Sunday, June 10, 2018

Works From Love My Neighbor Public Art Progect On Vew At Natural History Museum of LA County

My three works from  
LOVE MY NEIGHBOR Public Art Project  
are in the  
California Art Club 
The Natural History Museum
of Los Angeles County 

June 10 - July 1, 2018

"El Rey Trabajador. Love My Neighbor public at project, The City of Carson"
72" x 48" oil on canvas
Executed with grants from The City of Carson, Wells Fargo Bank and Rand Resources LLC.

The focus of my ongoing public art project "Love My Neighbor" in the City of Carson for the last two years is the notorious, chronically underserved "Scottsdale" neighborhood.  Following my concept that special neighbors exist in every condition, I was fortunate to find a remarkable and inspiring character in Cirilo Campos, a beloved 75 year old "Scottsdale" gardener.
Cirilo's noble values, the dignity and pride of his hard work stand in stark contrast to a morally bankrupt "greed is good" creed that is shoved at us from every corner and which has torn the very fabric of our society.

"Mrs. O'Neal. Love My Neighbor public at project, The City of Carson"
29" X 22" Sepia on Paper
Executed with the grants from The City of Carson and Rand Resources LLC.

There is a lot of adversity to overcome in today's world. For me, the answer to many difficult questions that we are presented with daily is in the simple principle "Love My Neighbor". Loving one's neighbor is the foundational building block in the moral fiber of our society. I make my case with my ongoing "My Neighbors Series", a collection of portrayals of the people around me in our City of Carson one of the statistically most diverse in the nation.
As one of Carson's founders, Mary Anne O'Neal, is a true icon of the Carson community.  A great-granddaughter of slaves who grew up on a farm in Arkansas, this 91-year-young woman leads her life by example. In a world of "it's all about me," she believes in today's "unfashionable" notions such as serving others before oneself and helping a neighbor in need.
"Mr. Lipsey. Love My Neighbor public at project, The City of Carson"
29" X 22" Sepia on Paper
Executed with the grants from The City of Carson, Bank of America and Rand Resources LLC.
Mr. Lipsey is one of the longest continuous residents of "Scottsdale" Carson.  Some old timers call him "The Seed and The Root".  He is a big man of not many words. 

Mr. Lipsey is from Mississippi.  He is 77.  When he was just 6 years old his Dad went to get food for him on a pouring rain, got drenched and died of double pneumonia.  As Mr. Lipsey puts it in 1947 Mississippi "antibiotics were too good for blacks".  I asked him if he remembers segregation.  He sure does.  The bathrooms at bus stops.  The movie theaters.  When him and his friends went to the movies, they'd sit in their section on a balcony.  Some white kids would go in a section above them and urinate on them.  And spit.  And throw trash.  He remembers Emmett Till's body pulled out of Tallahatchie River.
Remarkable in his observations, he told me at the middle of last session as I begun to develop the drawing: "It's the first time I am seeing real me".

For the first time in its 50 year history The City of Carson was acknowledged at the national level cultural institution.

Friday, June 1, 2018

Launching Love My Neighbor® Day "Scottdsale" With Bank of America and Victory Outreach

Enormously excited about the new great initiative and collaboration that we launched centered on my public art project in Carson’s tough “Scottsdale” neighborhood.  We started the Love My Neighbor Day as celebration of community in a unique personal collaboration with Bank of America.  

Our Scottsdale’s Love My Neighbor Day in collaboration with Victory Outreach, our Artward! Initiative and Bank of America’s Better Money Habits went better than all our expectations. 

Knowing full well how difficult it is to get any attention in Scottsdale and how even more difficult to turn it into a participation - makes what we did even more meaningful.

We had 20 to 25 kids participating in the art program.  Huge number for Scottsdale.  That included some tough and trouble kids.  It was difficult but we did it as even the hardest to get attention kids ended up getting engaged in art making.

While kids were doing art the group their parents had a unique chance to participated in the Better Money Habits with Bank of America specialists.  This group of residents took advantage of a unique opportunity to get an in-depth personal financial advise from some of BoA’s top regional and local execs.  5 executives worked with residents individually.

Huge kudos go to Victory Outreach for their work on the ground to build trust and communication with residents and kids and manage attendance while Artward and BoA provided unique additional programs.  Just as we believed, this proved to be a powerful and effective collaboration worth every bit of long hard work that went into it.

The most amazing part of BoA collaboration is that their participants are companies’ veterans of outreach, passionate about the local community and diversity, some having a multi-decade Carson experience.  They knew full well what Scottsdale is. 

This unique program left deep impression in “Scottsdale” and making serious impact.  The influence of local Piru gang on kids and residents has now a unique alternative.

Scottsdale knows it’s a new age there and that it turns the corner.

Thank you, BoA for showing what it is to engage in real community. 

Together we create impact.  It works.  Art is Power.