For the third year in a row, I have made a piece of art for the annual “100%” fund-raising silent auction benefiting the educational programs of Austin’s George Washington Carver Museum. Each year the museum asks 100 citizens to make 12″ x 12″ paintings (canvas, paint, and brushes provided by the local Jerry’s Artarama) to be auctioned by the museum. The first year I followed the rules and made a painting, but last year I broke free and made my painting of tile, glass, and cement. I followed that plan again this year.
Since George Washington Carver was a famous and influential African-American man, and the museum itself is an integral part of the African-American community in Austin, I like to think of a related theme. Last year I chose jazz as my theme and I created “Jazz Dancing”. Not being even remotely African-American- I’m more along the lines of English- and French-American myself- I am stretching to second-guess someone else’s sub-culture. I tried to think of obvious elements that are important in the larger African-American neighborhoods I know. This year I decided to emphasize connections because there are so many; family, neighbors, church, neighborhood groups. Just being African-American among so many Anglo, Hispanic, and Asian faces creates its own bond between two strangers.
I made this piece in my rule-bending style of juxtaposing common with special, messy with precise, intense with muted. I wanted to represent all possibilities for match-ups between people and organizations contributing to African-American life in Austin, Texas.
Here is the link to the city-sponsored George Washington Carver Museum:
The art exhibit opens with a reception the evening of Thursday, April 22, 2010 from 6:30-8, and the exhibit is up until Sunday, May 30, which is the end of the silent auction. I will be at the opening to explain my art to anyone who will listen.