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.
Jupiter Inlet Lighthouse near Palm Beach, Florida.
Ring in the holidays at Jupiter Inlet Lighthouse’s Holiday Shop and Sip Social on Dec. 6 from 5:30-7:30 pm. Enjoy holiday shopping with wine, tasty treats and free gift wrapping. Special discounts benefit the lighthouse. Purchase unique gifts for the kids and that hard to please someone on your Christmas list. Get a free Lighthouse ornament when you become a member of Jupiter Inlet Lighthouse. RSVP at 561-747-8380 x101
St. Augustine Lighthouse in North Florida.
Join the Luminary Night celebration at St. Augustine Lighthouse, Dec. 6 from 6-10 pm. Get free admission, visit Santa and witness over 1,000 dazzling candles. Catch the Christmas spirit while enjoying holiday music. For more information, call 904-829-0745.
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.
Splash and Color: Art Deco Coloring Book for Kids of All Ages. A coloring book to engage families with Art Deco. I thought it was a good idea a few years ago.
When I pitched my idea about reaching the family market in South Beach a few years ago, I was met with disdain. My plea fell on deaf ears when I approached the Miami Design Preservation League, Delano and the hotels on Ocean Drive about my coloring book and a Coloring Contest to reach the family market in South Beach. I wasn’t surprised by the lack of enthusiasm or vision. Artists have a tendency to be ahead of the curve.
After years of bad publicity and overly aggressive police behavior to control “raucous” behavior Mayor Levine and the City of Miami Beach are endeavoring to change the Art Deco District’s image. They want to make Ocean Drive better for residents and families. The recent Air and Sea Show is a good start. I hope the business community supports the initiatives to make Ocean Drive a safer and better place for residents and families.
Art Basel bring tens of thousands of cultural travelers to Miami each year.
As a savy businessman and leader of the free world, I would think you would appreciate that Art is Big Bucks. I read that in February you visited the National Museum of African American Museum (NMAAHC). I am sure you didn’t have to stand in line like most Americans to visit the museum. I had to get up early three months in a row to get timed tickets online. It took me more than one hour to go through an online que to finally get the tickets.
The point I’m making is that the African American Museum is driving people to Washington, DC. Probably people like me who only decided to revisit DC because of the Museum. According to Skit.com the “African American Museum sets a new standard in Museums as Destination. The large number of visitors in February forced the Museum to offer timed tickets.”
The Alliance of Museums reports that museums “directly contribute $21 billion to the US economy each year and billions more through indirect spending by visitors.” In addition, “There are approximately 850 million visits each year to American museums, more than the attendance of all major league sports events and theme parks combined (483 million in 2011).
Back to the Big Bucks theory. According to the Travel Industry of America “Thirty percent or 35.3 million adults say that a specific arts, cultural or heritage event or activity influenced their choice of destination. In fact, many travelers will extend their stay because of an arts, cultural or heritage event or activity. That mean cultural tourists spend more than the average tourist. This translates to jobs. Hey, I thought you were all about bringing jobs home.
And I know you’re all about business. So is defunding the National Endowment for the Arts a good business decision?