Hello Cincinnati, It’s Been A While

First semester is over. It’s been grueling and heartbreaking. Little joys weaved between struggle, fear, and anxiety. Broken laptops, late nights making nonsensical travesties, losing sleep. Life of an artist, writer, foodie enthusiast. I’ll never forget one of my critics saying that 24 hours a day isn’t for someone like me. My MFA review was Wednesday– thirty minutes of hardcore tough talk from four critics familiar to my ideas. I had friends help me set up sculptures, photographs, watercolor with typewritten text, and the Nappylocks and the Three Combs installation. Foursome liked the drawings and writings, believing them to be strongest components. The large rubber duck sculpture was something enjoyable as well as a braid composed of pieced Brillo scrubbers. However, argument is that my writing is more considered, more special than any shown art. Writing is more articulate than a piece. These are criticisms to take towards both painting and lithography classes come spring. I’m already sketching ideas for my litho stones, thinking of profound ways of having writing and drawing intersect successfully.

Another positive aspect of my MFA Review is one of the coolest people at PAFA, Greg Martino, Career Services Director. Actually came to see work and hear critics. Extremely thoughtful considering it’s last days of the school year and what must have eaten thirty minutes out of a busy schedule! Few days prior, he showed me magnificent jewelry work of Samira. She also lives in Philly and attends University of the Arts (another Center City art college). I highly recommend visiting her site– Arimas Jewelry Box. So many wonderful items to purchase from reasonably priced to pieces I’ll have to sell a few paintings to get. If you sign up for her emailed newsletter, she offers $5 off first purchase and opportunities to win free jewelry every month. It’s quite special supporting small businesses, especially artist run businesses that one can understand and appreciate. Seeing as my own work is about my heartfelt longing for African Diaspora and cherishing ancestry, kindred kismet to find someone creating beautiful attainable art to be worn and displayed. I’m quite excited about wearing fashion statements bound to strengthen my own.

Speaking of packages, check out my artist/vegan pal Jolyn’s 31at31 post on winning the AfroVeganChick Pacifica Giveaway. Just adorable and sweet to read! Plus she’s included a short video of unwrapping.
Now with holidays coming fast, I needed another vacation– an extended one away from Philly. Home of course. However, I took a little pit stop on the way en route to Dayton– to its larger populated sister city Cincinnati. I have many memories here- good and bittersweet of course. Nice to reflect on old history, revisit places formerly frolicked or passed by.

I received my Bachelor of Fine Arts with an emphasis in drawing at Art Academy of Cincinnati. I hadn’t been since former drawing professor Gary Gaffney’s retirement party in summer of 2011. That mural by Kim Krause (Painting I and Drawing Seminar II teacher) wasn’t always there. Funnily enough, I ran into him (still dressed in all dark gray and rounded glasses) and said “hello.” Plus Joe Fisher (admissions director), Anissa Lewis (admissions coordinator), Kim Wheeler (the security head), Sue Hutchens (registrar), Mark Thomas (Foundations and Illustration I instructor) and Jay Zumeta (Art History I and Aesthetics professor) happened to still be around. Great to see them all.

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