As an artist and cultural activist for the city of St. Louis, I believe in using art as a creative solution for stimulating and developing communities. I have been an advocate for artists and the art community in St. Louis for the past four years. I have achieved this through my involvement as a nonprofit leader and through my personal art practice. Working with the Pulitzer Foundation for the Arts and my friend, Theaster, on a project inspired by the works of Gordon Matta-Clark has been a truly amazing experience and opportunity.
What really attracted me to the project was working with the Hyde Park neighborhood on the north side of St. Louis and the possibility of bringing attention to the community. Through art we were able to join their efforts to restore and develop the physical and social dimensions of their community in a manner that respects its historic, cultural, and urban character. St. Louis city means a great deal to me and anytime I can use the arts to help I’m there. We are not called “the show me state” because we sit around. It is all about hitting the streets and taking action.
In addition to curating I was able to teach my experimental drawing workshop entitled “Experiencing the Neighborhood through Drawing”. Through abstract drawing exercises the students explored issues of their neighborhood. The students created incredible drawings accompanied by powerful stories.
I believe in the potential of artists and the power of art. Being able to teach, create art and curate projects that follows this mantra it what it is all about.