Archive for Samax Amen

ArtLoveMagic Youth Workshop – Take 2

Posted in Artists, Community, Deep Ellum, Love, Magic with tags , , , , , , , , , on July 30, 2009 by artlovemagic

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Art, Love and Magic Connecting our Community

words by Tressie Knowlton – photos by Nicole Rodriguez

“I never wanna leave this place!” exclaimed one young art student to his teacher.  He clung to his painting and the comics he had drawn as he walked out the door of the Deep Ellum Community Center on Friday.

About a hundred other students most likely made similar comments and had great memories to share, along with their new artwork, after the second-ever ArtLoveMagic Youth Workshop.  The Deep Ellum Foundation teamed up with ArtLoveMagic to offer a fun, interactive art experience to Dallas-area youth July 24th.

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The workshop started with the younger bunch. Sixty 6-12 year olds showed up full of energy and ready to be entertained.  Yikes!  But, we were ready.  At the pottery station, Conner Muldoon had the wheel spinning and enough “mud” to get all of the kids nice and dirty.  The hands-on experience molding the clay had them all screaming with delight.

Mike Lagocki acted as host and tour guide while the groups of children flowed through the workshop stations learning art techniques and creating side-by-side ArtLoveMagic’s professional mentors.  Graffiti art with Isaac Davies and Deep Ellum muralist icon, Frank Campagna, received rave reviews from the youngsters!  Deb Driscoll and Melody Hay introduced mixed-media artwork through Melody’s signature subject: trees.

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“Thank you.  Thank you so much,” said Monica as she shook my hand.  She had come to pick up her son.  He isn’t a member of Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Dallas or Arlington’s SafeHaven, like the other kids who enjoyed the workshop.  Juan is a 9-year-old local boy looking for art opportunities.  Monica, a single working mom, had heard about the workshop and asked if there was any way her son could join in, because “he loves art”.  So, of course, I replied “Absolutely!  That’s what this workshop is all about.”

With art education disappearing from public school curriculum as fast as independent coffee shops did at the birth of Starbucks, there is a greater need than ever to encourage our youth to participate in the arts.  The best way we could think to make that happen was to connect students with people who were kids just like them, and are now…well…artists!

Samax Amen and Khalid Robertson sat at a table with 12 teenagers during the afternoon session.  Many of them drew in silence while Samax shared stories about his comics and his journey to becoming a professional artist.

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“I don’t have any expectations,” Samax laughed after I’d asked him if he’d seen some nice artwork develop from the group he was working with.  ”I remember being nervous drawing in front of people when I was a teenager.  You finally get over that, but I don’t want any of them to feel that way today.”

The forty teens who participated in the afternoon session had the chance to free the right side of their brains through sketches, brushes, and spray paint.  The graffiti art station taught the basics of creating large-scale artwork, like the murals on walls all over Deep Ellum. Many students jumped at the chance to “tag” their names on the stone board.

“If ‘Baby Bricks’ starts showing up on walls in Deep Ellum, I’m going to know just who to blame,” laughed Campagna as he pointed to the words tagged on one of the boards.

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For those who missed the workshop, Nicole Rodriguez and her camera lens captured the entire enchanting experience.  The magic of the day was obvious to all who stopped by – especially Susan Reese, one of the workshop’s major sponsors.

“This is great!” she smiled.  ”I’ve been watching the activity all day.  How can I help keep this program going?” she asked, and offered some excellent suggestions.

The combination of students aching to learn, artists excited to share, volunteers giving their time, and sponsors supporting the cause showed me that there is still a lot of good out there.  We just have to live outside ourselves for a while.  Days like Friday make me think that if we would all request what we need, give what we can, and receive with gratitude the world would be a lot brighter, ya know?

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Special Thanks to our sponsors:

Jeanne Blanton – Don Blanton Art Endowment Fund

Susan Reese – Madison Partners, LLC

Randy Redmond – 2616 Commerce, Deep Ellum Foundation

Thanks to all of the great volunteers!  You are appreciated!

Love and Family on Father’s Day

Posted in Love, photography, Shows with tags , , , , , , , , , on June 23, 2009 by artlovemagic

This post comes from Erica Davis, a painter who showed at our recent Father’s Day event at the Egg & I.

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Last Saturday night Art Love Magic hosted a show at the Egg and I restaurant in Addison. The atmosphere was full of art…love…and magic (what a fitting name for the nonprofit). True to the spirit of the organization, all of the artists (visual, poetic, graphic, music, culinary, etc.) joined together to share their talents with the DFW community honoring fathers for the holiday.

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Matt Barron set the tone with passionate pieces on guitar. Serena Wills (poet and soror) stirred audience members to tears with her spoken word piece, “His Voice”. Jay Bookworm pulled back the petals of the heart and soul to reveal the depths to which fatherly love can go. Miss Deb stood atop a chair and stunned the room silent in awe as she belted a powerful a capella selection to close the night.

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As music played, paint/air brushes danced across canvas, balls of clay were transformed into original artistic pottery and the guests dined on some of the MOST amazing cuisine to hit the North Dallas area…people were changed. Life and art intersected in a way that the founders of this organization dreamed and saw manifested. One night. Many ARTists. Lots of LOVE and lots of MAGIC.

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I feel blessed to have been a part of it.

-text by Erica Davis
photography by Jenice Johsnon
all of Jenice’s shots can be seen here

ArtLoveMagic kids workshop

Posted in Artists, Love, Magic with tags , , , , , , on May 18, 2009 by artlovemagic

Samax Amen wrote this article for his ziontiffic blog.
Copy and paste. Thanks, Samax!

you know I love kids… it has only gotten worse (or is that better?) since i had one of my own. so when my boy Mike asked me to participate in the Arts Workshop he had set up for this past Saturday, i was ALL over it!

the event was at the Deep Ellum Community Center in downtown Dallas, so i saddled-up rolled out. even though i had to be there at the ghastly hour of 8:30 am (yes, freelancing from home has spoiled me) i was actually on-time and ready to rock! and rock it did! Mike and I did a drawing demonstation, but there were painters, a potter and graf artists in the house sharing the love of the art with these kids, who were mad eager to learn and show what they could do as well!

it’s very rewarding to get a chance to touch somebody’s life, especially kids. Artists are so seldom seen as valuable for teaching kids not only about art but also about life in general, but that’s what makes artLoveMagic cool, ’cause that’s what we do. i encourage artists to look for opportunities large or small to teach what they do.
peace,
words by samax Amen
photos by Carolyn Collins