June 2021

Additional Dates Added! God is good. So Excited.

Garfield Park Biergarten

Enjoy an evening in the Sunken Garden with the Garfield Brewery and The Original Swayzee Hand Breaded Tenderloin! The Garfield Park Biergarten events will take place every 3rd Thursday May-August.Visitors can listen to live music, participate in themed activities, purchase artwork from local artists, and meet community partners. Event admission is free, and there is no need to register.

5:30- 8:30 PM | 2505 Conservatory Dr, Indianapolis, IN 46203 | Find More Information Below

Fort Ben Cultural Campus Grand Opening

I am so excited for this event! Not only am I an Artist Partner at Arts for Lawrence, I am also a member of the Visual Arts Center Committee. I had the privilege of showing at their VIP night and I can’t wait for the public opening!

June 18th, 19th & 20th | 8920 Otis Ave Lawrence, IN 46216 | Find More Information Below

Happy Juneteenth! Happy Solstice! Happy Pride! Happy Black Music Month!

God is good. I’m so excited to be showing this month! Make sure you check out these shows!

Hip Hop Anthology Vol. 2
Curator: Gary Gee

June 1-30, 2021 at the Central Library
40 East Saint Clair Street Indianapolis, In 46204

Hip Hop Anthology Vol. 2 is a Visual Narration. Collectively curated by visual artists that are authentically inspired and influenced by Hip-Hop culture, music, fashion film, literature, lifestyle, politics, social commentary, and the voice of the underdog.

Garfield Park Art and Music Festival

The Garfield Park Art & Music Festival is hosted by the Garfield Park Arts Center, Indy Parks, and Garfield Brewery at Garfield Park, the oldest city park in Indianapolis. The 4th annual Garfield Park Art & Music Festival (GPAMF) is an outdoor festival celebrating the art, music, and culture of Indianapolis. The festival will feature a handful of local musicians and bands of diverse genres performing their original music. Up to thirty local artists working in a variety of mediums will also host artist booths with their fine art and handmade wares for sale. The mission of this festival is to showcase and celebrate local talent in the art and music scene in a diverse, inclusive, and equitable way.  

June 26th, 2021 4-10pm at the MacAllister Amphitheater at Garfield Park
2450 Conservatory Drive Indianapolis, IN 46203

Please register here:

Check back in on this post for more details on my upcoming pop-ups and events. Follow me on Facebook and Instagram @CJCRTV.

Thank you to The Storefront Theater, Arts For Lawrence, Garfield Park Arts Center for having me in the month of May. I can’t wait to come back.

February 2021

Happy Black History Month. I’m happy that I made it to February 2021. It’s been alot going on.

My New Year started with a flood at my home. Then at the end of the month I wrecked my car. (We are fine. God is good.) Some where along the line, they stormed the Capitol and Cicely Tyson died. Kamala Harris is a win for representation. Joe Biden is president and everyone was dressed in beautiful monochrome.

I am working on new pieces for Gathering Me’s in April and I’m excited about what I will get present.
More information here: https://cjcrtv.com/gathering-mes/

Make sure that you check out these awesome shows, that are happening right here in Indianapolis.

Links to these shows will be at the end. They have events all month long.

Work In Progress

Links as promised.
https://indyarts.org/about/art-soul
https://www.indypl.org/blog/for-adults/meet-the-artists

2020: Hindsight

Are y’all ready? This is a long post.

God is good. The universe is abundant. I am so blessed. Everything that I did was possible because of the support that I received within the arts community in Indianapolis. Artists are essential workers both metaphorically and literally. The support that I needed personally and professionally came from other creatives. I need to take a moment to just say thank you to the following:

Center For Black Literature & Culture at the Central Library
Central Indiana Community Foundation
WeAreIndyArts
Lost Dog Gallery
Amy Ward Studios
Darrell Staggs Photography
VIP Center for Business Women
The Garfield Park Arts Center
Big Car Collaborative
The Andy Warhol Foundation of the Visual Arts
The Indianapolis Arts Center
The Arts Council of Indianapolis

Thank you to all the individuals who purchased prints and originals from me this year. Your patronage means everything. Sales and support from the Indianapolis area have allowed me to keep creating.

It was the best of times; it was the worst of times… I protested this year.

In many ways the work I made this year has been a departure from my previous work. My work got more political than it has ever been. I found it hard to be silent.

You can support The Bail Project, Inc here.

Congratulations to my brother Kevin. You are courageous and you inspire me every single day. I love you.

More than anything 2020 has helped me focus on the stuff that matters. I matter. My life is essential. I am totally valid.

I got more comfortable in my skin.

Making predictions for 2021 still feels like an overreach but the world is full of possibility. Life can be as you imagine it.

Still alive…crazy right?

Gaze

Aw, made you look. You a slave to a page…(snort)

gaze/ɡāz/ verb: gaze
1. look steadily and intently, especially in admiration, surprise, or thought.”he could only gaze at her in astonishment”
2. (in literary theory) a particular perspective taken to embody certain aspects of the relationship between observer and observed, especially as reflected in the way in which an author or film director (unconsciously or otherwise) directs attention.”the male gaze”

Have you ever cropped an image? How did you choose what to show? How did you want that image interpreted? These are questions I come back to repeatedly as an artist and designer. They say a picture is worth 1000 words, but we live in a world saturated by images. In an environment that is so saturated how do you hold people’s attention?

You loose control of an image the moment you give to an audience. Once its in the public gaze, they have no choice but to apply their own perspectives and interpretations. That’s true of art, design and selfies.

Does that truth grind my gears? Yes. Can I do anything about it? Sort of… My best solution is to control as much of your image as possible. I want to be known as an artist. So I choose to show art. And engage with art. Turn my pain into art. Turn my joy into art. Life imitates art.

Did you know Medusa translates to queen? Here’s a great link.
https://www.metmuseum.org/toah/hd/medu/hd_medu.htm

“…get stiff, they call me Medusa
I don’t wanna fuck without the Medula…” – Megan Thee Stallion

“VERSACE VERSACE VERSACE” – The Migos

“Get some get some get some crazy shit for me
I want, I want, you know, leopard-skin, and you know?
I want, I want all that crazy lizard-skin shit, like, you know?” – Nicki Minaj

I’m just saying I laughed.

Roses

Did you hear…
Did you hear about the rose that grew from a crack in the concrete?
Provin’ nature’s laws wrong
It learned to walk without having feet
Funny it seems but by keeping its dreams
It learned to breathe FRESH air
Long live the rose that grew from concrete
When no one else, even cared

From “The Rose That Grew From Concrete” ~ 2Pac | Featuring Nikki Giovanni
Produced by Jamal Joseph | Album The Rose That Grew From Concrete Vol. 1
[Verse 3: Spoken Word]

I have never been much for flowers. I’ve always been more of a “blood of my enemies in a crystal goblet” type of chick. It wasn’t until I became a mother and a wife that I learned to see them as more than just pretty ornamentation. Flowers are plants. They have tenacity.

First version from my sketchbook… I kept at it.

te·nac·i·ty /təˈnasədē/noun

  1. the quality or fact of being able to grip something firmly; grip.”the sheer tenacity of the limpet”
    • the quality or fact of being very determined; determination.”you have to admire the tenacity of these two guys”
    • the quality or fact of continuing to exist; persistence.”the tenacity of certain myths within the historical record”

Flowers and plants evolved on this planet first and they will be here last. They provide food, shelter and comfort to everything above it in the food chain. They provide oxygen which is #essential. (Have you ever tried not breathing? Exactly.)

I still don’t really want to receive a bouquet for Mother’s Day but I am learning to appreciate my flowers while I can. I prefer to see them in their natural habitat, wild and growing undisturbed. But I can also see the beauty in a well tended and highly manicured garden. 

And listen you don’t have to be a rose. You can be a redwood, sunflower, a lily, cannabis. That’s dope too (I’m sorry). Shit, there’s a cactus on my work desk ( it’s prickly like me). 

I hope you spend some time tending your garden. Try to appreciate your flowers for what they are. Purposeful, thorny, beautiful.  

‘Long Live The Rose’ Marker and Colored Pencil on Vellum 5/8/2020
Awe fuck…this song gets me every time.
My grandma used to listen to a version of this song by Rev. James Cleveland. Miss her.