Category: Musings: Lists + Docs

Justin on: Gardening

So the summer sun has come, and with it my plants have begun the slow sad process of dying…unless I actually water them and research what to do with them! I can’t let dem marigolds die! No mama no!

Last night, at the “Walking Off the Artistic Cliff” event at the Brentwood Arts Exchange, I spoke with a woman about my potted plants. She said they’d die faster if they stay in pots, because they won’t have the same access to water and nutrients. Alas! Things I know but haven’t quite decided if I care or not. So, after a number of days, and seeing my housemate McKenna had watered my pots, for days now I’ve watered my plants and watched as they’ve come back to life. The lady recommends I buy portulaca, that it’s good for ‘desert sun.’ Hmm.

Coincedentally, my two new housemates Danielle and Will, have taken to hacking and conquering our weedy lawn, and so voila–maybe I will move my plants into the ground. Maybe the house can look nice for the last two months I’ll be there…OR, maybe I’ll say goodbye and let the house look the mess it is.

Random endless thoughts.

In any case, here’s a fun article on raised garden beds and how to make ’em.

Back to blogging

A question for y’all: What do you like about blogs and how can sharing information online actually be of use?

I haven’t blogged in a while, after all–I kept thinking ‘Hey, I’m busy,’ and as such, I felt disconnected from what was going on around me, and liked it, but hated it. I’ve been procrastinating thinking and finding stuff, uploading photos I took, and being as on-point about getting back to people and in a way, actively getting back to me. I guess what most folks would call it–I was chilling, taking a me-break, but as with everything, moderation, please!

Being that it’s memorial day, and I have the energy and the time, I hope today to post at least another time at least here at Soulstrong or on my own blog. I have a collection of business cards, a bunch of folks I’m still interested in after DC Pride Weekend, performing last night in Alan Sharpe’s Damage Control (two shows in a row!), and performing a few week’s ago in Thembi Duncan’s Mon Chaton. It’s been some busy times with me, I have a boyfriend, a job, family, friends, and I’m fortunate to have my health too.

To answer my question, I blog because it’s like introspection for me to write and think about little finds I have. I have a bagillion RSS feeds on my Google Reader but how can I get around to all of them? The other day, my fellow cast member, Sheila Cutchlow, was tellling us about her goal to meditate at least an hour each morning, and telling us about other responsibilities and interests she has. It inspired me not to keep putting that stuff on my backburner. If I want to do it, let me get around to it. I’d like to wake up early each morning, because I’ll go to sleep early; and I’d like to meditate. Then, have a good breakfast and read my morning “paper” (Google Reader)! After all, I go through some of the blogs late at night; and, when I’m on the bus, I read through my print magazines or books I have with me. So, why not find something interesting and take the time to share them more actively?

I read/look in GQ and say ‘Wow, that image’s really inspiring,’ then I let it pass. I think I’ll make my camera and scanner a bit more accessible. I have an easier time archiving my interests via blogging versus social networking—so let me share. Would you?


March has arrived! In just one month I’ve begun working at the Brentwood Arts Exchange @ Gateway Arts Center, exploring what art means both to myself as well as to others, I’ve seen theatre and art exhibits in my neighborhood as well as elsewhere, and exploring what it means to truly understand what it means to get out there and get my feet wet in the professional art world! No university-bubble blocking me in anymore, time to breathe on my own–right?

For March, I’ll be taking a step up in how I run Soulstrong Arts Blog (SSA). Following suggestions of friends, family, co-workers, and passerbys…

    • Creating a system for how I find local art happenings and how I write/photograph about them
    • I’m planning on getting new business cards printed with SSA on the back
    • Getting postcards or fliers promoting the blog printed and out across the Gateway Arts District
    • Soliciting friends, students, and neighborhood folks for stories and columns based on their experiences, finds, and interests
    • Even more, getting co-authors and guest authors
    • Asking more people for their opinions, thoughts, suggestions, and advice on how to operate both the blog and my own work
    • And last but definitely not least (more like extending a first), finalizing the business plan and my hopes for this blog to promote artists and art aficionados both locally and worldwide


    Do you have any ideas? Anything interesting come to mind? Please let me know!


    P.s. I’ve been featured as Art4TheMasses’ February 2011 Artist Of The Month. In my interview, not only did I have the opportunity to discuss my artwork and how theatre and art work together, but I also was able to share my a bit of my philosophy on how artists and community go hand in hand. Watch the interview from my blog at and please let me know of your thoughts by commenting on the page!

    SOULSTRONG ARTS blog coming soon

    Soulstrong Arts BlogHello everyone!

    At the end of January I am beginning an arts blog! I will be blogging about artists, art exhibits, performances, public art, and inspiring neighborhoods from DC to Baltimore. Please ‘like’ my page on Facebook! This blog will promote a variety of services and events that I’m sure you can enjoy! Additionally, this will help me work in the College Park & Gateway Arts District (Route One) area (as well as my growth as an artist!) – The blog will be at, I’ll post when it’s online!

    Thank you!

    P.s., check out Soulstrong Arts Blog on twitter at – are you one of the soul strong? be active in your community and active in your life!

    Hello everyone! At the end of January I am beginning an arts blog! I will be blogging abou

    Hello everyone!

    At the end of January I am beginning an arts blog! I will be blogging about artists, art exhibits, performances, public art, and inspiring neighborhoods from DC to Baltimore. Please ‘like’ my page on Facebook! This blog will promote a variety of services and events that I’m sure you can enjoy! Additionally, this will help me work in the College Park & Gateway Arts District (Route One) area (as well as my growth as an artist!) – The blog will be at, I’ll post when it’s online!

    Thank you!

    P.s., check out Soulstrong Arts Blog on twitter at – are you one of the soul strong? be active in your community and active in your life!

    Art Must Activate! (Working Manifesto)

    I originally wrote this for my Performance Art class’and am exploring mission statements for my work’

    Here’s a Manifesto I wrote’

    It is not enough to create for one’s own discovery; artists must challenge their viewer to promote change in their community. It is 2010; we are living in a world of eternal war, privacy invading government and internet, big business and government intervention, idealized and forgotten families, and a battle between conventional living and a pull towards the modern unknown. The artist has the power to acknowledge and bring these battles to the forefront of the peoples’ minds but the concept that the artist can ignore these real-life triggers so that he may take his time and just explore his own mind cannot be allowed! Artwork should inspire or promote change because of its existence, should it not? The artist must keep the community in mind when he creates and exhibits, the PEOPLE must be in his mind.

    The artist’s job is to inspire others to act by doing so in his own way; thus, the artist MUST BE BRAVE and approach the dangerous if change is ever to occur. He need not arm himself when he speaks about terrorism or take off his clothes when defending nudism, he need not take such extreme acts to be an example for others to act. Unless he himself happens to be an activist, as well as an artist, he must acknowledge his place and unless he desires to change that place, perform his role in society. At its root, art is a method of expression and skill that allows an individual or group of individuals to channel their feelings and thoughts into a creative statement. To be an activist, however, is to do something in the community more than just bravely creating a situation where something can be said and performed; it is to place oneself in the fire of the cause one is fighting for. To risk one’s body and rights to speak one’s mind, if even given the chance. The artist need not be passive and unable to act: he needs to know what the best way is for him to act. After all, to act foolishly is to help no one; but, to be empathetic and sympathetic, and speak and create with concern and knowledge, is to arm oneself with a cause and aid in that cause’s victory. Above all else, the artist is allowed to naturally be fearful and timid in his own space, but when there is an evident need for actors, the artist must go out and act in his community! He must not stay behind his pad or behind his eyes. The artist must not only explore himself but also allow that exploration to channel motivation into others by creating art!

    The process of creating artwork should be a cultivation of an artist’s creativity, intent, and hard work, in no linear fashion. He must recognize that others may not need him or want him, and that others may not understand him, and that others may not even think or feel in the way he does. But there may be those out there who do. Nonetheless, we as artists must call our viewers to act by actively telling each individual ‘this is something you can act upon, be daring and prudent, and act!’ Even if they do not want to hear such things. We must address the viewer with the knowledge that even they can allow others to act through mere insinuation of thought. That though we all may fear things, we must be courageous and promote wise dialogue and action. As artists, we create and/or manipulate form and thought by giving it an unforeseen thought. We take normal objects or the image of such and transform them; we create marks on canvas and present them to others to interpret; we say things and move in such ways that force others to see and interpret both our statement and ourselves. As such, these form-bending creations must vigorously promote a difference in lifestyle: It is only through active exploration that any conclusions are ever reached.

    The artist must not sit passive and allow his local or national community to pass him by while he thinks of a way to act. He should speak with strangers, with friends, with family, and actively work to address that which appeals to him. He must not sit back while ‘work’ or ‘school’ or ‘paperwork’ builds on him: He must move around or with it and be artistic nonetheless. In performance art or visual art, the artist has many tools at his disposal to motivate change: In his work, he may imbue or use images and sounds that contain normative imagery (the everyday), controversial imagery (the things most would like not to acknowledge), or even images and sounds with powerful peaceful or anarchist themes, if he desires to promote change in others. Through his own model, these themes can reach out to the viewer and activate discussion where before it had only lingered. The artist must, in all cases, be careful with what he forms, for he knows not who will take it or what will be done with the topics he raises. He must be responsible for his own actions and the delivery of his words. The artist, must work and act in a manner that promotes vigilance and tolerance: For it is only through a mixture of respect and tolerance that any change can ever truly become accepted and become the norm.

    -Justin Fair


    This blog was originally posted on at’Dec 17, 2010 @ 16:54

    Developing a new artistic mission…

    Link: Developing a new artistic mission…

    So I’ve begun thinkin about a new mission statement for where I’ve been heading/where I want to go in my artwork. As I’ve been exploring performance art and marketing, listening to friends’ comments and concerns, and working at my internships and school, I want to bridge my interests together while branching outwards.

    As I talked with the assistant director for “Am I Black Enough Yet?”, Armando, I reached a plateau. I want to promote my services while I explore my artwork. I want to have the time and make the time to actively work in my community by meeting people, meeting with people, enjoying my studio time, and socializing with others. For a long while, I’ve been occupied with school and work primarily, without really having the time or focus to explore myself and my art. Something that’s bugged me, is that while I’ve worked in my internships and have been to theatre performances, art exhibits, and one community meeting, I haven’t known how to take suggestions and directions from my peers and mentors and turn them into a working model for my lifestyle as an artist and designer. (more…)