My First Art Exhibit
My First Art Exhibit
(In collaboration with Keyon Lovett)
I wrote this for a 2 reasons.
1. I love giving people a view into my mind and my thought process.
2. I also love presenting people with behind the scenes insight.
How it all began
#MelaninatedNaturals was created from a plethora of things, my admiration for natural hair black women, fashion and bringing my perspective to the natural hair movement that has been going on for years now.
So I put out feelers on Facebook asking for natural black women of all shades if they were would be interested in this project. I received an overwhelming response from ladies from Grand Rapids to Kalamazoo and even Detroit. My initial plan was to do 3-4 groups from each city but time only allowed for me to do Grand Rapids.
Sessions & Shooting
The shooting process for this was fun. I got to enjoy everyones company, see my vision literally come life, plus get to plug/connect the ladies with each-other as they garnish new friendships.
Below are some BTS shots from the sessions.
Opportunity & Collaboration
The opportunity for an art exhibit all began when the Black Arts and Cultural Center based in Kalamazoo posted on their Instagram, a request for artists to showcase their work for their monthly art hop show. So I quickly responded. Keyon & I originally was supposed to be in the June show but due to complications of time and settling into a one common theme we decided on September.
Originally Keyon & I were going was going to do two separate projects, him with his Black Cemina Series and me with my #ThePeopleOfGrandRapids Series but it was suggested that we do a collaboration under the same theme. So literally one night when I was planning my next sessions for #MelaninatedNaturals and Keyon came to me and explained what GMOs was (the artificial things that are added into foods) and how the concept of "No GMOs" taking all that fake still out would symbolize authenticity. Regarding the art show it would us signifying authenticity in black culture and things that are staples of it, love, fashion, art, creativity and much more. It would be the perfect medium bringing our two series, Keyon's #BlackCinema and my #MelaninatedNaturals together. That is we turned opportunity into an art show collaboration.
Official Logo x Created by Keyon
The Selection Process was probably the hardest and most indecisive process I've had to go through. It was difficult for these reasons.
1. Not trying to people please in terms of selecting shots I think they love.
2. Warring with which size of pictures to go with.
3. Having to change some of my top 15 for the exhibit due to resolution issues & me just changing my mind.
A LOT went into making this exhibit happen and here is a list of them.
- Promotion & marketing (photo shoot to have pictures to use for adverting and flyers)
- Purchasing and passing out flyers (Thanks office max)
- Buying frames (Thanks Michaels for your deals)
- Purchasing prints (Thanks Walgreens for your promo codes)
- Doing interviews, that we're immensely thankful for and blessed with.
- Choosing prices (know yourself, know your worth, charge like it)
- Deciding on formations and placings for which the pictures would look.
The reception & response people had to the art was encouraging & beyond a blessing. I got to meet people that have done photography for years say how exceptional my work was. I got to meet people that came as a result of the radio interview with @WMUK. Plus simply conversing with folks about the work.
Check Out the Full Gallery Below
It feels weird that the exhibition is one, but the work is still up for the entire month (Address x Map Below)
. Its an experience I truly enjoyed and never imagined would happen when I first started out doing photography.
I have a few other series that I am currently brainstorming and putting together as well as some personal endeavors coming next month!
Picture Via Vonecia
Plus #MelaninatedNaturals Isn't over. That was just Vol. I