Authenticity: Homage to Peju Exhibition

One of the reasons I created Cultured Mosaic is to give black artists of every discipline a space where they are celebrated. From illustrators to graphic designers to textile designers to ballet dancers to music engineers to set designers and everybody in between, I want this to be the home for all things black visual and performing arts. With that, I am happy to share this exhibition with you.

Authenticity- Homage to Olapeju
Flo Awolaja is an artist of Nigerian descent who specializes in printmaking and textile design, among many other things. After receiving a tweet, I asked her to e-mail me so I could feature her work on the blog. Her newest exhibition, Authenticity: Homage to Peju features fabrics from Ghana and Nigeria, creating “abstract compositions harking back to West African traditions of using textiles as a means of commemoration and communication.”

If you live in London, go not now but RIGHT NOW to check out Flo’s exhibit at Boulangerie Bon Matin, (Patisserie) [178 Tollington Park Road, Finsbury Park, London N4 3AJ]!

Artist Spotlight: Stephen Wiltshire

One of my favorite causes to raise awareness about is autism and this month is Autism Awareness Month. I happen to be a sibling of a person who has autism and I try my best to share how people can help support families who live with the disability. You’ll be surprised how far empathy and acceptance will go.

In honor of Autism Awareness Month, I’m featuring an incredible artist who has autism. Born in London, Stephen Wiltshire is an architectural artist that is able to draw major city skylines from memory after taking a helicopter ride of the city. Amazing right?! Stephen was diagnosed with autism at the age of 3 and went to London’s Queensmill School, where he expressed interest in drawing.

Photo Courtesy: Stephen WIltshire

Photo Courtesy: Stephen WIltshire

His early drawings reflected his interests in animals and cars, to this day he is a collector of American cars. He became fascinated with London landmark and by the time he turned 8, he received his first commission to create a drawing of Salisbury Cathedral from the British Prime Minister.

Stephen_Wiltshire_London_Panorama_drawing

Photo Courtesy: Stephen Wiltshire

Since then, he has drawn skylines of London, Rome, Hong Kong, Frankfurt, Madrid, Dubai and Jerusalem to name a few! In 2005, he created his largest panorama drawing of his career by drawing the Tokyo skyline on canvas. Citing New York City as his spiritual home, he has drawn it twice, once in 2009 and then in 2011 for UBS’ global advertising campaign.

Stephen and his work have been the subject of many documentaries and has published 4 books. In 2006, Queen Elizabeth II named Stephen a Member of the Order of the British Empire for his contributions to art. Later that year, he opened a permanent gallery in the Royal Opera Arcade. If you live in Houston, Stephen will be in your city later this month for Elevate Houston to draw the Bayou City live. Remember that support I mentioned earlier, this would be a great opportunity.

It’s no doubt that Stephen’s artistry is one of a kind and I’m glad to share his #blackmanbrilliance with you. To see more of his artwork, visit his website.

Audible Pleasures Mixtape Vol. 002

I’m finally back with a new post! I know I know, long time no see. Being consistent with 9-5 is difficult but I’m making it work.

In January, I introduced the Audible Pleasure Mixtape and even though I said it would be a monthly feature, I wasn’t completely sure if it’s something that you the readers would like. Well y’all were really feeling it so we’re continuing it for March. I even created a Spotify account to house the playlists.

I’ll have to admit that this month I’ve really been listening to four songs on repeat. It’s weird I go song binges where I only listen to one or few songs on repeat for weeks at a time. So when you look at the list, don’t be confused.

Audible Pleasure Mixtape_002

Because I wanted to keep an archive of all the playlist, I created a Cultured Mosaic Spotify account. You can listen to January Mixtape there as well. You know who I do it for.

#BHMonCM: Paint With All The Colors

Continuing with the song lyrics as titles, I guess you can assume what today feature will be. I always admire people’s ability to express themselves through visual art mediums such as watercolor painting, sculpture or acrylic painting. Even combining mediums to create a masterpiece. Today we’ll be looking at 5 painters that create visual treasures by the stroke of their hand.

Black Painters, black history month
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#BHMonCM: Dance Boogie Wonderland

I’ll have to admit Boogie Wonderland is one of my favorite Earth, Wind and Fire songs. Also one of the soul best collabs of all time. I mean, you can’t help but dance when you hear it. (See: video) Speaking of dance, it’s only fitting that we kick off the #BHMonCM series with dance. For new readers, I’m a former dancer, technically trained. Yes, like ballet and shit. Word to Drake. Let’s get into this list.

Misty Copeland

Misty Copeland

I’ll be remiss if I didn’t include one of my favorite dancers in this list. I became a fan of Misty Copeland while I was dancing because she was one of the only black dancers in the Discount Dance Supply catalog. Every month I would look in there to see what leotard she was wearing and ask my mom to purchase it. Fast forward years later, she made history last year by becoming American Ballet Theatre’s first black woman principal dancer. It seemed like an overnight success to some but not realizing that she has been pursuing this dream for a number of years. With endorsements from Under Armour and most recently Seiko, Misty has changed the face of ballet and inspiring the next generation of ballet dancers. Continue reading

BHM on CM

Happy February! Happy Black History Month! As we all know Black History is American History and even further, it’s world history. Tomorrow I will be kicking off our Black History Month series, #BMHonCM. In weekly posts, I will share black leaders in arts. From painters to dancers to thespians, I’ll cover both young and old artists you need to know about. Journey with me as we explore black artistry.
black history month

#ReelList: Top 7 Movies I’m Looking To See in 2016

In honor of Sundance Festival, I decided to put together the movies I’m excited to see this year. Both on the small and big screen. I’m really excited with the range of movies coming out – Biopics, comedies, documentaries, dramas. I’m here for it all. Let’s get into this list.

  • All Eyez on Me // Scheduled Release Date: November 2016 – If you are a hip hop head, you already know who this movie is about. They have been talking about a Tupac movie for a VERY LONG time so I’m that it finally got the green light! Benny Boom is the director which is interesting because he has most notably directed music videos. The movie was originally supposed to be directed by Anthony Fuqua and I honestly would’ve loved his directorial execution. Also, this is the first leading role for Demetrius Shipp, Jr., the guy that is cast as Tupac. 
    tupac, all eyez on me

    Photo Credit: Twitter

  • Michael Jackson’s Journey from Motown to Off the Wall // Airing Date: February 5, 2016 – This documentary explores the period the legend Michael Jackson went from the Jackson 5 to releasing one of the greatest albums ever made, Off the Wall. One of the producers of this project is Spike Lee so I have hope that he will do it justice. It airs February 5, 2016 at 9 pm on Showtime. 

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Audible Pleasures Mixtape Vol. 001

One of my favorite features on the blog is Audible Pleasures. If you are new to the blog, Audible Pleasures is just what it sounds. Music, podcasts or anything else that sounds pleasing to the ear. For the first time on the blog, I’m introducing the Audible Pleasures Mixtape.  A monthly compilation of songs that I’m loving. This month is a nice mix of oldies and newbies. I’d like to say something for everybody. What do you think?

APMixtape_001

Art in Black

What happens when you gather artists together to display what black means to them using their medium? A MASTERPIECE. (pun all the way intended.)

Black: Color, Material, Concept, one of the current exhibits at the Studio Museum, showcases work from modern and contemporary artists as they explore BLACK through their personal lens. Work from artists Sam Gilliam, Nari Ward, Glenn Ligon, Kara Walker, Noah Davis should be the one reason to catch this exhibit before it ends.

Davis Black Wall Street

Noah Davis, Black Wall Street, 2008 Courtesy: Studio Museum

But I give two more reasons why I’m stanning for this exhibit:

A) black is beautiful. Black artists creating pieces using black as their inspiration. It doesn’t get better than that.
B) Thelma Golden is the Chief Curator of the Studio Museum which means she’s responsible for championing and bringing amazing work to Harlem. Epitome of #blackgirlmagic.

The exhibit runs through March 6. Meaning you have less than two months to see. If you do go, tag us #CulturedMosaic. I would love to see pictures!