These are the Times To Move On...
Wow... All I can say is wow. It's been only 5 days since I've had my curatorial debut – a collaboration with my close friend and business partner Venusian (Vanessa Edwards) – and I'm still on a high from all of the work that we were able to accomplish in just a short 6 weeks.
From the time Vanessa tapped me in to be her co-curator for her solo art debut, to the weekends filled with photoshoots, art pricing, and food/drink preparation.... all the way up until April 15, 2017, I knew this was going to be a successful event. It didn't go without trials – the out-of-pocket expenses, the silly arguments and disagreements, the last minute zine draft send-off – but my partner and I kept a mostly level-headed headspace and killed ALL that shit. We were fueled by our own passions, our personal obstacles and were able to create something real that resonated with so many people on a variety of levels. I would do it all over again. AND WE ARE!
In the middle of planning, we decided to work with YWCA Brooklyn, the chapter of an organization that focuses on ending racism and creating equal opportunities for women of color. Vanessa and I met with the AMAZING team there, where we learned about what made the Brooklyn chapter so different from the other nationwide posts, how our vision and their mission coexisted, and how we can continue to build a relationship with them to raise awareness and involve their girls in a creative and uplifting way. Be on the lookout for some great future projects and collaborations with YWCA BK and your girl, with my amazing "mom squad."
Fast forward to a heated disagreement with my road dog two days before the show, which hurt our spirits but didn't allow us to lose sight of what was coming up... something so big and something that was BIGGER THAN US. We made it! Saturday, April 15th, 2017, came around and we put on our happy faces at Con Artist Gallery in the Lower East Side. From there, our tension melted and our love elevated as we were surrounded by close friends, family, colleagues, fellow artists, and random passerbys who were literally pulled in by our hypnotizing display and upbeat, soulful music (it helped that we had unlimited & FREE AF booze and mother's delights of meatballs, fruits, charcuteries, desserts and more).
I couldn't help but be ecstatic over the event that we just pulled off, the amount of exposure Venusian received from her compelling portraiture and landscape work, and all of the love I received from people who either read through passages in my zine or who were just in awe over the photos of some beautiful women that I have the pleasure of calling my great friends. I'm not going to give too much away about what was in the zine, but you can get into a lot deeper and grab a copy here. All I'll say is... if you've been in a relationship or are currently in one and you've felt manipulated, used, abused and came out of that situation feeling imperfect, or damaged... This is a read that's worth your while.
For now, my girls and I are taking a quick hiatus but it doesn't mean the wheels for our future projects are turning nice and fast. Stay tuned for what we have coming for ya asses next, and stay up.
Amber Elise Jones, @reggaedude_fan