It’s finally the start of the new year and what a journey these past 365 days have been ! The year of 2017 was full of momentum, creating huge opportunities and forging new relationships along the way.
For starters, having my work included at The National Museum of Women in The Arts 30th Anniversary gala and auction in April was nothing short of amazing. I exhibited 8 works at the museum 6 months prior in the first Annual Superfierce showcase which was a dream come true. Showcasing my work at the only museum in the country dedicated to female artists twice in 6 months, is something I never imagined would happen – honestly. Being involved with the Superfierce organization made these opportunities possible and I could not be more grateful.
At the beginning of the evening, I actually got to meet the founder of the museum, Ms Wilhelmina Cole Holladay. I had a quick conversation with her and thanked her for all she’s done for women artists. She asked if I was an artist and I told her yes indeed, and I was showcasing my work that very evening. Our quick but very exciting interaction was captured by a Washington Post photographer and ended up in the Style section three days later. Talk about being at the right place at the right time !
In May I collaborated with fine art painter Maggie Michael ( whom I met through Superfierce I ) creating some of my favorite portraits to date. Maggie allowed me and my talented team of wardrobe, makeup and hair to create a series of portraits in the style of the Dutch masters iconic paintings.
I felt the works were were very strong so I submitted them for review to be showcased at Superfierce II. They were well received by guests and fellow artists, and I was so pleased that Maggie really loved them. Being in front of the camera is not typical for her and she was uneasy about being my model. I am happy though, that she put her worries aside and let me make my vision a reality.
Another major highlight in May was having one of my works included in a Swatchroom project. The new swanky nightclub St Yve opened on Connecticut Avenue with my fashion portrait featured at one of their multiple bars almost life size ! The image was taken in Mexico City last year and by sheer coincidence, it matched the blue color scheme and the gold detailing in the design of this fashion-forward space. This was my first time working with the Swatchroom team, which is thrilling considering they are responsible for designing and building over 30 restaurants and multiple businesses in Washington D.C.
Synchronicity in full effect !
In June I got a surprising and very exciting email that I was going to be included on Washingtonian’s Annual Style Setters issue. Each year the magazine devotes a piece of their annual issue to fashion and style, profiling men and women from all sectors of business.
It’s a humbling honor to be named one of the 9 best dressed people in the Nation’s Capital. Who knew my vintage and thrifting way of life would land me here ?! WOOO !
Shortly after, I got more exciting news that an interview I had given several month’s prior about Superfierce was going to be published in early July.
It was better late than never and a nice lead up to our second exhibition. Maggie O’Neill and I didn’t mince words when talking glass ceilings in the art world and our personal journeys. You can read all about it here.
In the middle of the sumer I took a quick trip to L.A for some creative link ups and as soon as I got back I was on set with photographer Dean Alexander for the Style Setters issue. It was lovely meeting the Washingtonian crew and a fellow Greek creative woman (who happened to be the photo editor).
August and September had me scrambling to finalize and prepare the works for Superfierce II premiering in October.
A massive undertaking once again, the annual art showcase (this time a month-long exhibition) of solely female artists had grown to over 30 creative forces from painting to photography and sculpture. As with the year before, our charity partner was E-Beauty, with 25% of our sales going directly to the organization.
We sold out the event with over 600 attendees, had major sponsors Lyft and Veuve Cliquot supporting us and ended the night with a dance party complete with disco ball dancers. Definitely a night I won’t be forgetting anytime soon !
After our grand exhibition opening, my fellow Superfierce artists and I had a string of TV appearances. Many of the local channels came through the Blind Whino art space to support and promote which was so wonderful.
Just as soon as Superfierce II came to a close I jumped into preparing and printing my exhibition for FOTOWEEKDC.
Yes, I knew when I agreed to do a joint exhibition with my fellow art comrade Adrian Loving that it would be stressful, but it was good opportunity to show my recent series of AfroPunk portraits, which I’ve been shooting for 3 years. I also got my colleague Yassine El Mansouri involved and we had a great turnout for our opening and closing FotoWeek talk. The annual photography exhibition gave us three an opportunity to connect the dots on music, fashion and spirituality in music and culture from the 70’s to present times. All great things we were proud to showcase and explore with everyone who came to support.
All of these events have paved the way for tremendous personal growth and my creative community has grown considerably.
I can no longer say being an artist here in D.C is like being on a lonely island.
I feel the tide turning as this city is evolving into a place where not only real estate, politics and the culinary world thrives, but a creative community does too. Seeing these changes is evident when you choose to keep supporting what you and your community are passionate about. It is a tangible and real shift that I’m so proud to be a part of.
Here’s to more of ALL of this in 2018 !!!
Thank you to my friends, fans and loyal supporters.
Wishing you all the best this year and beyond !