Doors: An End To Hate!

I had the privilege and pleasure of visiting the Fayetteville Underground Art Gallery last month. Featured artist V.L. Cox’s collection of work “A MURDER OF CROWS: The End Hate collection” commemorated Art and Social Justice for the Month of April. I was left speechless, in fact, taken by her work; how it personally grabbed my attention and emotion. It shows so much of our past, but also the present and future.

The doors. Man, the painted doors with these words (White Only, Colored Only, LGBT Only, Immigrant Only, Homeless Only, Veteran Only, Women Only, and the last door with chains on it Human Beings).

When I saw them, I instantly wanted to utilize my skills and art to create art with hers. I wanted to do an epic photoshoot to further the message of ‘labels’ in our society.

According to dictionary.com, Label is defined as “a slip of paper, cloth, or other material, marked or inscribed, for attachment to something to indicate its manufacturer, nature, ownership, destination, etc.”

So why, as a society, do we place labels on people? How can we begin to label a person when labels cannot even fathom the depth of a human being? Can you believe in 2017 we still fighting oppression, racism, sexism, etc.?

And with this perceived notion of labels, it leads people to have prejudice against us. The notions take away from who we really are and our personality. In a lot of ways, we are alike, but different. We are alike because we are all human beings and should be treated as such. We are different because that’s what makes us great!

I asked a couple models for this shoot how they felt after seeing the exhibit, standing in front of the doors. Here are a few responses:

Going into the shoot, I was excited to be ‘representing’ women. But when we started to take the photos, I became somewhat uncomfortable... Even though it was just an art installation, I actually felt like I wasn’t allowed to step in front of the doors with categories I didn’t fit in. Which is crazy! It’s just words painted on a door!! I feel like it goes to show that when you classify someone by something as general as their gender, skin color, sexual orientation, or where they came, it has a lot of power to influence. But at the end of the day, you’re causing a social divide that really has no basis to be there.
— Carly Reaves
Seeing the exhibit was difficult, shocking, and inspiring all in the same experience. As a white kid born in 1994, I can very easily say I have not been exposed to the atrocities that took place in the days of the civil rights movement. This being the case, it is all too easy to not feel impacted by the history at any point in my life.
— Cody Collins

Not to make this blog an exhausting read, let me move into the photos that I hope is an eye opener to the blind, a breath of fresh air to the oppressed, and break barriers in the hearts and souls of everyone. Please share!

Thank you Fayetteville Underground Art Gallery, especially to Joëlle Strt, for allowing this photoshoot to happen. Also, thank you to the models who took time out to help bring this photoshoot to life and special thank you V. L. Cox for creating this powerful message.

To learn more about V.L. Cox and her art work please visit her website at http://www.greatfineart.com/

Let your FayetteFLOW!

A journey it was indeed, arts of all kinds-from hoop dance, juggling, to acro-yoga; not to mention the underground vibesgroovey beats by multiple DJs #LIT!!! Last Sunday (April 24th), as a family, we decided to go check out the FayetteFlow event at Gulley Park. Here's the experience:

Hoop dancing & juggling lessons

Yoga

My wife, daughter & I stared as individuals learned the ways of yoga. This free event was put on by Sacred Somatics & Funkee Beats to help grow and unite an already amazing community of beautiful artists in the NWA area. The event went on into the night past 10pm. Something magical happened toward the end. When night fell, it provided the most potential for GREATNESS! "Why?" you ask. Two words. Long..................exposure. Over the years, long exposure has become more and more popular amongst the photography realm. If you haven't tried it, I recommend you do. Like, immediately! Below, I share a few images with you from that night. All I used to create these wonderful pieces of art was my Nikon camera and my tripod. Having a shutter release helps, but I only used a 2-second timer so I wouldn't get any camera shake. After, I let the natural moves of the artists take over with their lights and fire. I just captured the moments. Enjoy!

Oh, and then Sherri, my wife, decided she wanted to sit in a creek along the trails.......soooo I snapped a photo of that as well. Ha!