Before “All in the Family”, There Was Always “Art” in My Family! Literally!

Montpelier Arts Center “Chronicles of
the African American Journey through Fiber Arts”

If you have read my previous blog posts, you
know art and creativity has always been a big part of my life from the
beginning. I was born into a whole family of creatives so “Art” plays a big role
in my day to day functions. This time it was time to let the light shine of my
mom, Andrea Stockton-Barton for this post! She’s taught me everything I know as
an artist, and I love how we can interact together, now that I’m a professional
artist like her. It’s truly a blessing to see how every year we can support one
another with our art openings and exhibits. My mom currently has her art on
display at the Montpelier Arts center, for their “Chronicles of the African
American Journey, through Fiber Arts” exhibit. We attended the artist reception
on Feb. 8th around 3pm, located on the basement 2nd level
of the building. The second level houses the art center’s current exhibits on
display and houses artist studios during residency periods.

My mother has a BFA degree from Pratt
Institute in NYC, with her specialty focus in “Fiber Arts.” As an artist she
wears many hats in different areas but her currently love is quilting different
fabrics together to form an intricate artwork. In the exhibit at Montpelier she
has two pieces on display that tell stories, of the African American journey
through her artistic knowledge and appreciation. Her first larger, wall hanging
piece is entitled “Motherland”, showing viewers the journey of how African masks
and the animals of Africa have correlations. This piece was designed through
initial sketches, and quilted with different colorful fabric prints. The second
piece takes you on a journey, portrayed through the colorful eyes of my mother,
who translates “Harriet’s Sunrise to Freedom” through a framed fiber art. The
artwork is a colorful burst of happiness! That illustrates through my
interpretation, how Harriet Tubman must have felt, once she made her way to
truly being free.

The whole exhibit is so beautiful and cohesively
curated by the arts center. I have many other favorites that art on display
which I will post pictures of. Everything exhibited is fiber art, but creatively
made in 2D and 3D pieces. This is a must see exhibit for all ages and perfect
for Black History month celebration activity. Below I will list all the info
for the Montpelier Arts Center in Laurel, MD.

Arts Center (Exhibition up through March) 

9652 Muirkirk

Laurel, MD

Want to see
more fiber art from Andrea Stockton-Barton? Visit her art experience here!

Art Life by Artistically Adaptive “Artist Feature” Imani Bell

Imani Bell is a artist and the founder of Imani Bell Designs (IBD). The work produced by IBD focuses quite literally on women of color. The colorful illustrations always have a flower to symbolize women as the source of life and they are always placed in the universe and sky. 

Painter, Sculptor & Actor

Insta: @imani_bell_

Twitter: @_PorteBella


Artist Cheat Sheet: 10 Questions to Get to know our Artist Imani Bell

1. Art medium?

I love all mediums! I think it’s a challenge and a blessing at the same time. It’s a challenge because I find it very hard to stay with one medium for long periods of time. But it’s a blessing because I am never limited to one form of art. I feel like I have multiple avenues to relieve myself artistically.  

2. You are a new addition to the crayon box. What color would you be, and why? 

I’d be something bright! I’d be a crayon with multiple colors, like hot pink that transitions into a sunflower yellow with a kind of ombre effect.  

3. What is your favorite 90s jam?

I have to be honest… I don’t really have one. But Tierra Whack a newer artist has my attention as of late. Or maybe Lauryn Hill… she was 90s right??? 

4. If you could be any animal in the world, what animal would you be and why? 

Tigers tigers tigers!!! I’ve loved these bright and unique creatures since I was little. I’ve always loved how majestic and powerful they are.

5. What inspires you?

People inspire me! I love creativity in all shapes and forms. I am not really a dancer, singer or writer but when I see it and I can feel the passion and emotion behind the work I usually feel inspired to work. I feed off of that energy but I also look inside for my own!

6. If you woke up and had 2,000 unread emails and could only answer 300 of them, how would you choose which ones to answer?

That is my current situation, so this question is too stressful! I don’t choose any of them I ignore them for as long as I can. 

7. Estimate how many windows are in New York?

A trillion easy!

8. Describe the color yellow to somebody who is blind. 

Yellow is walking out the door and feeling the first rays of sunlight on your skin and the feeling of joy when you do something silly or hear a baby’s laugh. 

9. What do you think about when you are alone in your car?

I’m dangerous in a car… I think about everything! From moments I wish I handled better, to my schedule, to how I want to tackle the world and at the same time, sometimes I use driving to clear my head.

10. Weirdest art story?

It took me a while before I started sharing my talents with other people it wasn’t until high school when I finally admitted that I could draw to people, and for a while people did not believe me! To this day I will still have people say ” Oh like you’re a real artist ” to which I still don’t have a response…

Continuing the Marathon !!!

Sometimes we get off track from our passions or goals which is human nature. It could be from an specific negative event in life or road block occurrence. I just wanted to encourage everyone out there to know that it is okay and things will get better, even though I know it’s so cliche. The main thing to know is to never give up on your marathon of passions or goals. Even if you do, I feel God definitely has a way of pushing you back to it once you are ready. If we didn’t learn anything from the prolific rapper, philanthropist and father Nipsey Hussle, we learned that the “Marathon must continue.” 

Nevertheless, everyone has been through this at some point in time. You are not alone out there! This especially relates to the creatives, because it might make you feel like… “Why am I doing this for, again?”  It can make you question if this is truly, your God-given purpose or were you just hearing what you wanted to hear. I can speak on this personally and say in my whole 32 years on this earth, I have never really questioned this or felt uninspired, but there is a time and place for everything. Last year until the beginning of this year was that eye opening experience for me. My personal, loss of creativity and being uninspired, stemmed from loss of life from family members. I have experienced tragedies throughout my life, but none of them hit home as much as these two people I lost last year: My best friend who I considered my sister first, and then my father shortly after. Both deaths hit so hard because, frankly they were unexpected. 

It was so much to deal with, that the last thing on my mind was art. I know that sounds harsh to say because some artists thrive off setbacks, but this time around that wasn’t me. Now I know that was okay and that God had other plans and was giving me a mental break to realign my thought process and appreciate other things around me. Right after the passing of my sister, I had an upcoming art show and thought about canceling it, but pushed myself to do it even through the pain. I felt she would have been upset if I had not done it, knowing that she supported my dreams and aspirations wholeheartedly. So I completed that last show in November and had not done really anything arts-related since then. I questioned if I was maybe over art or if art was over me, due to a lack of inspiration. This was my demeanor all the way up until last month even with me buying new supplies and posting things. 

After much reflection and prayer, I got a message that was loud and clear that I must continue this marathon! Art wasn’t through with me yet! One day, I had a text conversation with a sister about how I felt uninspired and non-creative. No one knew except her and my mom. I got a random email from my friend telling me she came across an art show I should apply to. I told her that I didn’t really think i should apply because I was in a negative mind space, but then I remembered how random this invitation was after no one knew about my feelings. So I applied, realizing this was a neon sign that said “Keep going and don’t drop the baton.” A few more weeks passed and I received a acceptance letter to have one of my pieces displayed in a reputable gallery. This event spoke volumes to me and in closing I am slowly but surely back to business. I hope this helped or inspired someone else to know that everyone gets down even when you seem the happiest and will eventually continue the marathon….

Don’t let adversities keep you off track!!! The baton pick up has started again my first stop of 2019 is below! 

The work above will be displayed from May 1-26th at the “SAMASAMA Art Show & Gallery @ Shopkeepers DC (1231 Florida Ave NE, Washington, DC 20002) 

Schedule of events in link below!

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