Rubicon: An Indelible State of Being, Pt I

Yes, I know the title sounds a bit out there on the tip but I really couldn’t think of anything else that would describe where I’m going. It’s the best I have for what I’m about to give.

There is a dialogue in the 2012 Marvel film, The Avengers when the team is in the heat of battle and things are growing exponentially hotter. Bruce Banner begins walking in his human form towards a giant alien creature trailing in the sky toward them, hot on the heals of Iron Man. Captain American calls out to him. “Doctor Banner, now might be a good time for you to get angry.” Banner turns and responds in eerie calm, “That’s my secret, Captain, I’m always angry.” With that he turns back around and simultaneously transforms into the Hulk, humongous green forearm smashing full into the oncoming enemy.

That line and scene always intrigued me. “I’m always angry.” This was a revelation that Bruce Banner had evolved to a state of not being at war with the Hulk. He had ceased trying to tame the beast and had indelibly claimed the beast. Taking him into himself as a part of himself indistinguishable from any of life’s challenges, within or without. The Hulk had something he could use, something he needed. His value was acknowledged as necessary and given a space where he could serve. The Hulk (the proverbial shadow) no longer had to sneak in through an emotional tear in the veil and outrageously control the mental space until he exhausted himself. Bruce Banner and the Hulk were synchronized, a synergetic being on purpose. In this state he did not lose control, he took control. Gone was the instability of Hulk’s temper tantrum endangering all. Where they had been one flesh and separate minds, now they were of one flesh and mind united by spirit of purpose, path, and passion. A divided soul is an unstable being, a shifty character, no matter how well intentioned.

As of late, my schedule has been hectic to say the least. I was shifting gears fast and furiously racing back and forth from project to the idea of peace in a whirlwind of mounting destructive habits. Little sleep, spotty eating, and any another other byproduct of just short of chaotic, was taking its toll. I was raggedly transforming from the beast to the mild mannered scientist tossed back and forth by the reality of deadlines and obligations. It’s a good place to be in, where my art and expertise are in demand. However, my response to meet the demands, I realize, are NOT sustainable. Perhaps, this is part of what James Baldwin refers to as the price of the ticket -what we are willing to give up or sacrifice for what we want to have, be, and do. The most common and unwise sacrificial lamb on that altar is ourselves. Subsequently, our families, loved ones, career, and all else within the sphere of our influence, pay a price far above market value. The list is long…(To be continued..)

As The World Turns

Since it’s dawn, 2023 has been a year of funerals. Not that I haven’t had some wonderful times already, but the funerals services that dot the landscape are constant reminders that this particular vessel has an expiration date. On last evening, as I am visiting relatives in a nearby city, I was watching the news with them. I never watch the news at home. Reel after reel, there were reports on tragedy after tragedy, stacked up to a hope crushing plethora of what is wrong with our world.

My mind traveled back to last weekend as I walked barefoot in the grass around the 40 acre estate to clear my head and ground myself. I picked and sniffed tiny wild hyacinth blooms, enjoying the cool grass beneath my feet springing anew from the earth in patternless patches of green. Life again rising up from the drying effects of winters clutch. I looked down and saw the fanned out wings of a small bird. Neatly positioned in the center of the symmetrical design was its skull, perfectly whitened and cleaned like some tiny movie prop. I knelt down on both knees and retrieved the skull with a small stick. The tiny brown beak protruded from the whitened form of the skull. Even in this state, there was a beauty and mystery present. Some time ago this creature had been airborne, flying high in the sky from place to place, experiencing life. Now the remains, the vessel lay in the budding grass, spirit departed, shell left to return to the earth from whence it came. This is the cycle, I was reminded. The cycle of life.

A few steps over, a ladybug emerged with the most intense colors, I ve ever seen. It crested a blade of grass and crossed over to my outstretched hand and rested there. I observed in that moment the simple miraculous stages. The dead stick, the hyacinth reaching upward, the moving ladybug, and the skull of the bird. I took out my phone and suspended the moment in time. The lady bug was shy and opted out of the photo. My mind shifted gears and the prompting to count it all joy came over me. I thought of the Yowa, also known as Kongolese cosmogram – the wheel of life that encompasses the physical and spiritual worlds. The two hemispheres are equally divided with as much on one side as the other. In the center we find the crossroads. At times we all catch glimpses of the space called the crossroads.

I took a deep breath of gratitude and made a conscious decision to enjoy the parts of life that I will while I can. Realizing that each aspect of our experience is part of the cycle and not all will bring smiles. Tears are also ingredients in the recipe. Nevertheless it our recipe to mix and experience as we choose, to see what we see, and live as we will…as the world turns.

The QUESTioning of Journey

“The journey through life is filled with wonder, challenges, broken hearts, extreme highs and lows, celebrations, special moments and memories that define our experience as a human. It is these events, planned or unexpected, that impact our travels and define our purpose.”

I took a break from the life hustle and took a walk this past weekend with my youngest daughter. As we talked, it became very obvious that we saw our excursion quite differently, even though we were physically in the same space. She wanted to know where we were going. I just wanted to be where I was in the moment. Those two ideas or ideals of existence seem to be at constant odds in my own life. People are always telling me to slow down, take it easy, enjoy the ride. I hear them but, I counter, I’m on a mission. I often have to remind myself to “Trust the process”. Either way it’s revealed to us or we choose to see, it’s going from one place to another… or is it?

We’ve all probably seen the Ralph Waldo Emerson quote on calendars, mugs, mousepads, posters, and pretty much anything else in print “Life is a journey, not a destination.” The complication that comes with claiming life a journey, not a destination, is that is seems to suggest that we must always be going, traveling to somewhere beyond here. It’s like being on a bus and seeing where you would like to get off but can’t because the vehicle has somewhere to be. That becomes the proverbial hamster wheel of life for so many of us. We are going through life rather than being in life. Compare that to going through love rather than being in it. People like me who always feel an incredible magnitude to movement are compelled to be perpetually on the go. This puts me in a position of feeling productive only when I am in motion. I know this is not healthy and may even be counter productive. Everything need periods of stasis to fuel dynamicity and vice versa. In the times when I’m feeling that I have to turn way up to get there because of lost time, I start the coaxing, trust the process. Trust the process. The time wasn’t lost, It was invested…planted.

The questioning that sprang from thinking on these things brought me to the root word of question itself, quest: a noun first that means a search or pursuit made in order to find or obtain something. As an action word we search, seek, or pursue. We live in that state, whether we realize it or not. Even when I take those walks with no set destination I am still in quest for something, whether it be simply fresh air or peace or peace of mind. Seeing life as a quest seems to allow far more time and space to just be rather than be doing. This inspires a more natural unfolding over a forced making of things to be.

A quest is both personal and universal in that we are on it in a world filled with others who are on theirs and we interact in what we called relationships – an essential part of a quest. No one part of the quest carries more weight than the other. The periods of rest and recreation and periods of intense einitiative are all in the recipe of your quest. Each part of the equation adds up to who and what we are in this space. Whether it’s a walk along a dirt road with my daughter or the work that earns me a Nobel Peace Prize, it’s all a part of the quest. We get to title it how we will, underscored. We are the sum total of everything we have touched and been touched by. It’s an inescapable reality of being…in quest.

A Message from Space (dust)

Awakened early this morning at that consistent sleep interrupting 3am hour. Here I am with Sun Ra and space stuff taking me up. In 1960 the National Aeronautics and Space Administration established a presence in Huntsville, AL in the form of the Marshall Space Flight Center. This action would be another key in door above the foundation of this present city and the world. Over two decades before that, however, a young man by the same of Herman Poole Blount enrolled as a music education student at The State Agricultural and Mechanical Institute for Negroes (Now Alabama A&M University). Just over a year into his studies, he found himself on the edge of the campus thinking about his direction in life. As the story goes, “a beam of light that took him to Saturn” set him on the path to become the outer-space visionary that the world knows as Sun Ra, musician extraordinaire, and father of Afrofuturism.

By the time Dr. Wernher von Braun was gaining speed in Huntsville in the 50’s, Sun ra had already established his Arkestra and was well on his voyage. That was a loaded sentence, weighted with the names of two pioneers in space science. What is it about this little southern town tucked into the hollow of North Alabama, that took it from “the watercress capital of the world.” to leader in the aerospace and research industry? Is it the magical red clay, the “space dust” that Redstone Arsenal sits on and is named after? Also note that Redstone Arsenal was home to thriving black communities like Pond Beat and Mullins Flat. They lost their land and established way of life to Redstone Arsenal. Ironically, the Von Braun Center named after Dr. Wernher von Braun sits on the site that was once Alabama A&M University. Some say there is no such thing as coincidence. I’m inclined to concur. This Alabama red clay is rich with the blood of our ancestors. They left their magic in this hallowed ground.

With that, I am perplexed as to why the city has no monument to Sun Ra. While nationally and internationally he is held in the highest esteem, many people who live in the city have no idea who he is. Another hidden figure in American history. He was the undaunted pioneer who set the precedent. He was first to explore outer space and/or that space in which we can believe in the impossible. I am going to make sure there is a monument, not just to honor Sun Ra, the man and myth, but the miraculous possibilities that he brought to light and the inspiration to explore those possibilities.

I came from a dream that the black man dreamed long ago. I’m actually a presence sent to you by your ancestors.” 
― Sun Ra, 

for further information on Sun Ra and the impossible, please read this article in The New Yorker…

Like Me

Every so often, besides the selling of work, artists talks, interviews, articles, and great reviews, I receive those potent rays of light that hit my soul just right. These instances underscore the why of the what that I do. On yesterday I received a message on Instagram from an art teacher. She shared the art and work description of one of her students. Almost equally impressive and inspiring was the fact that she, the teacher, included me in the canon alongside artists like Jean-Michel Basquiat, Kara Walker, Kehinde Wiley, and Jacob Lawrence, to name a few. This is the student’s expression regarding the project…

Medium: Acrylic paint on canvas

Title of Piece: Oshun

“Intention: I was inspired by Jahni Moore’s artwork. I wanted to paint a black woman similar to his style. He painted realistically. That is why I focused on the lighting and contour of her skin like in his painting “E Pluribus Unum”. His shadows were very dark and contrasted well with the lighter parts of the painting. My favorite color is blue so I wanted to incorporate a lot. I even tried to give her a cooler skin tone to compliment the blue. The meaning of my painting is a black woman who is confident, beautiful, and powerful, like me.”

Needless to say, I was touched, moved to continue, and all that good stuff. A timely reminder to never negate the power of inclusion; the importance of people being able to see themselves included in the acceptable and respected walks of life. It goes a long way towards self image perception, reception, and emotional health. That which we do and do unapologetically in terms of our “work” is of immense value. It’s far more important than we realize sometimes. Let us keep doing what we do with a level of imposed impunity. You never know who you will inspire or be inspired by. I know there’s someone believing in you, rooting for you, needing you to keep doing what you do. There are people who need to see that, like me.


“If art is to nourish the roots of our culture, society must set the artist free to follow his vision wherever it takes him.” John F. Kennedy

As we stand on the precipice of yet another ledge of change no less constant, I find a peace in the fact that we can still imagine. We can still tap into that inner space (the real final frontier), unhindered if we so choose, and mine its untapped genius. This genius is not determined by intelligence quotients or statistical brainwave data. It has the distinct ability to see beyond the seen, a possibility no less available than what we place on canvas, paper, screen, stage, or film. Our imagination lends us sight beyond seeing. Let us see what we can truly see.  

How does our ecosystem and imagination connect?  Is not the ecosystem bound by a set of biological rules, chemical recipes, and set occurrences while the imagination is unbridled?    How does one imagine a world?

“The Creator built this world from the timber of creative imagination.” Wintley Phipps, singer, songwriter, record producer, minister, and founder of the U. S. Dream Academy…

Is reimagining life on earth a reconfiguration of the same puzzle pieces into an alternate configuration?   In case we find ourselves looking to create a new world, we must first go within.  There can be no true revolution without unfiltered revelation.  If so, we run the risk of a repeat, with only a change in roles and regimes. Our so-called solutions, then, would only serve as topical bandages and behavior modification.  True change is rooted in the thinking. To truly create from scratch, we must be willing to dig deep and question everything we think we think we know about history, religion, education and other social systems. Even our own family dynamic which yielded the person we think we are.  

  We would also have to question art as an institution and its western canonical origins. Why we prefer to see what we see, and our overall perception of what art is. We could be much more just if we developed sight beyond the seen and see with more than the visual eye.  Our physical visual perceptions have been tainted with a biased story that affects every decision we make, consciously and unconsciously.  

  The most common denominator we all hold is that of spirit. Spirit has no denomination or delineation.  It just is. That’s where the real sight is. The real imagination. One that allows us to truly see each other beyond the labels ands packages. I’m not advocating that we are all the same or need to be.  I prefer many colors on my palette.  I am advocating however that those things become secondary to life itself.  No different than a yellow or red rose, a long or short stem. It’s still a rose and the essence is that of a flower. 

  This is a call for a resurrection of spirit, a soul revival.  Art has the capacity to serve as that arc of electrical impulse that awakens, reuniting us in and through spirit. That’s the X factor. The missing element.  The resurrection. Art is an acronym for A Resurrecting Truth.  A truth that awakens each one of us to ourselves with the ability to see with heart over hang-ups.  That is the new Earth awakening; a reimagined life in the cosmos.  Art is the language that can cut through all the labels and packaging.  Art at its foundation, is soul speak. A language of the spirit that speaks beyond verbal communication. Let us release ourselves to the pull of the cosmic order beyond fear, bridge ancestral distances, and resurrect truth. I am convinced that it will set us free and inspire the awakening of the new world from within.

B.A.D.A.R.T. Bridging Ancestral Distances And Resurrecting Truth

Open Letter

This post was first written in part as a letter to a dear friend who shared this book with me.

This past weekend, I completed the book, The Short And Tragic Life of Robert Peace .  Within its pages, I was reminded of so many all too familiar things and experienced a rollercoaster of emotions. I was torn a bit whether my sincere efforts were in vain, thinking some of the children I’d worked with over the years.  Although the title of the book foretold the ending, I still found myself hoping. Hoping with the same type of hope that I’ve carried with me most of my life.

I recall a dream I had when my older children were just babies and I was employed by Boys and Girls Club. In the dream I was working with a group of boys varying in age. Much like what I did in real life. At a point in the dream, they all turned into chalk outlines on the pavement. I knew each one of them still. They were more that crudely drawn figures to me. I was walking among them when I felt raindrops. I knew  the rain would wash away the chalk and they would be no more. I found an umbrella and frantically ran around in an attempt to shelter them from the erasing rain.  I cannot explain the impending grip of helplessness that was tightening in my chest. I continued until I woke up. At that point in my life I doubled down on the work of trying to “save” the children. It’s taken me the greater part of my life to realize that I cannot save anyone. This book about Robert Peace was a jolting reminder that hangs heavy in my chest. 

The day after I completed the book I was in an old Huntsville neighborhood across from where the community library used to be. I was standing in the yard of a newly acquired property, surrounded by contractors and their crews.  From down and across the street a young man was calling out. All eyes turned to him. Then I could hear that he was saying my name. When he ran over and made his way to me, I recognized him as a former student. He was really animated and wanted to show me some of his drawings. I told him to bring them by sometime. He took off in a dead run and returned a short while later with an armful of artwork. He stood there excited like a little boy as I laid his work out on a flat surface in the house while a contractor looked on. Slowly and deliberately, I leafed through the work and commented on each, sparking tidbits of life discussion. He kept saying, eyes to the contractor, how he loved my class and still remembered what I had taught him. It’s as if he was trying to convince me and brag to the contractor about our connection. The ink on his arms and neck as well as some of the drawings was a revelation of his gang involvement, former or present. I did not ask, but I did let him know that I knew. That’s the perpetual fatherness in me. My relationship to him was what it was. In the moment he was a wide-eyed boy basking in the joy of my acknowledgement of his artwork – an affirmation of him. We talked a little longer and he left after our agreement to keep in touch.  

No sooner had I walked back outside into the the yard with the others when I heard my name called again. A young man was passing by in a sleek black luxury SUV, waving his hand out the window.  I waved and hollered back with no idea who it was. I kept going withy my conversation. A short while later an excited voice drifted from the edge of the yard. I heard my name.  That young fella had turned around, parked his car, and came up to the yard. He was in the process of telling one of the men that he knew me and that I had a profound impact on his life. When I walked up, he came briskly forward wearing a wide eager grin and embraced me, hard. 

The next few minutes felt like a little family reunion as he brought me up to speed on his life.  I felt proud. Proud of him. Proud of the confidence he exuded and proud to know him.  We exchanged numbers and agreed to keep in touch. He left smiling with a smile even brighter than when he walked up. I’m sure mine was no less. By now, I could see the contractors faces wracked with curiosity. In my chest I felt a wave of something that felt like fresh air blowing. Perhaps it was the spirit of knowing that I only have to do what I can and that is rooted in being who and what I am. I thought again of Robert Peace, still with a layer of sadness.  But now with a renewed sense of knowing that true hope is an action word. Something that, once planted, has to be nurtured and cultivated but ultimately it’s up to the plant to sprout, break through the soil, and grow from there. I had just received two reminders.

The story would have ended there but the next morning I was back at the house to let the contractors in. I walked out to look over the vintage brick (I love vintage brick). A young man was hoisting the broken pieces into a bag. I looked at his face and he at me. The recognition was instant. He was also a former student. The conversation opened up, kicked into gear, and drove quickly down the road of his life story. He had moved back to another city with his mother and siblings. He shared that he’d played football and become a star player with regular newspaper coverage and all. In his senior year he had been offered several athletic scholarships. At least two of which were full rides. His school was a lot like the one he attended where I taught – gritty and tough. They had a no tolerance policy on fighting -instant expulsion. “It was about two weeks before graduation,” he shared. This dude went and put his hands on me. Well, I did what I had to do. They expelled me. I had expelled on my transcript. Didn’t even graduate. Came back here, working , man.” Refraining from advising, I turned the corner on the conversation and we had some laughs and dug into deeper stories and analytics about history and growing up in the south being other than white. He had four boys to take care of now. At his age, I know that’s rough. That thing in me kicked in again. I wondered how I could help. Then I feared down on the brakes. Let’s any in touch, I said. We both agreed as I left to head to my studio. Things come in threes, I’d heard many times growing up – referring to events either good or bad. Three young black males had returned to my orbit in less that 24 hours, following the day I completed that book. I’ll take them as reminders. Reminders that it’s not all about what I did for them but what they also did for me, inspired in me. The pride I felt standing in their presence for having made it this far, still with drive and esteem intact, was proof that the relationships were reciprocal. With that, we will continue…

Take care and keep the faith,

Starry Night In The Hood

A few days ago I was helping to move some things from a storage unit to a house in an old neighborhood. A community lined with a crayon box array of unique little houses and hard working class families on the marginalized northwest crust of downtown. I arrived early to the address with my truck filled with things to put next to the road for garbage. Among them was a rickety framed poster of Vincent Van Gogh’s painting, The Starry Night. I’d lingered on the painting earlier when it was handed to me to put on the truck for trash. It felt almost blasphemous to put even a print of such a seminal work of art to the trash. The same hesitancy hit me again as I laid it gingerly on the trash pile at the house. My mind kicked around the idea of what I could do with it. I allowed my practical side to kick in and walked away.

Later, as we were all unloading the big moving truck, I was prompted to look out to the garbage pile. A young man dressed in jeans and a black hoodie, was working the framed Van Gogh piece from the pile. When it was free, he situated it atop the other items, his brown hands gripping either side of the frame, and stared at it. Did he recognize the piece or did it just catch his eye as something he liked? Either way, it spoke volumes. I watched the scene. Although I couldn’t see his eyes, the connection was apparent. I experienced the connection in a synergistic spirit dance of recognition. What I felt in that moment was beyond any word combination I have to offer at the moment. My soul smiled, my spirit reached out, and we met at that sacred space where art is stretched taunt beyond the imagery. It is A.R.T. – A Resurrecting Truth – the proverbial foot of the cross. The place where we meet face to face, heart to heart, spirit to spirit, beyond all those things that we allow to separate us.

Vincent Van Gogh, 134 years after he put the last strokes on The Starry Night, touched us. The spirit that surged through him came forth in living color, reached out and laid hands on both of us that day. One an artist and the other, well I don’t really know. But I do know that we were linked by the power in the art. That moment expanded my heart space. So honored I get to do what I do as a creative. I don’t know which of those little houses that fella lives in. What his interest, hopes, fears, challenges, and dreams are. I do know he has a desire to see the stars too and may very well be one. I know he knows something about living. Enough to take the time to stop at a trash pile and pull out a work of art to enjoy. I smile to picture that painting hanging on his wall or propped up on his dresser, calling him to see beyond the boundaries of the neighborhood. I know what art can do. And now I’m thinking how much more art can do when I find a way to bring more to marginalized communities like this one. Everyone deserves beauty. I’m a witness, first hand, to the magic of imagination ignited by a Starry Night.

Commanding Space

Someone asked me in an interview last week what was my first interaction with art. Believe it or not, the answer is pretty clear cut, depending on what we classify as art. I was about 3 or 4 years on the planet. I ‘d gotten in trouble as I remember, for writing or drawing on something. I was the only child still home as I hadn’t started school yet. Based on our age proximity, my Mother had to be carrying my little sister at the time. It seems like the weather was warm because I recall the front door being open and light coming in. She sat me in a corner and before I knew it, I was in a double jeopardy situation. Apparently I found another crayon or something and drew on the corner walls where I sat. I vaguely remember and recall with some artistic license, the call of that wall- the empowering feeling of the tool hitting that surface. The space stretched out before me beckoning for mark making by my little hands. And marking I did. Something triggered in my brain, stimulating a part of my subconscious that was awakened thence and forevermore. I have no idea what I drew or how much but it was enough to set me on a path and my mother off again. And she was pregnant too! I don’t remember what happened after that. Probably for good reason.

That was my first recalled foray of claiming space by way of artistic mark making. The idea of setting images or marks apart from myself that remained in the space when I walked away was fascinating beyond my a ability to cease such action. I can create my life map connecting the dots with such occurrences over the course of my days. No, I wasn’t the kid who went around spray painting people’s houses and places of business. Although I did leave some natural clay sculptures on the banks of a few rivers. During those early years I was fairly legal in my claiming of space. My dad didn’t play that getting in trouble outside the house kind of stuff. I’m not even sure if the call of the arts could have been heard over my wailing had he caught wind of me vandalizing something. Mine was relegated to teacher appointed bulletin boards in school, and desks. I loved drawing on desks and retuning to see the comments about my art. I drew in middle school and traded art to the bullies in exchange for leaving me unruffled. In high school, my group of arties would trace our contorted bodies in creative chalk outline drawings on the carpeted floor upstairs between the art department and the band room. Like nobody could figure out it was us. We were never called on it for some reason. I loved the adrenaline rush and wielding of artistic effectuation. To hear people talking about the work and knowing it was done by my hand from my mind, felt like a superpower.

Over the years, I adopted multiple methods of plying my craft. All incorporating the claiming of space for aesthetic effectuation. One if them is still not technically legal so I’ll only hint at that one, compare it to Bruce Wayne and Batman, and carry on. Legally and usually by contract, I sling paint on walls as a muralist. Yes, that was in the cards too or the not so crystal ball. My high school art teacher told me my first year after graduation while sharing with her my first freshman year paintings, that my work looked like it should be huge; murals. She compared my work and acumen to Diego Rivera. I had no idea who Diego Rivera was at the time and definitely had no conscious interest in murals, whatever they were. Turns out she was a prophet in more ways than one. She told me of my potential for success as an artist and saw the murals in me before I could see them in myself. Over the years, I’ve had to fight for my place at the creative table. Fight against legislation, gatekeepers, creative ignorance, misunderstandings about art, doubting friends and family, and perhaps most of all, my own sometimes hyper skeptical mind that used to drill me with the nagging question, “You think you can really make a living at this?”

I remember people saying yeah whatever when I would talk about being a world renown artist. And you know what – I whatevered and remain in continuance mode of claiming spaces for art. In late 2020 I sat in a meeting listening to city leaders talk about one of the new business/government ventures coming to the city. They talked about the number of jobs it would create, families it would support and bring in, and the economic boost and prestige it would provide. This was major. It was called Space Command. For a minute I thought I was in a meeting aboard the Starship Enterprise. I was sitting there feeling pretty left out as an artist. Where could I fit into this? Hell, beam me up too, Scottie! I went home that night thinking about the unfolding of the evening and how the engineering, space exploration industry was the new king cotton of the south. I didn’t see how I could benefit from it as a right brain operator. Then it hit me. I’ve been on the other side of that coin for a long time. Talk about space, you talk about my realm. I’d been claiming space since before I could spell it. Ask my Mama. That night I wrote down the title of my memoir and fleshed out Commanding Space. It’s a united federation of creative minds. A collective force of creative wills at work. I determined that we, as creatives will not be left out of this thrust into the joy of our future. We are willing to boldly go where no man has gone before. I hear you Sun Ra. Space Is The Place, in more ways that one.


“It’s an artist’s duty to reflect the times in which we live.” Nina Simone

It is an artist’s right and responsibility to choose to be a thermometer, gauging or reflecting the climate , or a thermostat, having a definite effect on the climate of the times in which we live. I have chosen to lean implicitly on the latter. I’ll compare effectuation with the word affectation which is defined as an attempt to assume or exhibit what is not natural or real; false display; artificial show. We can say this reflects the nature of the lion ‘s share of our modes of information.

Effectuation by definition is to cause or bring about (something) : to put (something) into effect or operation. Effectuation activates an altering effect on the world around you in some form or fashion. Said activation, for me, has been absorbed from a life wrapped in reality dipped in a strong mixture of hope and imagination, and deep southern fried in faith. Once I came to understand the nature of art as having the ability to effect the world around me, my reverence for the discipline grew exponentially. I knew that it would never again serve merely as a means of escape, unless that escape meant a type of liberation. I knew that I was to put it in service of humanity – to charge it to serve as agency in my quest for cosmic balance.

Standing at the Mothers of Gynecology Monument in Montgomery, AL.