth a thousand words or in today’s vernacular a thousand “tweets.”
Artists are accustomed to being misunderstood and misinterpreted. I find that often in my personal life.
I discovered this recently after I wrote a feature in the United States Lighthouse Society News in early February. After reading the article my sister said, “Now I understand why you paint lighthouses.” Initially, I was a little taken aback because she has been with me on at least four lighthouse trips.
Yet perhaps I took for granted she understood why I painted lighthouses. We visual artists aren’t always adept at verbal explanations because we rely on our paintings to be our voice. In any event, I hope my article amplifies what compels me to paint lighthouses. You can read my article entitled “Lighthouses as Inspiration” posted on February 2 on United States Lighthouse Society News at https://uslhs.wordpress.com
Black History Month Exhibit: Unsung Heroes
I am the featured artist in the Dallas, Texas Frito Lays “Unsung Heroes” exhibit for Black History Month. It is a showcase of everyday Americans who through their quiet influence and sacrifice have bettered the lives of others. My “Unsung Hero” is my aunt Mabel Helen.
I love the quote by Alex Haley that says “Family is a link to the past and a bridge to the future.” My aunt Mabel Helen has been the embodiment of that quote for me.
Her portrait is part of my reflective series, “Mentors and Memories.” The series pays homage to my Aunt Mabel and others.
Perhaps more than any other family member besides my father, her support gave me the confidence to launch into my future. My Aunt Mabel’s home was a lifeline to me during my childhood. She was the first person to get me hired as a professional artist. She helped me and other young people find direction and hope.
The “Unsung Heroes” exhibit is closed to the public. It is on display through February 28.
For affordable African American Art check out my paintings at Fine Art America
Stay at Fanad Lighthouse in Ireland. It was voted one of the most beautiful lighthouses in the world.
Lighthouses have transformed themselves into travel destinations. Located on spectacular shores with awe inspiring views, a lighthouse getaway offers more value for your dollar than the average vacation
The United States Lighthouse Society offers a list of lighthouse accommodations by state. Lighthouse Friends offer comprehensive information on lighthouses. I recently used their website as a resource when planning my New York Lighthouse Trip. The Great Lighthouses of Ireland gives visitors a chance to explore and to spend a night at a lighthouse.
If an overnight stay is not in your plans, lighthouses offer festivals, kids activities, special events, tours and more. Most events are free with the cost of admission. It generally cost less than $10 a person to visit a lighthouse. Admission fees help to maintain and preserve lighthouses.
Groupon offers up to 43% off from Hillsboro Lighthouse Preservation.
Not only do you get a lot of “bang for the buck,” your admission goes toward a worthy cause.
This story was so compelling that it inspired hundreds of children to write letters about saving this lighthouse. I love books that inspire children to make a difference.
The edition I read included colorful pictures of the watercolors painted by the illustrator Lynd Ward for the first time.
The picture book begins with the building of the Little Red Lighthouse on the Hudson River. It explores the conversations the Lighthouse has with steamers, canoes and more. The turning point of the story comes with the construction of the Great Gray Bridge. Your child will learn about the roles of lighthouses in a playful manner.
I like that a portion of the proceeds from the sale of the book is donated to the Little Red Lighthouse (Jeffrey’s Hook Lighthouse) outreach and education programs.
Grab your sunshades and imagination for Art Deco Weekend, Jan. 12-15.
Deco Kids Club
Stop by Caricatures for Tots at my Splash and Color booth Saturday and Sunda. Buy a limited edition signed copy of my Miami Beach Art Deco coloring book.
Lively costumed characters, free art activities, kids marketplace, carnival, free kids Art Deco tours and more await children.
Jazz Age at Art Deco VIP
Experience the mystique and glamour of the prohibition era. Pay $55 for live jazz and an evening soirée. Listen to Michael Arenella, his Dreamland Orchestra and other jazzy musicians the entire weekend.
Miami Beach’s longest running festival has it all. Don’t miss these exciting events:
Antique Car Show, Bark Deco Dog Show, Guided Tours, Antique and Design Promenade, Films, Classic Car Show and more.
Visit over 100 pop up shops on Ocean Drive with tantalizing cuisine and unique items while enjoying free street entertainment.
For more information visit, http://artdecoweekend.com/events/#event-films
Although no longer in the headlines, the Florida Keys is still suffering from the impact of Hurricane Irma that hit in September. In a desperate move, the Keys were open to the public on October 1. Tourism is the lifeline of the economy.
While Key Largo and Key West suffered little damage, most of the Keys were devastated by Hurricane Irma.
According to FEMA 25% of the homes in the Keys were impacted by Hurricane Irma and 65% of the homes were destroyed. Recovery efforts continue in the the lower Keys and Marathon which were hardest hit by the storm.
The focus on luring tourists back to the Keys has baffled some residents who still haven’t recovered from the hurricane. They feel essential needs of residents are being overlooked.
Schools and educational organizations in the Keys have also been devastated and need help. Big Pine Academy is asking for donations for their recovery efforts. Donations will help rebuild the school and replace supplies lost by the teachers. Visit their website to see how you can help. (https://bigpineacademy.com)
I’m determined to do what I can to help. I am donating 40% per cent of the proceeds from my coloring book Splash and Color to the Early Learning Children’s Foundation in Miami.
The Early Learning Children’s Foundation carried supplies to the Keys immediately after the hurricane. They have a track record of helping the residents of the Florida Keys. It’s my boots on the ground approach. Please buy a coloring book to help South Florida recover from Hurricane Irma.
Before renovation, The Bass displays Public Art during Art Basel.
The Bass solidifies its position as an art leader in Miami by bringing a fresh way of seeing and experiencing art. The grand reopening of The Bass heralds a new age.
After being closed for 2 1/2 years, The Bass opens with much fanfare and anticipation on Sunday. Before its temporary closure, the museum had transformed itself to a hotspot for contemporary art.
Now it artfully and skillfully showcases its old masterpieces alongside contemporary art. Botticelli, Rubens, El Greco and Van Dyke take center near contemporary art and challenges visitors to rethink their perceptions about art.
Instead of discarding the past, The Bass preserves it in a fresh and exciting way. The Art Deco building that houses the Bass is revitalized with new exhibition spaces, expanded lobby and education center, and grand staircase.
Designed by Russell Pancoast in the 1930s, it is one of the oldest buildings in Miami Beach. With the new expansion, the old and new form a fascinating dialogue.
As William Murtugh states “…at its best, preservation engages the past in a conversation with the present with a mutual concern for the future.”
The Bass has done that in a bold and brash way.