For artists’ whose vocation is the creation of works of art as well as persons who use artmaking as a vehicle for self expression, keeping a practice going can be a daunting task. There are times when the solitude of the darkroom is a balm for the pressures that come from living in the world. Other times, I need the collaboration and collective work of fellow artists in order to continue creating myself.
I have experienced working together with other artists as I have been a member of artists’ collectives. I participated and served as Co-Chair of the Latin American Artists’ Circle in Atlanta. It was a wonderful opportunity for friendship and fellowship, learning about how others use art materials and presenting exhibitions together.
As a participating member and later as Executive Director of Sistagraphy, the Collective of African American Women Photographers I also found friendship and community. Because one of Sistagraphy’s objectives is bringing art to the community, I was involved in art education and experiential projects for children and adolescents in addition to presenting and exhibiting work locally and in other states.
Some of the most impacting experiences I have had have been in collaboration with fellow artists from other countries. I have collaborated in exhibiting with my friend, Marco Razo, a painter from Mexico City, and with Hector Montes de Oca from Xalapa, Veracruz, Mexico. I collaborated in a project with Cuban photographer Diamela Fernandez as we each made photographs of Havana. Afterward, Diamela exhibited her work in a Sistagraphy project in Atlanta.
Recently, I have been working with my filmmaker friend and collaborator Tony Romero who is based in Spain. Tony is making a documentary about the tragic situation in Africa in which women are contracting HIV as contaminated needles are used to sew straight fake hair into the scalp to create “weaves.” In my interview I discuss hair as symbol from a Jungian-Depth Psychology perspective.
I have included an image [above] of an invitation to a show that Marco and I did together, and a video [below] to the trailer for Tony’s film. How great it is to have friends who are fellow artists!