Thursday, September 5, 2019
Tuesday, September 5, 2017
Thursday, August 3, 2017
Friday, February 10, 2017
Friday, January 27, 2017
In the latest episode of Artistic Expressions, Michelle Thomas interviews FriendZ World Music, a dynamic and highly energetic musical group from Hartford. They bring deep African drumming and cultural dancing to our community. Enjoy!
Artistic Expressions is dedicated to supporting the arts through casual interviews with artists to help promote their creativity and offerings to this world. Art is life!
Remember to always support the arts and your local artists!
Please subscribe to our YouTube channel (Artpeace Studio) to catch the buzz on Artistic Expressions.
Wednesday, August 24, 2016
Sunday, July 24, 2016
Saturday, May 28, 2016
Friday, April 22, 2016
Up early thinking about the fleeting quality of life. We toil. We run around according to watches, rushing to places only to wait in line. We drive. "To-ing and fro-ing". We obsess. We worry. It's easy to miss the miracle of life.
Feeling stagnant, emotional and powerless I went for a run. I was arrested by the vision of a lone tree. So I stopped to enjoy a leafless tree amongst the backdrop of a full moon. The image inspired me to pause... to stop and feel the air on my skin.... to stop and notice life flowing through my veins. I noticed my pulse.... a vital sign of life. It became clear that 'in the moment' I have the power to change direction... to change my course. I can move slower, more deliberate with conscious intention. I can celebrate life.
Thursday, March 31, 2016
Friday, February 12, 2016
Thursday, February 11, 2016
Tuesday, January 19, 2016
I am plagued with a new mission in my art. For the past year and a half I have heightened senses concerning humanity. I personally feel the pain and injustice of victims of violence. It can be tough at times, seeing, reading and hearing about so much negativity, discrimination and abuse. It is bound to have a profound affect on my day. Hot tears stream my face regularly as I remain vulnerable to the countless accounts of known and unknown names recklessly killed. However, I believe I am somehow personally healing through the horrific deaths of so many taken too soon. Their life and death become my platform to fight against injustice. Through my art I am able to speak a language when words fail me.
There is something deep within me that cries out in outrage against oppressive means. One looking in could easily say that because I am Black or African American or simply of African decent it is obvious that I'd be sensitive to the plight of my people. I, however, know "there are layers to this thing" (Freedom) Injustice and oppression are not exclusive to the black community. As a woman artist I feel a double portion of a different kind of discrimination. Had I been Greek in 336 – 323 BC (Hellenistic Period) I'd be considered a hero.
The Black community is my focus because we need the most support and healing. In 2016 we are still recovering from generations of oppression. The affects of slavery did not just dissipate. We feel all too real the residual affects of mis-education and lack. Our communities are diseased with self-hate and hopelessness. PTSD is real! (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder)
My goal and mission is to become a beacon of light.... of hope. When we understand and accept our full story (starting in Africa, BEFORE slavery) we will see our greatness and feel the generations of love, honor and dignity transcend time and space. My art is focused on education and uplifting black consciousness to encourage living out our full potential and capacity. With love as the standard, I pray we are all encouraged to value human life.
Monday, December 21, 2015
Asthma ain't fun! Watching my son struggle for breath is excruciating. I'm painstakingly reminded how our bodies are helpless and susceptible to all sorts of physical maladies. It is the spirit that is resilient and the mind that is determined.
He tosses... turns... coughs... repeat. Fighting for a single comfortable breath. I'm sitting here taking for granted the ease at which I effortlessly inhale and exhale. My mind is free to wander off to far away places unencumbered. While he is shackled to only thoughts of breathing.
This is the time I contemplate life. Choices. Paths. Direction. ....guilt...
My relationship with my son has evolved into a dance of sorts. Back and forth debates. Mental jousting. As he develops into a young man, I feel the responsibility of helping him grow in character. Love. Patience. Kindness. Respect. Generosity. Responsibility. Ownership. Confidence. Resolve.
These lessons can come from me in an aggressive manner, as if seizing the moment requires a stern hand. Wave can feel under attack by me. I dismiss the very attributes of the character traits I'm trying to employ. Gentleness is my lack.
Looking at him helplessly struggle for air, the only thing I want to do is embrace my baby and give him the very breath in my lungs.
Over the last 8 years I have made marked changes in my approach to "handling things." I used to be quieter, non-abrasive, non-confrontational, willing to let others opinions take the floor. Life can change you. In my frustration of feeling my perspective was always ignored or belittled, I was told repeatedly.... "the sqeaky wheel gets the grease." I took that to heart, but it has taken on a life of its own, where now, I embody a clanging gong.... wordy, loud, forceful aggressive, not willing to let others over talk me....or out wit me.
My confession: as I watch my son struggle for air, I feel guilty for all the times I aggressively tried to change him. He is truly a sweet soul.... and I'm left here wondering just how damaging my aggression is to his overall well being.
The lesson here is for me. To return to my true self... to nurture, listen, love, gently guide, be open, welcome differences, be humble and allow others to just be and be ok with that. My opinion is not the only or best in the room. I can stand to learn a thing or two from someone else's struggle. It's not all about the "wisdom" I'm trying to impart all the time. True wisdom is seen over time in action. Consistency. Speaking volumes visually without words. I miss that part of me. I'm reconnecting.
I lost sight of how truly powerful transformation is through humility.
I love you my son, be well. Continue to teach me.
Saturday, October 31, 2015
Wednesday, August 26, 2015
Friday, May 29, 2015
Last night's Veterans Art Show was a huge success! The other veteran's artwork was deep and insightful. Their words were moving and brought tears to many eyes. It is an honor to be part of such a high caliber group. I look forward to many more shows with the Veterans Art Foundation.
Thank you to all my friends and family who came out to support this event or to those who sent an encouraging word. I truly appreciate the love! It motivates me to get back into the studio!!!
Thursday, May 28, 2015
TONIGHT'S THE NIGHT!!! My art opening is tonight! It's a big one! It features five of my most recent work and the other artists are all veterans! It's a great opportunity for me. I'm very excited about it. The gallery is at 100 Pearl Street, Downtown Hartford. From 4-7pm. Please come out and support my efforts in the arts. Thank you.
Sunday, May 24, 2015
OK....THIS IS THE ONE!!!
For ALL the people who frequently ask when am I showing my artwork...HERE'S THE SHOW TO GO TO!!!
Five pieces of my most thought provoking artwork to date is being featured in a Veterans Show.
The pieces submitted reflect how my Year of Silence influenced my current body of work. Such topics as social injustice, denied freedom and historical honor grace my canvas and ignite social commentary. Seeing the pieces in person is electrifying.
I was also selected as one of the veteran artists to speak about their selected artwork at the Fundraising Reception on June 10, 2015. (4:30pm-7:00pm)
The Greater Hartford Art Council in partnership with the Veterans Art Foundation are featuring veteran artists in an art exhibition from May 18 to July 17, 2015.
The GHAC is one of the most prominent arts organizations in our State. The Opening Reception is on May 28th from 5-7pm and the Fundraising Reception is on June 10 from 4:30pm-7:00pm. The June 10th fundraiser will feature 2 veteran speakers (one of which is Michelle Thomas) and veteran musicians.
We encourage you to attend both receptions as supporters of the GHAC, the Veterans Art Foundation a.d the veteran artists. GHAC would like you to meet and greet the artists featured in the exhibition.
Art Space - Corporate Building
100 Pearl Street
Exhibit runs from:
May 18 – July 17, 2015
Thursday, May 28, 2015
Wednesday, June 10, 2015
Please come out to both receptions and support my endeavors in the arts!
The current juried show at the West Hartford Art League is showcasing some beautiful artwork from the New England area.
One of my recent pieces is in the show, entitled "Blood on the Leaves" (Michelle Thomas). The subject matter of my new series of work deals with honoring the unknown or forgotten lives of African Americans lynched in this country. It stems from the united energy protesters in current times display while holding signs that say, "black lives matter".
Please go down to the gallery and check out the show and see my piece in person. It's raw and thought provoking yet the treatment of the subject matter is handled delicately.
CT+6, April 23 - May 31, 2015.
THE WEST HARTFORD ART LEAGUE | 37 BUENA VISTA RD WEST HARTFORD CT 06107 | (860) 231-8019
Thursday-Sunday: 1-4 pm
Friday, May 22, 2015
Sunday, May 17, 2015
It's so easy to feel and embrace peace in the early morning. All is quiet. Most are sleep. Less activity going on. The early morning is peaceful. Serene.
It refreshes the soul and gives life to the body. My mind is clear and ready to embark on my day.
Keeping that peace throughout the day is my goal. As of late, with two teenagers to guide, I find myself losing patience which leads to frustration. I must remember to look beyond whatever the current challenge and set my sights on the bigger picture. Give love and grace.
Friday, May 15, 2015
The Destruction of Black Civilization - Great Issues of a Race from 4500 B.C. To 2000 A.D. By Chancellor Williams
This is the newest book on the reading list and follows the enlightened reading experience of The Mis-Education of the Negro by Carter G. Woodson.
I'm only in the Preview portion of the book where Williams spells out his inquiry and methods into the research of African history, specific to the fall of Black people. Immediately you get a sense of the author. The book reads very conversational and candid. Williams is thorough and methodically captures the details of a lost history. I'm hooked within the first few pages!
I am sure this book will flesh out old theories and abolish certain lies taught in the Western world.
The hunger for knowledge will be satisfied.
Thursday, May 14, 2015
Nature is the best place to quiet ones mind and get back to our true essence. The man made world is a harsh and crude place. Man surrounds himself with all kinds of activities that feed his flesh, leaving the mind and spirit to wither.
Sometimes getting back to purity requires recognizing purity and staying in touch with things that are pure. My proximity to what taints my soul is too close. If one is not watchful and you surround your senses with the negativity man spews, he can creep in causing you to believe his lies.
If I am an ink droplet and I fall into an ink well, I become even more saturated with ink. But if I am that same ink droplet that falls into a clear pond, I do not contaminate the pond but rather the pond in its vast pure-ness over powers me and diffuses my statin until you can not recognize me from the pure. I become purified.
My spirit craves a return to its original pure creation.
Wednesday, May 13, 2015
When the body and mind are not in sync it feels torturous. I know my body could use the rest but my mind will not shut off. My mind could use the rest but my body is fidgety. Random thoughts and images of conversations never to be had. Opinions never to be voiced. Should have, could have, would haves fill space time uselessly. All the activity of an inactive person. So why allow the mind to wander to such empty places?
There seems to be no choice. Something I am plagued with since a little girl. Split personalities. I have multiple characters living in my head. They have been there long before I can remember when they emerged. But they are there. Undoubtedly there. They take over when "i" am not performing to their liking, filling my head with chatter to steer me of course, onto some superficial plane of nothingness.
Then came a break through where they seemed to merge. A necessary person entered my life and showered me the path to myself. On this journey I became intimate with the artist within. My own voice was being heard not in an auditory way but silently and even stronger than the many. My artwork became personal and raw. I reached deep into the recesses of my past, lived in the moment and foresaw the future all on the same surface. Maybe they fell silent because they were in awe. The statements on canvas were so full there was no room for another voice. Or maybe they knew to just sit and wait....
I mistakenly thought we all became one. I was right to be mislead. Since there were no longer multiple voices and personalities vying for center stage, I was fooled to believe they melded together with in me and WITH me. I only heard one voice now...my own. Finally united. One person. One voice. Freedom.
However, the truth is I was fooled. There are two of us. Me and them! They silently watched as I arrogantly thought my thoughts were my own. Man's folly is his arrogance. I became confident that I was in control. I think, debate, analyze, think some more...analyze some more. I thought my way back to inactivity. That is their in! This carnal mind/body duel is a trap. I was never in control. I am a mere prisoner of this mind and body. My true freedom is outside of myself.
I reason within myself....and herein lies the problem! Thinking too much about thinking. Action is needed! Art is needed!
I'm allowing space and time to be filled with useless chatter! They win when I am stagnant. Sensing my weakness they surface and engage in a hostile take over. They fill my mind with all my flaws, misgivings, failures and shortcomings allowing in the judgement of others. They are the masters of replaying negative tapes of lies.
My art is the key. And when I say "art", I mean all avenues of expression. (Visual art, music, writing, poetry and the like) That is where true freedom lies.
When I am active in creation there is no sound. No voice. No chatter. No one.
The most powerful place to reside is where you lose yourself. Submission to the universe is where real oneness exists.
I am writing.
Monday, May 11, 2015
This episode of Artistic Expressions is HOT! The poets of Verbal Slap turn up the heat!! Michelle Thomas delivers a comfortable interview leaving you wanting more. Please watch. Remember to support the arts and your local artists!
Friday, March 13, 2015
Be inspired as Michelle Thomas interviews TangSauce & The Optimistics. They bring an array of talent, skill and entertainment. This upcoming group offers a dynamic spark of energy with effortless synergy. Enjoy this episode of Artistic Expressions!
Remember to always support the Arts and you local artists!
Saturday, February 14, 2015
Watch as self taught photographer Aariyan Googe shares her secrets behind the camera! This light spirited deep soul gives her gift of capturing life. Enjoy looking at the world through her lens.
Remember to always support the Arts and your local artists.
Friday, January 2, 2015
Michelle Thomas interviews Chef Jay Lewis!!! A DELICIOUS episode!
Watch Artistic Expressions and learn about how Chef Jay's is a master in the culinary field and talks about his newly published cookbook: "The Gentlemen's Cookbook", where he cooks up not only tantalizing recipes but also manly advice on being a true gentleman.
Sunday, December 21, 2014
Jambo! Kwanzaa comes to Artistic Expressions! Enjoy musical performances by Brother Abu, Jedda, Sistah Nandi, Mixashawn, Maxine Martin, Richard McGhee, and Tim Mercik. Learn about the 7 principles of Kwanzaa led by the honorable elder Brother Abu. Ashe.
Friday, December 19, 2014
Sunday, December 7, 2014
In the wake of the decision NOT to indite for both Michael Brown and Eric Garner, my spirit is unsettled and crying out. The tension and dissatisfaction in the black community is like a festering abscess in need of lancing. Current images on the news are more reminiscent of 1963....not 2014. Riots, tear gas, protests, marches and public outrage are the crescendo of social unrest.
You can't keep a broken system the same and expect different results. That's INSANITY! The deep rooted issues of racism that manifest themselves in ways of unequal treatment and racial profiling can not go unchecked without the black community getting 'fed up' with the injustice. When there is no satisfactory justice, the feelings of abuse swell inside. The pressure builds and if there is no relief, we have an explosion on our hands.
THIS is what I'm feeling. Explosive!
We all have our gifts. Thank goodness for people who have the gift of leadership and community activism as well as public speaking. These are the people who lead, take action and make real change.
One of my gifts is creating art. Art is a powerful tool to help reveal truth. It can be used to influence minds to contemplate deep issues in hopes to stir the soul to action.
So yesterday I used my focused energy to respond to the plethora of emotions swirling inside of me concerning the social climate of today and created a painting entitled, "Permission to Kill Me".
The painting is a mixed media piece using acrylic paint, ink, newspaper, photocopy images, tape and charcoal. The treatment of the surface is rough and raw like my emotions. I focused on the imagery of black males with their hands raised. This sends a different message depending on the context.
In the painting there is a drawing of Eric Garner being choked with his last words before he died, "I can't breathe" on his chest. His raised hands signifies being subdued.
Throughout the news there were many protesters and celebrities raising their hands as a symbol of peaceful protest. The center figure in the piece is a black man raising his hands during a peaceful demonstration. He has the words, "PEACEFUL PROTEST?" near him. The question mark is there because in the news where people were standing with their hands raised, tear gas was being thrown at them.
Above his head is the preliminary autopsy report on Michael Brown that says, "Bullets entering the inside of Michael Brown's right arm and Brown's right palm suggest Brown had his arms in the 'surrender' position when Officer Darren Wilson killed him." So although he was in the surrender position, he was shot anyway. This is where the title of my piece comes from, "Permission to Kill Me", because apparently it doesn't matter if you 'surrender', you'll get killed anyway. So I included the silhouetted black male with his hands raised and the written question, "Surrender?" between his hands. Is this position of surrender a signal to the aggressor to 'stand down' or a green light to kill?
Art is a weapon! So I'm fighting back!
Sunday, November 23, 2014
As I sit in the solitude and peace of my studio, hot tears stream down my cheeks as my heart explodes inside of me. When things change, and they inevitably do, submission to the universal forces of goodness and truth must prevail. Trying to cling to the past will only pass through your fingers like sand in an hourglass. I submit to the will of goodness even when it hurts. Even when it rips through me like the massive claws of a tiger slicing through the abdomen of an antelope, leaving me completely vulnerable and exposed.
Submitting to the will of goodness does not mean I am infallible. On the contrary, I tend to put up an aggressive and futile fight against the truth I do not wish to face. My humanness shines through like a beacon. And I have the potential to invent ways to hold on to my reality when matched up against truth. My humility and submission to goodness and truth allows healing, so its a wonder why I'd ever think to fight against it. Its a paradox that seems foolish to fight...and it IS foolish to fight truth. My pride NEVER wins. Knowing that my human pride is an ill match for truth becomes my saving grace. I am able to submit. Even when it takes every fiber of my being, losing my pride, and using my intellect to submit. I submit.
One thing is clear, I will side with good at ALL costs. It sometimes feels as though it kills me to do so. But the reality is, it is NOT killing me, it is making me stronger. Even if I'd rather rebel against the thought of submission because of misguided selfish pride, it is wiser to choose truth. When I am brutally honest with myself, I know I'd rather throw a tantrum, kicking, screaming and throwing my body about before giving in to to obvious truth before me. Truth cuts like a two edged sword. A scripture I remind myself of to stay grounded in truth:
23 "Everything is permissible"--but not everything is beneficial. "Everything is permissible"--but not everything is constructive. 24 Nobody should seek his own good, but the good of others. 1Cor 10:23-24Every man faces his true character alone. I alone am responsible for the good I do or don't do! I no longer say I am lonely...I know better than that! Manifested creation lives inside me. However, I FEEL---deeply and I sometimes think I am alone in how I deeply I feel about things. I can't hide it. It shows in my walk, in my talk, in my furrowed brow, or distended forehead vein whenever I am stressed beyond my borders. I am wrestling angels right now!
There are specific times in my personal spiritual walk where I actually question, "Why was I made this way?" Should I live this life being so sensitive to humanities ills and hardships? Especially when I am surrounded by people who have the ability to suppress, hide, ignore or dismiss emotional appeals as easy as donning and doffing their clothing. So many times I feel like a fish out of water, suffocating as I gasp for sustenance. I MUST REMEMBER---
I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. Psalm 139:14The focus must shift from self to others in order to be effective for goodness and truth.
There is so much loss in this world. All types of loss, from death of a loved one to the break up of a loving relationship. Any type of withdraw creates a ripple in the universe felt by the "sensitives" moving about this earth. Even the deaf, dumb and blind one can feel the powerful energy of human suffering transcending all physical laws of time and space. We only need to tune into its frequency. Adjust our perspective to include the external pulsating energy of another human being, whether next to you or half way across the globe. Pain is a chosen condition of the mind. I am grateful for my painful experiences. They keep me relate-able to other people who hurt deeply. We can respond to the sufferings of this world first with compassion. Compassion leads the heart to action.
Saturday, November 22, 2014
Enjoy episode 8 of Artistic Expressions where Michelle Thomas interviews Tee Tee Soul a talented local musician. Watch and listen as Tee Tee Soul shares a riveting musical selection.
Artistic Expressions is dedicated to bringing awareness to the vast talent throughout Hartford, CT and its neighboring towns. We are in the beginning stages of producing videos that highlight local artist.
Remember to always support the Arts and your local artists!
Sunday, November 9, 2014
Wednesday, November 5, 2014
Enjoy episode 7 of Artistic Expressions where Michelle Thomas interviews L. Mixashawn Rozie. He is a jazz musician known as the "Wave Artist" and educator. Mixashawn delights us with his musical prowess on the flute.
Artistic Expressions is dedicated to bringing awareness to the vast talent throughout Hartford, CT and its neighboring towns. We are in the beginning stages of producing videos that highlight local artist. If you know an artist who would be a great candidate for an interview on Artistic Expressions please contact us at 860-655-6685. Leave a message for Michelle Thomas. Thank you
Please subscribe to our YouTube channel so you can receive the latest episodes of Artistic Expressions
Monday, October 27, 2014
I love you baby girl....
On the anniversary of the passing of my daughter, I'm posting a poem I wrote 16 years ago soon after my baby girl breathed her last. Those were the best 5 weeks a mother could know!
It was hers.
Sunday, October 26, 2014
at Montclair Public Library November 2 – 28
The works by fiber artist Rachel Kanter portray the theme “reflection” as the revisiting of Jewish ritual objects through the lenses of tradition, domestic roles and modern ideas. Kanter uses embroidery, aprons, kitchen towels, and other household objects as the substrate for her artistic and personal reflection.
Lisa Sanders received her MFA from the New York Studio School in 2011. Her work has been exhibited twice at the John Davis Gallery, Hudson, NY; outdoors in Art in Nature at Greenwood Gardens in Short Hills, NJ; at Gallery 202, DUMBO, NY; Reverol & Co., New Rochelle, NY; Governors Island Art Fair, New York, NY; the Box Gallery, Galesburg, IL; and the Arts Guild of New Jersey, Rahway. She has received awards from the New Jersey State Council on the Arts (2014 Artists Fellowship), the New York Studio School (sculptor in residence), and the Vermont Studio Center (fellowship residency). Lisa lives and works in Newark, NJ. Lisa is on the SMI board and serves as Exhibitions Coordinator.
Saturday, October 18, 2014
For What? I'm glad you asked...
For stimulating and provoking minds,
For being passionate about the process of creation,
and have that excitement spill over.
For being passionate about the plight of our people
and have a mission to act.
For being passionate about kindness and equality
and have it take the form of grace.
My personal gratitude bubbles over
because of statements you made
to half prying ears - at the bar.
You gave me nuggets of knowledge
to chew on.
I've been digesting the concept of the lesser mystery
and the greater one ever since.
What is our legacy?
Why are we here?
gracefully opened a door
I've been trying to pry open.
Figuring out the inner workings of a person
is always the goal.
Leaving behind the superficial.
Its invigorating tangling with a soul
who can show their true self FIRST.
This is an artistic and human gesture,
to say I appreciate you.
I believe in you.