Friday, March 30th, 5pm to 9pm March 30, 2012


Join us on Friday, March 30th, from 5pm to 9pm at NOMA for Where Y’Art!

  • 5pm to 8pm: Art Making by KIDsmART
  • 5:30pm to 8:30pm: Music by Amanda Walker
  • 6pm to 7:30pm: Isidore Newman School: Dance Performance in the Besthoff Sculpture Garden
  • 6:30pm to 7:30pm: Lecture & Hard Truths Tour by artist, Shawne Major
  • 7:30pm: Celebrate Women’s History Month with a lecture, Black women, Black Politics, Black Art, by UNO Professor, Nikki Brown

Artist Statement – Shawne Major
I am interested in how the perception of reality is colored by dreams, memory, superstition, religion, bias, prejudice, and fear. My mixed-media works, in general, refer to the overlay of belief systems created by the individual to piece together their personal paradigm.

My vocabulary-a combination of kitsch, ersatz and craft materials, junk and personal objects-is re-aesthetisized into accumulated forms that serve as metaphors for the build-up, organization and assimilation of information. The personal objects are evidences of pain, happiness, loss, guilt, shame-all the material detritus of the everyday human experience.

The vernacular (as a language of objects indigenous to my class and culture) is used here to subvert the hierarchy of high art. The kitsch of popular culture is transformed-through collage and intense manual labor-into the elite fine-art object. By evoking the elitism inherent to the idea of the hand-crafted object, these mass-produced articles become the raw materials that are employed in the “hand-crafting” of the art piece.

I choose particular materials for their visceral qualities, as well as their symbology and real-world references. The power of the fetish object intrigues me. The methods by which disparate elements are connected are as integral as the objects themselves. All materials, as words in a paragraph, are treated in a more-or-less equal manner and bring their own bits of signification and narrative to the visual “story.” – Shawne Major

About Amanda Walker
(Pictured above.)
Soulful singer/songwriter Amanda Walker is blazing an inspired new trail on the New Orleans scene. With her sensuous, bluesy vocals, classically trained piano chops and warm, intelligent, original songs, she is emerging as a unique contemporary musical voice. Her talents have put her onstage and in the studio alongside many of the Crescent City’s finest. Her work at French Quarter night spots quickly earned her the respect and recognition of other musicians and landed her an offer to record her debut CD for Rabadash Records. Many of the songs from the all-original CD have received airplay nationally and overseas, and her song “Paul McCartney” was chosen for spins by the BBC on Sir Paul’s birthday.

In addition to her musical career, Amanda is now practicing law in the New Orleans area, with a career in the juvenile justice system, in addition to providing legal help for musicians and music industry professionals.

Amanda can be seen performing regularly in New Orleans as a solo or with her full band.

About Nikki Brown & the lecture, Black women, Black Politics, Black Art
The interplay between black politics and women’s art was mostly keenly demonstrated in the period between 1965 and 1975. The birth of the National Organization of Women and the emergence of the Black Power movement produced a tremendous body of art, especially art fashioned by women, that hadn’t been seen since the 1920s. Very much like the Harlem Renaissance, the Black arts Movement sponsored and encouraged African American women artists, who infused their visually stunning work with political statements about black nationalism. We’ll look at artists like Elizabeth Catlett and Deborah Willis. – Nikki Brown

Nikki Brown’s first book, Private Politics and Public Voices: African American Women’s Activism from World War I to the New Deal, won the 2007 Letitia Woods Brown Memorial Book Prize for the best book in African American women’s history. In fall 2008, Greenwood Press will publish the Encyclopedia of Jim Crow, a three volume reference work co-edited by Brown and Barry Stentiford of Grambling State University. Brown is currently working on book reviews for the Journal of American History and the Journal of Southern History. Her next work concentrates on the past, present, and future role of historically black colleges and universities in African American education.

About KIDsmART
KIDsmART’s focus is arts integration – linking the arts with the existing academic curriculum. Our programming is designed to benefit under-resourced children in public schools in the New Orleans area – including charter schools.

Isidore Newman Dance Department Mission Statement
The human body is meant to move! The Newman dance program aims to give each student an opportunity through direct instruction and study to learn a variety of dance styles and skills, and to utilize their personal kinesthetic intelligence & understanding. The study of dance involves all levels and forms of movement technique including contemporary, historical, or newly forming genres. Whether pedestrian action or intricate advanced choreography, dance provides an opportunity for global cultural enrichment, self-discovery, movement exploration & collaboration with others, creative development, artistic expression, physical strengthening and encourages an overall experience of healthful living

About Isidore Newman School Dance Performance
The Besthoff Sculpture Garden is the perfect setting to explore the power of movement and dance. An intention of action is found within each sculpture throughout the garden. Each structure’s design, line, and form have energy. Over twenty Isidore Newman School dancers explore the movement possibilities surrounding many of the sculptures and lead the observers through the garden to bring a selection of these powerful sculptural works to life!

Join the dance students of Isidore Newman in the front of the Besthoff Sculpture Garden at 6pm on Friday March 30th. The cycle of dances will be repeated several times during the evening until 7:30pm.

This event is related to the exhibition Hard Truths: The Art of Thornton Dial.