Connect with us

Art

Waverly’s Wonder Kid

THE AFRO — What were you doing when you were 10 years old? Most of us were probably playing double-dutch, hide and seek, or climbing trees. If you’re Zoe Lashley, then you’re creating beautiful pieces of handcrafted artwork for restaurants and CEOs. At just four years old, Zoe’s mother would take her to the Baltimore Museum of Art every Sunday afternoon to play in paint at Family Fun Day. Shortly after that, a neighbor who happens to be a professional artist and advocate for the arts, Phyllis Brent, informed Zoe’s mother about an up and coming art program. She explained that the program is dedicated to helping kids discover their inner artist, called 901 Arts program.

Avatar

Published

on

Zoe holding her first repousse piece created in MICA’s after school arts program, that she sold to Fogo de Chao manager. (Photo by: Latease Lashley)

By Jessica Dortch

What were you doing when you were 10 years old? Most of us were probably playing double-dutch, hide and seek, or climbing trees. If you’re Zoe Lashley, then you’re creating beautiful pieces of handcrafted artwork for restaurants and CEOs.

At just four years old, Zoe’s mother would take her to the Baltimore Museum of Art every Sunday afternoon to play in paint at Family Fun Day. Shortly after that, a neighbor who happens to be a professional artist and advocate for the arts, Phyllis Brent, informed Zoe’s mother about an up and coming art program. She explained that the program is dedicated to helping kids discover their inner artist, called 901 Arts program.

901 Arts is a community-based youth arts center that provides a safe space for children of the Better Waverly neighborhood to explore their creative, artistic and leadership abilities. Zoe began to fine tune her craft, and ultimately, was awarded a scholarship to attend a summer program at MICA Institute in Baltimore. “I used to do art, and I wasn’t sure about it until I went to MICA, I was sure that it was my passion,” Zoe tells the AFRO.

Zoe’s art teacher for the summer was none other than renowned artist Mary Mark Munday. “Ms. MMM,” as the kids call her, introduced Zoe to a style that would soon become one of her trademarks. Repousse (/rəˌpo͞oˈsā/) is a metalworking technique of hammering a soft metal into a pattern or design.

As an artist by nature, Zoe was able to grasp the concept of repousse and excel at it. In fact, Zoe was invited back to MICA’s art program for the fall season where she experimented with glass, carving, and, of course, repousse.

One of the pieces Zoe created caught the eye of the manager at one of Zoe’s favorite restaurants, Fogo de Chao. Putting on her businesswoman hat, Zoe negotiated a price for the piece, and it can now be seen hanging in his office.

The story doesn’t end there. The CEO of Fogo de Chao personally reached out to Zoe and invited her and her family to their headquarters in Texas for sight-seeing, dinner with the entire Fogo de Chao family, and more of Zoe’s art. Zoe and her mom headed home after gifting a stained glass piece to the company’s CEO and his wife.

A piece of Zoe’s current repousse work. (Photo by: Latease Lashley)

A piece of Zoe’s current repousse work. (Photo by: Latease Lashley)

It seems as if the sky’s the limit for this rising star, even in the face of adversity. “We’ve had some life lessons in all these experiences,” Zoe’s mother, Latease Lashley, says with a chuckle. “It’s been some real early life lessons about being a Black girl with natural hair in Baltimore,” she tells the AFRO. Zoe is often either the only Black student or the only female student in her art classes.

When asked what her message is to other kids who aspire to be artists, Zoe says “…I came up with my ABCs.” It’s simple: the ‘A’ stands for attitude, the ‘B’ stands for believing, and the ‘C’ is for commitment. “If you want to own your own business, just be yourself! Make sure that your attitude is right, you’re believing, and the ‘C’ is for commitment, so you always have to be committed to your work.”

Zoe Lashley is a rising artist with a huge heart for the community. She serves as a youth usher board at New Psalmist Baptist Church and is a member of the Waverly 4-H club. Keep with Zoe on Instagram @Zozosawesomelife, and donate to Zoe’s college fund by going to www.therepbyzoe.com.

This article originally appeared in The Afro.

Art

MC Arts Gallery Opens During the Marin Open Studio

The Gallery and its website display the art of a number of Black artists which includes: TheArthur Wright, Lumumba Edwards, and Maalak Atkins. Zwanda and Mitchell Howard also display their art at the Gallery. 

Avatar

Published

on

From top: Oshalla Marcus (director/curator, MC Arts & Culture) with Osiezhe’s drawings to the right of the photo, Zwanda, Mitchell Howard , ISOJI’s Art Is Health Band: Carlton Carey (drums), Mwanza Furaha, (vocals), Jack Prendergast (bass), Ricardo Moncrief (keyboard), James Moseley (guitar, vocal). Photos by Godfrey Lee.

The MC Arts Gallery, located on 100 Donahue St. in the Gateway Shopping Center in Marin City, is open during the Marin Open Studios, which took place on Saturday and Sunday, May 1 & 2. 

The Gallery and its website display the art of a number of Black artists which includes: The Arthur Wright, Lumumba Edwards, and Maalak Atkins. Zwanda and Mitchell Howard also display their art at the Gallery. 

Zwanda seeks to be creative as she expands her ideas as a sculptress and painter. She is inspired by the human figure and dancers and is fascinated with music and the instruments themselves. Her art is a way to express this love and to share it with others.

Mitchell Howard studied art at San Francisco State University and the Computer Arts Institute of San Francisco. He was an art director at Cummingham & Walsh in San Francisco and has displayed his paintings at the Hannah Gallery, worked on the Rocky Graham Park Mural and has taught art at the Martin Luther King Jr. Academy Elementary School.

“Art can bring people together and illustrate things that people can relate to,” Howard says. “Art can also be powerful in sending social messages to society. Art makes you think, it expands your horizons and makes you use your imagination. People may see different things in the same painting.”

Osiezhe, Shakira Gregory’s son, will be displaying his drawings at the Gallery.

The ISOJI’s Art Is Health Band played last Saturday afternoon with Mwanza Furaha as their guest vocalist.

Continue Reading

Art

City Council Approves $480,000 in Arts Grants

The city made the announcement Tuesday about the grants, which will support 772 distinct arts events and activities that will expose more than 110,000 participants to cultural programming.

Avatar

Published

on

The Oakland City Council approved $480,000 in grants to 17 Oakland-based non-profit organizations and 20 individual artists through the city’s Cultural Funding Program, Neighborhood Voices.

The city made the announcement Tuesday about the grants, which will support 772 distinct arts events and activities that will expose more than 110,000 participants to cultural programming.

The grant program seeks to bring Oaklanders together to create and support a sense of belonging within a community, to foster social connections that lift people’s spirits, to encourage community well-being and offer visions for a collective future, according to the announcement.

The following individual artists each won $7,000 Neighborhood Voices awards:

Frederick Alvarado; Karla Brundage; Cristina Carpio; Darren Lee Colston; Maria De La Rosa; Elizabeth D. Foggie; Rachel-Anne Palacios; Laurie Polster; Hasain Rasheed; Kweku Kumi Rauf; Carmen Roman; Michael Roosevelt; Fernando Santos; Teofanny Octavia Saragi; Kimberly Sims-Battiste; Cleavon Smith; Lena Sok; Babette Thomas; Ja Ronn Thompson; Joseph Warner.

Each of the following organizations received $20,000 Neighborhood Voices awards:

Asian Health Services for Banteay Srei;

Beats Rhymes and Life;

Chapter 510 INK;

Dancers Group for dNaga GIRL Project;

Dancers Group for Dohee Lee Puri Arts;

Dancers Group for Grown Women Dance Collective;

East Oakland Youth Development Center;

Higher Gliffs for Endangered Ideas;

Hip Hop for Change;

Junior Center of Art and Science;

Mycelium Youth Network;

Oakland Education Fund for Youth Beat;

Oakland Theater Project, Inc.;

Sarah Webster Fabio Center for Social Justice;

The Intersection for Alphabet Rockers;

Women’s Audio Mission;

Youth Radio/YR Media.

Continue Reading

Art

AHC’s ArtEsteem Program

ArtEsteem is part of AHC, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit located in West Oakland. To find out more visit ahc-oakland.org.

Avatar

Published

on

This self-portrait was created by 12-year-old Leslie Callejas from Life Academy School in Oakland. As a participant in the ArtEsteem program, Leslie was guided through the art-making process; using photo references, observational drawing, and painting with watercolors. Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, this class was made available via distance learning under the guidance of instructor Etty Alberto. 

 

ArtEsteem offers art classes to students in underserved communities, providing a foundation in art techniques while encouraging students to self-reflect and think critically, be inspired, and expand their view of their world. ArtEsteem is part of AHC, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit located in West Oakland. To find out more visit ahc-oakland.org.

 

Continue Reading

CHECK OUT THE LATEST ISSUE OF THE OAKLAND POST

ADVERTISEMENT

WORK FROM HOME

Home-based business with potential monthly income of $10K+ per month. A proven training system and website provided to maximize business effectiveness. Perfect job to earn side and primary income. Contact Lynne for more details: Lynne4npusa@gmail.com 800-334-0540

Facebook

Trending