As I said earlier, I am an Artist…I make dolls using mop heads and African fabric and I do sculpture. My first solo exhibit is this coming September. I am currently a member of “Black Art In America”, which is a social networking site for African American Artist, Collectors, Art Lovers and Art Educators…If you are not familiar with BAIA’s website...all I can tell you is that it is off the chain…check it out at http://blackartinamerica.com. BAIA was created by Bro. Najee Dorsey & Sistah Janelle Dowell…
In November 2010, Najee had posted the discussion “To Give Art or Not To Give Art, That Is the Question? This was my response.
Peace & Blessings Najee,
Yes, I give away my art...but only if I am lead by the spirit to do so. I don't do it for exposure...but for the pure love that I may feel/sense from the receiver. I believe that when a gift is given purely from the heart you are not only blessing the individual...but yourself also. I like to believe that I am releasing and passing on the God (Creator) in me to someone else.
Think about it...as Artist when we are creating...we experience all the love, peace, joy, amazement, wonder, completeness, happiness, knowledge, wisdom, personal growth, reciprocity, fulfillment, determination, tenacity, hope and belief in unlimited possibilities. At least...this is what happens to me.
The above is my stance on giving period...whether it be art or anything else given to anyone, be it a public figure, collector or your next door neighbor. And because of my willingness to give, I have been BLESSED many times over. Let me give you an example.
My mentor, Ms. Jean Wright who is a master seamstress/tailor, is a very good friend of the artist Aminah Brenda Lynn Robinson. Ms. Jean wanted to attend “A Conversation with Aminah Robinson and Faith Ringgold” here at the Columbus Museum of Art and she needed me to escort her to the event. I said sure no problem. But unbeknownst to me, my Ms. Jean not only wanted to attend the event, her intention was to also treat me to the event and to introduce me to Ms. Aminah. This was her way of saying thank you to me for my willingness to give to her. Usually whenever Ms. Jean and I go somewhere she pays for herself and I pay for me. But this was truly different. I get full every time I tell this story. And believe you me I am still flabbergasted and ever grateful for what happened.
Sorry let me get back to my point.
Anyway the benefit event was held on October 21, 2010, in celebration of Ms. Aminah’s 70th and her friend Ms. Faith’s 80th birthday. The proceeds went to the Aminah Brenda Lynn Robinson Endowment. And because, of Ms. Jean’s thoughtfulness and Ms. Aminah’s kindness (she paid for my ticket) and it being a birthday celebration, I decided to make and give a doll to both Ms. Aminah & Ms. Faith. Once again, because of the willingness to give and to give from the heart ….I tell ya it is amazing what the Creator will do. From this one act of giving these are the blessings that I received:
1. The doll that I gave Ms. Faith will be permanently installed in her children’s museum that she will be opening up in 2012 in Harlem. THANK YOU! Ms. Faith. Yes I am still crying tears of joy & wonder.
2. Ms. Aminah was showing off my doll in a room of over 300 people. THANK YOU! Ms. Aminah for a very humbling experience.
3. In 2011 my very first solo exhibition will be at the Star Art’s Limited Gallery. (The gallery owner was at this event) THANK YOU! Priscilla Tyson for sharing your vision.
4. THANK YOU! God (CREATOR) for allowing me to find my artistic voice!
This is what happens when you are lead by the spirit to give away your art...At least this is how it works for me.
Thank you! Najee for asking the question.