Category: Archive

What’s Justin up to this September?

What’s Justin up to this September?
Today is the Jewish Holiday of Rosh Hashanah, celebrating the New Year on the Hebrew Calendar. It’s a high holy day that marks a time of reflection, resolutions, and rest. Starting a countdown to Yom Kippur (10 days), Rosh Hashanah is the start of a cleansing period that requires repentance, remembrance, and forgiveness. A month ago I made a commitment to succeed and not make (as many) excuses in 5773 (2012-2013): I live in Elkridge, MD now; I’ve joined a gym; I’m slowing down to listen and be more aware; and, I am building on my regimen of exercise. With change I am learning means making time to rest and to kick gears. Taking time off on such a busy week for my job (see below) reminds me that faith, religion, and reflection of self come first. A big thank you to all who have helped me get to this point in my life. This is a time to celebrate and to be selfless: to improve and to challenge. Great preparation with a great team allows peace of mind:

This SATURDAY is the 5th Annual Downtown Hyattsville Arts Festival (11 AM – 5 PM)! Counting down the days (6 including today!), I’ve been part of an awesome team with the Hyattsville Community Development Corporation (Hyattsville CDC) organizing the Festival. We cannot wait to meet more of the artists, see our work produce buds of collaboration and interest, and fulfill laying the stage for many folks’ hardwork to pay off. I do hope you join me. It’s a big street festival on Route 1 in the Gateway Arts District, and for the last 2 years I exhibited my paintings, drawings and prints; and, this year I have the honor of being part of the organizing. Let me know if you can come out! RSVP on Facebook here

See over 50 exhibiting artists, enjoy live entertainment and eat some great food on the happening streets of Hyattsville. Last year, over 2,300 DC-area art aficionados lined the streets of the Arts District Hyattsville town center to experience amazing arts & crafts, numerous live performances, as well as tasty local food & drink. This year visitors will find exciting new housing to tour, including new apartments, condos, and row homes; visit new retail shops; and can explore our emerging restaurant district along the corridor. Visit www.hyattsvillearts.com for more information.

What’s Justin up to this June?

Hello everyone! Wonderful news!

What’s Justin up to this June?

I am now working as the Economic Development Coordinator with the Hyattsville Community Development Corporation (Hyattsville CDC). This full-time opportunity will allow me to learn the ways of applying sound urban planning principles in an up-and-coming economic center. I am humbled and thankful. My position works alongside my work as Content Manager for MyGatewayArts.org until that positions concludes in the Fall. So far my first few weeks have been challenging and inspirational, and I look forward to continuing our work.

 

Additionally, please join me as I appear in a new performance by Alan Sharpe as part of the DC Black Theater Festival called “11 x 8 1/2 Inches.” I am humbled to be part of this great cast!  Alan’s works are heartfelt and humorous, touching and at times risque (don’t mind his dark tones in the short description below, I did say he has a flair for the dramatic). I can’t wait for this rare once-a-year opportunity. Tickets are free and can be reserved ahead of time. Please join us for a great evening. Reserve your ticket online here. RSVP on Facebook here

Alan Sharpe’s African-American Collective Theater (ACT) once again showcases many of DC’s most talented actors, in a steamy new series of his short plays exploring the lives of same gender-loving brothers in the Black community.  Darkly dramatic, explicitly erotic, candidly comic and raunchily romantic, these dramas chronicle the challenges of  brothers ‘in the life” embracing their true sexuality…or still struggling along the road to self-recognition and redemption.  This follow-up to last year’s “Hand to Mouth” provides a sneak peek at another collection of edgy, underground works, not likely to ever make it to the more mainstream stage. Friday, June 29, 2012,  9 p.m. FREE. The Blackburn Center at Howard University, 2400 Sixth Street, NW, Washington, DC.  

Thanks for reading!

Have a good day 🙂

L’Enfant Plaza Mall – One Year Later

So one year later, I’m visiting the Tidal Basin and the renovation on the new side of L’Enfant Plaza Mall is in full bloom. A food court connecting to the old (new vacant) mall with a handful of new retailers, this I’m sure is a treat for those who work around here. Last time I was here, I was concerned the red and white would look too drastic, but it looks rather nice and sophisticated with these chains here. Now I wonder what they’ll do with the old mall side.

What Justin’s up to this April

Hello everyone! This month is a short newsletter:

What’s Justin up to this April?

As many of you know, I seek to integrate arts initiatives into community revitalization. I run Soulstrong Arts Blog, I’ve held artist talks surrounding my Artist in Residence at Gateway Arts Center, and I am fortunate to work with both M-NCPPC’s Arts & Cultural Heritage Division at the Brentwood Arts Exchange as an Administrative Assistant, as well as with the Hyattsville & Gateway Community Development Corporations as the Content Manager for MyGatewayArts.org. As summer is approaching, I am locating arts-administrative jobs and opportunities in the DMV so I can continue to grow my craft and be part of the change I wish to see. While still creating art, my main efforts are now to find my next step and continue on my journey towards urban planning.

A big thank you to those who came to an intimate and delightful Artist’s Talk at Urban Eats Café and to the RAW: DC Stimulus showcase last month. I’ve sold artwork since then, and now have video, stills, and promotional photos up of my work from both events, available on my Facebook fan page. I am beyond grateful to have the opportunity to stay connected with the venues that have helped me find my way. Speaking of which: This Thursday, RAW: DC hosts its April showcase, Menagerie; and this Friday, Hillyer Art Space hosts its April Soapbox, featuring Jessica Hirst and Paula Kellinger with a beforehand roundtable dialogue. I will be speaking alongside previous performers, Devon Hopkins and Sebastian Rousseau. Please join in on the conversation! Lastly, this weekend, Eames Armstrong, Hillyer Art Space’s Performance Art Coordinator, is exhibiting as part of the Open Studios at 52 O Street. If you’re free, please consider coming out to these events!

Please continue to stay active and optimistic in your pursuits. Remember, you stay strong by engaging your soul in balancing the things that bring you happiness with the essentials of life. Let yourself be active, seek balance, and keep working hard.

 

 

[youtube www.youtube.com/watch?v=v08S2ZDNxsk&feature=youtu.be%5D
Watch my RAW Artist’s Interview online at youtu.be/v08S2ZDNxsk

 

Thanks for reading!

Have a good day 🙂

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“Copyright for Artists – Presented by Stephen Slusher” Workshop at the Brentwood Arts Exchange in the #GatewayArts Center

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I’m very appreciative to attend this workshop at the Brentwood Arts Exchange, which is one of several workshops in this series. Hope to share some findings later on today!

For more information, visit arts.pgparks.com.

Copyright for Artists – Presented by Stephen Slusher

Your art is unique and creative and your own. Learn how to ensure that it stays that way by attending a workshop on artists’ copyright issues.

The Brentwood Arts Exchange in partnership with the Gateway CDC presents a series of 5 professional development workshops for visual artists. Topics include tips on marketing art work, navigating copyright issues, pricing, and improving your portfolio presentations. All workshops are free and open to the public.

Presented in partnership with the Gateway CDC and the Prince George’s Arts & Humanities Council.

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Jenny Sidhu Mullins Creates Work for the Art on the Art Bus @Artisphere

On route to Artisphere to see the Frida Kahlo Photographs exhibition, I discovered the intriguing work of Jenny Sidhu Mullins, the Artist In Residence for the Art Bus Project. The second Art Bus artist I’ve met (Victor Epkuk months ago), Mullins exhibits paintings, drawings, and has an electronic “Future Life Animal” machine on exhibition, called The New American Reincarnation Machine. Accompanied with multimedia drawings and paintings, today is her second day in studio, and already she has begun to capture the space and brainstorm ideas.

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She describes the Art Bus Project as a great space to bring art to the people, as folks may be hesistant to come to galleries. Her work rings well with me, discussing themes like American spirituality and national identity: karma, mourning, our relation to animals, and how we play with these themes. Jenny is a delight to speak with, eager to engage with the public as they become entranced on route to the Kahlo exhibition.

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When I ask how she describes her latest piece, she responds that the has begun the piece as a “Playful, colorful work that uses animals [to] talk about consumerism. There are some serious issues…to focus to over-consumption…every holiday, every social event is related to consumerism. Hopefully the public will be seduced by [my art]’s aesthetic qualities.” She continues, “I’m interested in creating work that has a sophisticated level of rendering. I feel like it creates a way to enter into the piece. I’d like to get [the public] to think about consumerism and get them to think about it in. their own lives.”

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In residence until April 15th, I invite you to join me in visiting as Jenny Sidhu Mullin’s work grows. Her studio is at the Arlington Arts Center, only two miles or so away, and you can view more of her work online at www.jennymullins.com. She is in residency at the Works-In-Progress Gallery Wednesdays-Fridays 4-7:30. Visit www.Artisphere.com for more information.

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“Converging Cultural Tapestries” Closing Reception at Zimstone Gallery #gatewayarts

This article is part of MyGatewayArts.org‘s “Gateway on Foot” series, for more information, see below.

 

I love visiting Zimstone Gallery and need to make the time more often! Today is the Closing Reception for Converging Cultural Tapestries at Zimstone Gallery, featuring the work of Eileen Cave and Pierre-Antoine Goho. Their works are vibrant and energetic, and the color palettes complement one another in a subtle yet festive fashion.

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To add to this great display, Gallery Owner Jeff Brown sells and displays gorgeous stone sculpture from Zimbabwean artists. The sculptures on exhibit add to Cave and Goho’s works, almost each sculpture and each painting dancing in its own way, capturing movement and appreciation of happiness in its very form.

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To contrast, sprinkled across such seemingly-pleasant sculptures are works that are sad, stern, contained, or strong-angled. These darker themes make me think of the artists’ inspirations–their peoples and livelihood. As I stare at 3 Generations of Proud Shona Women, and comment on the contained, honest, painfully proud expressions, Cave comments, ” There’s weight in that. It has grace and elegance. ”

Minutes later, Brown speaks with Cave and Goho about the dwindling numbers of sculptors as artists age. ” The whole point of having this particular space is to have sculpture available while exhibiting visiting artists. ” As Brown shows me several photographs from visits with Sylvester Mubayi, amongst other Zimbabwean artists, I am thankful to have this resource in my neighborhood.

Zimstone Gallery is located at 4814 Rhode Island Ave, Brentwood MD, 20722. For more information, go to www.zimstonegallery.com, or call 301.699.1499. View more of Eileen Cave’s artwork at HCAAonline.org, and Pierre-Antoine Goho’s artwork at GohoArt.net.

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This article was written for Soulstrong Arts Blog, as part of MyGatewayArts.org‘s “Gateway on Foot” series, a user-submitted portal that allows community members an opportunity to share experiences with one another of happenings in the Gateway Arts District. The series offers an online blog-review component, as well as prospective walking tours, coming Spring 2012 to MyGatewayArts.org.

Resonance: Reflections on “Conduit” and Residency at #GatewayArts Center

This blog post is also online at JustinFair.com:

 

In reflecting upon my residency at Gateway Arts Center, I am deeply honored and thankful to have received such constructive feedback. Open feedback is a gift given my work’s focus on dark themes, to receive positive and negative responses. Simone at Busboys and Poets says visual artists aren’t used to getting immediate feedback and applause like performing artists do. As such, please be vocal and encouraging! I work in both mediums, and have had to both wait and immediately hear my audience’s responses. Since I seek feedback, the most rewarding is to hear reflections days after and be asked questions. I have to read between critics’ words and lines to guide my work so that I can find a stimulating place that bridges both mediums as well as connects with the audience.

Since I have performed Conduit, I have been asked if I would perform it again. I am happy to say I am not interested in revising anytime soon. The work evolved from an initial purpose, to an interpretive dance chronicling a process of purging and regaining stength, to two separate adaptions created to flesh out two movement styles.

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