The impact I have on the community as a visual artist is expanding. My communal attitude and invested interest in the success of my community keeps me open to opportunities to engage the public and support both small and large organizations.
Some of the projects I have invested in:
I participated in a revitalization program that was organized by Main Street Pontiac and co-sponsored by the DIA to select 25 artworks to be reproduced at large scale and displayed on the sides of various buildings downtown, in an effort to get the public interested in visiting the local businesses. It was an art competition called Canvas Pontiac 2018, and to my surprise, I won 1st place for my imaginary landscape “Trail Dreams”.
I volunteered and performed a live painting demo during the Art on Wheels celebration in downtown Pontiac this past summer, sharing my creative process for two days with the public while painting an imaginary landscape from start to finish.
In Royal Oak, I gave drawing workshops to a Girl Scout troop, and volunteered as the arts instructor at the Oakland County Boys & Girls Club. I painted a mural for a school play at Northwood Elementary. And, painted a mural at Mon Ami Daycare and Preschool to brighten a common area.
I have donated multiple paintings to various fundraisers to support organizations that help others with financial or health concerns like Artworks for Life, or the Community Affairs program of my local PTA.
To help people cope with the grief of losing a loved one, I often paint portraits to serve as a momento as well as to pay my respects.
I participated in the DIA’s Ofrenda Altar Exhibition with a collaborative piece titled, “Ofrenda to Robin Williams”. Even though neither of us were Latino, we both connected to the history and spirit behind this cultural practice.
I display my art in alternative spaces in order to connect with broader communities. By displaying my work in editorial post houses in Southfield and Farmington Hills, I have connected with the local advertising community.
When the recession led to the closure of the District Arts Gallery in Birmingham, I wasn’t happy about seeing another exhibition space disappear. So, I contacted the new tenant, a State Farm Insurance Agency, and held an exhibition titled, “Ghost Gallery”.
Being an artist is more interesting once you realize it’s about a lot more than art.