Houston Via Colori, the Center for Hearing and Speech’s biggest annual fundraiser, is celebrating its 11th year with the theme “Colorful World.” As a featured artist again, I am inclined to use my art as a forum for a message that digs deeper than art. Deeper than all of us.
We’re in a time of a challenged sense of connection. I’d like to put the focus back on the UNITY part of community, regardless of how hard it is to do while many are championing “divisive” over “diverse.” My piece this year is one that has a deeper message of togetherness, as artists, as races, as human beings. It is one that celebrates the people, the colors, and the sounds of the world.
As each artist is supposed to represent a designated region, mine is Africa. This design is a celebration of four of Houston’s contemporary African American artists, and a journey back through time in the context of the pieces they have created over the last 4 years of Via Colori (the years during which I myself have been an artist). Micah Simmons, Craig C Tha Artist, Kenneth Pierson, and Shawn Artis all contributed work to this piece, and will be represented within mine. Shawn’s piece is being created simultaneously, so viewers are able to be in the present and the future at once…whoa, trippy…
The proceeds of this event go directly to the Center for Hearing and Speech, and their efforts to help children find and use their own voices, and to enjoy the richness of a world full of sound and wonder. Thanks to InduMar Products for their generous sponsorship of this piece.
Imagine an archaeologist or city engineer excavating the streets of Via Colori. As they dig down…pun intended…these artists and their pieces are uncovered. In a multi-layered and multi-racial society, the strata of layers of asphalt evoke the layers of historical complexity, while the lights and ladders offer the illumination and access needed to transcend these layers.
The piece is also dedicated with great appreciation to my friends and fellow artists who contributed to this collaborative undertaking. And to the memory of our friend, Lisa.
One of ten featured artists commissioned by the Center for Hearing and Speech for its annual Houston Via Colori street chalk art festival, I created a piece that captured the enigmatical nature of my hometown.
At once thriving international metropolis and provincial frontier, sprawling and intimate, concrete jungle and refreshing green space, agricultural center and arts haven. But to all true Houstonians, born or adopted, the puzzle is clear. We are at once all of these things. Celebrating Via Colori’s 10th year, this piece was one of ten pillars: Celebrate Our City (In Honor of the City of Houston).
The chalking itself took 12 hours, but you can watch it’s creation here, via the magic of a 2.5 minute time lapse video:
The idea was conceived while enjoying my customary happy hour brainstorms at Crave Sushi.
The photographs were taken (with a modicum of peril to the artist) on the Chenevert overpass of TX-288.
The concept was developed, and the authentic Rubik’s Cubes (limited edition of 20) were assembled, at the JAG Creative studio.
The piece was created in front of City Hall.
Original concept and photography, computational mockup, chalk art, and cube construction all by JAG Creative.