Wednesday, July 1, 2015

The BLM Project

At Harcum College's Trout Library delivering my bear called "BLM."
Harcum College is celebrating 100 Years. To commemorate their bicentennial milestone, back in March, they asked artists to respond to the call on Philaculture's Job Bank. The theme was "Bears and Squares" for an upcoming gala to show and auction off the white bear plaster molds and white square canvases. I was more than overjoyed at being selected, choosing to work on the white plaster cast bear- a most worthy challenge. For weeks it sat in my school studio untouched. Critics and I would stare at it, mention its peculiarity, and move on to other random works.
Soon, some volcanic eruption shot right through me and birthed out BLM. Maybe it was the braids in combination with the horrors of the country inciting fervent inspiration. I wanted to create something rich and bold, something that spoke to history as a black life mattering in this society. There is so much fuel to add to the fire, so much terror and fear each day breathing air. As an artist, I needed to illustrate the time, the now in a metaphoric poetry that translates through my personal writings.
The once all white bear has been painted a vibrant copper and brown, with brown eyes, and a defiant aura about her. She is rooted in past and future. Body is of the Egyptian Sphinx- a mystical creature evoking both lion and human qualities. I gifted braids from my own hair, attaching to her head, covering her "bear" ears, and made her "listen" to Black Ivory forever.
I am quite proud of this project and very excited about what is next to come on this artistic adventure.....

BLM on the train cloaked in my Harry Potter Marauder's Map backpack.
My "twin" looks so comfortable. Thankfully no one sat next to us on the train to Bryn Mawr. She sat with red, yellow, and green headphones, listening to Ivory Black.
The back of her features the Ivory Black paint tube acting as a walkman, an iPod. Pan African ribbon adorns the "music."
With a drawn black outlined bear in the center.
Unfortunately the globs of black and brown paint did not survive. See the many languages of Ivory Black-- German, Spanish, French....
Back part of BLM's head. I coated her synthetic hair braids in Argan Oil. Hopefully they stay shiny forever.
Another back look.
Check out BLM's Spinx inspired body. It is Golden's pretty line of rich copper metallics and Gold Painter Marker as well as the Sharpie to spell out "BLM" in patterned mantra.
Spinx body closeup.
BLM's face. Brown eyes. Large pink lips. Lots of iridescent medium. She wears Pan Africa colored ear buds and a bright green flower in her braids. 
Purple braided choker does not have any Argan Oil, but looks quite sheen worthy regardless. Purple means royalty and uniqueness. BLM is all those qualities.
I love the build up of medium on her nose, her snout like a pig more than a grrr bear. Layered, thickening of creamy white sparkle is so fascinating to look at. 
BLM is quite happy. I cannot wait to attend the September gala and see who takes her home.

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