Artist Statement (How has Covid affected your family and your culture?)
Covid has changed my life in so many ways. Wearing masks and social distancing is just a small portion of changes in my life. The major changes I learned were gratitude and humility. What is gratitude? The definition of gratitude is to be thankful or appreciative. In the past three years, I created a body of work pertaining to gratitude. I learned to be grateful for the good and bad memories in my life. In the rise of the Coronavirus, I slowed down and reflected on my life. I explored my childhood and adult memories and how they shaped my life. I unboxed my memories and addressed certain issues in life. In the past, I did not want to address the memories; because I was ashamed to tell people my stories. I thought people did not want to hear stories about a kid living in housing projects in Philadelphia. I shared my wild stories with my close friends and family; as a result, they encouraged me to share my stories with the world. They felt the stories were funny, unique and relatable and made the artwork stronger. As an experiment, I used social media to test my recent work. I posted new images and added stories to the descriptions. I received many comments from friends, family and strangers on social media. People were engaged with the images and description. I feared people would look at me differently; but the new artwork brought positive reactions and feedback. Covid taught me to appreciate my memories. I learned to cherish the memories and how they shaped my being.
The descriptions of the work
The Ice Cream Man
I created “The Ice Cream Man” based on my childhood experiences living in Philadelphia. I lived in the Housing Projects and we had access to a metal playground set. We had broken swing sets; but we were happy. I remembered the hot summer months playing on metal slides at the playground. The sun made the metal slides hot and stingy. I burnt myself several times sliding down slides. The highlight of the day was the ice cream man. I heard the music from truck several blocks away. Then, I ran and asked my mother for ice cream money. You had to be quick; because the ice cream truck waited for no one. I ordered my vanilla ice cream/cone with rainbow sprinkles. I sat on the front steps of my apartment building and enjoy my treat. I am blessed and grateful to have experience these moments in my life.
Water Plug Blues
”Water Plug Blues” is based upon my childhood experiences living in The Bartram Village Housing Projects in Philadelphia, PA. I played in fire hydrant during the hot summer months. It was so heated and humid, you could fry an egg on the sidewalk. We didn’t have access to local swimming pools; as a result, we turn on the fire hydrants to cool down. I remembered taking off my shoes and playing in the water. Playing in the fire hydrant help me to escape my reality for a short time. Everyone came out their apartments and played in streets including the adults. These were good times, and I cherished the memories.