"Confront the dark parts of yourself and work to banish them with illumination and forgiveness.  Your willingness to wrestle with your demons will cause your angels to sing."                August Wilson

Up close and personal
with our Self Love artists

Give yourself a Valentine this February.  Practice "self love," defined as caring about oneself and taking responsibility for oneself.

Monica Kennedy, Irene Reece, Elle Cox, Samiria Percival, Bert Bertonaschi, Fulden Sara Wissinger, Rebecca Baffour, Melba Lee, Lauren Cross and LaTonia Allen, the ten artists in our current exhibition, did.

Here are statements from five of the artists (more in later issues) who mined their struggles with illness, unemployment, loneliness, disappointment and/or self-esteem to express these emotions with their art.

Irene Reece, who was diagnosed with a tumor on her pituitary gland at age 20, chronicled her experience of the pain, the fear, the alteration to her life, the extensive treatment and the eventual announcement that she was tumor free with a time-lapse video and a journal of the struggle. 

ED Michelle Barnes, left, admires Melba Lee's three exhibit collages.

Melba Lee  discovered the limitless possibilities of handmade paper after a period of unemployment.  For over 15 years, she has created, through her art, many women, mothers, grandmothers, daughters, sisters and friends. "Each new work is a different image with its own voice," she explained.  "I am in awe that personality can come from pieces of paper. My work has enabled me to connect with other women who have the passion to express themselves and share a piece of themselves with the world." 

Wissinger's "Turkish Tortillas" and "Cappodocia" earthernware pieces.
Fulden Sara Wissinger  found herself gravitating to clay. For her, clay most directly captures fluid energy while requiring patient methodical manipulation. Her pieces mix elements from past experience.  Ten years of graphic design background tends to produce focus on crisp geometry, which mingles with the Arabesque fluidity of "Turkish Calligraphy/Arabic Calligraphy" and her mixed heritage Balkan and Turkmen roots. 

HSPVA student Elle Cox discusses her video "Hoodoo Cleansing"
and "And It Is Hard to Change" digital prints.

Elle Cox  describes "Hoodoo Cleansing" as "a rebirth of myself and a cleansing of the negative energy that arises around the Black community. My photo piece is a representation of the objectivity against Black women and the battle between violence and sensuality, the oppressor and the oppressed, demanding change and remaining stagnant. Both of these were created by falling back in love with myself and the Black community, whilst searching for a common voice within us all. Using myself as the subject, I found that voice to create pieces that insisted on change."

Monica Kennedy, center, explains the making of her three digital prints,
"Disconnected,"  "Renounce" and "Expectant."

Monica Kennedy's  artwork takes the viewer from one emotion to another as they experience the work. "My process is really driven by my want to create and express myself; I am often influenced by the media and my past life experiences." 

(Next month:  LaTonia Allen, Rebecca Baffour, Bert Bertonaschi, Lauren Cross and Samiria Percival)

The exhibition continues through April 29.

Peter Hoyt Brown is going to

The Collective's
30th Anniversary Birthday Bash! 
April 15, 2017

He will receive the Lester Marks Patron of the Year Award for his support of the visual arts.

We're celebrating 30 years of service to the Houston Arts Community, and you're invited to party with us at

Deborah Colton Gallery
2445 North Blvd., Houston, Texas, 77098

6 to 9 p.m.

More details to come!

The Art Throbs, Bishop Black, left, and Rick Blaze

Hip Hop duo Blaze X Black
bring back that "old thang" 

By Holly Charles

Downtown Houston's Leon Lounge throbs with bass as I approach the intimate venue for the night's performers, Houston Press Reader's Choice Award Winner, band and Hip-Hop duo Blaze X Black (pronounced Blaze and Black).  The dimly lit bar bustles with the hipster chic, backpacker bunch, all contentedly packed in and around the bar.
The crowd grows even more dense, though, as I follow the sound of a live band, riling the 30 Something crowd into a nostalgic frenzy with a brief interlude of Jay Z & Pharrell's classic "I Just Wanna Love You (Give It 2 Me)."  Seamlessly, and just as quickly as the audience throws their hands up in submission, Blaze X Black hydroplanes into another set of unfamiliar, yet strangely familiar songs. They are familiar and welcome because they're thick with the lyricism of 90s Hip Hop, the conviction of artistic soul and, the main ingredient - showmanship. 
Blaze X Black & The Art Throbs (their colorful band a la The Legendary Roots Crew) rock back and forth, run into the crowd, stand on furniture, get lost in the music, and quite frankly, dance like no one is watching, despite the fact that all eyes are upon them.  Read more


The Collective's After-School Program at
the School for Accelerated Learning



Workshops and demonstrations  are offered at The Collective,
4101 San Jacinto, Suite 116, on Thursdays
from 11 a.m. until 3 p.m. and Fridays from 1 to 3 p.m.

The Community Artists' Collective invites you to learn about and to
work on textiles, including quilting, knitting, crochet and embroidering. 
Please join us. 

Supplies provided. Suggested donation is $30 per month.


Community Artists' Collective