Thursday, October 31, 2013

Exhibit!



Come check out an exhibit by Black Dimensions in Art at the African American Cultural Center of the Capital Region (located on the corner of Madison and South Pearl Street in Albany) tomorrow between 5:30 and 8:30 pm.

Artists include Barry Mason, Elizabeth Zunon, Stanwyck Cromwell, Clifford Oliver, Alberte Benier, Marcus Kwame Anderson , Laura Hilliard, Francelise Dawkins, Jacqueline Lake-Sample, and Thamar Jean Fedestin. Hope to see you there!

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Making Murals



I've been working on a lot of projects this summer. More about that soon. The video above is a short documentary that was made by the Sanctuary for Independent Media about a mural that I've been working on with the community in North Troy. All the hot days in the sun have been worth it. I've really enjoyed working on this project. I'll post photos when it's finished.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Featured Artist: UrbanFire Products


Greetings, blogosphere. It's been a while since I've posted here, but it's good to be back and I'm happy to present featured artist, Azizi Dayo of UrbanFire Products, a shop that offers natural, organic, hand-made soaps and hair care cremes for the health conscious consumer. I had the pleasure of interviewing Azizi and she spoke about her creations and her approach to creating healthy products. As a person who is concerned with protecting my family from the harmful ingredients that are found in the products produced by big business, I could relate to Azizi's desire to create a healthy, organic alternative. She makes products that are not only good for you, but also beautiful. So without further ado, here is my interview with her. Enjoy.





Tell us about yourself and what you create. What do you sell in your etsy store?
 
I'm a farmer and organic soapmaker and hair care developer. My entire family are tradesmen and tradeswomen who work with their hands for a living. I feel that this brings us back to nature in the purest form. I decided to incorporate my organic herb teas and vegetable purees into my products because I want us to be as healthy as possible. 


Did you know that the Big Box Stores actually put aluminum and a dangerous additive called "polysorbate" into their hair cremes and cosmetics? My customers deserve better! My soaps are made with real ingredients like goat's milk, buttermilk, Shea Butter from Ghana and real Dutch Chocolate. 



What is your creative process?

My creative process is simple: Since Mother Nature gives us all that we need to live, I look at all the herbs we have and literally use them in my products. For instance, did you know that ginger kills acne bacteria? Instead of buying expensive and damaging acne cremes, I use ginger tea in my soaps to help achieve clear, beautiful skin.



Your soaps have interesting names. Some, like "Grandma's Pumpkin Pie" seem to be direct references to memories. Do the themes come to you as you make the soap or do you have a theme in mind before starting?
 
Can you tell I love food? When I make meals with my family, I actually imagine how the yams, pumpkins and tomatoes can work in my products. Pumpkins are a great source of Vitamin A and C. Imagine what that will do for your skin! 

What inspired you to begin creating soap and hair care products?
My inspiration came from wanting my own family to be safe from these additives. When I saw the real difference in my family's skin and hair, I wanted to extend that to my customers.

Tell us a little about the importance of creating organic products and how you create them.
Organic Products, made with no pesticides or fillers, are imperative to good health. Good health is more than just watching what you eat and drink. It's an entire process from getting exercise, sunlight and being cautious what you put on your skin. As for how I do it...well...I grow my teas, wait til they are ready for harvest, wash them, boil the leaves and use the fresh tea as the "juice or liquid" for my hair cremes and soaps. When I harvest my tea leaves, I make a batch of soap that day to ensure the freshest ingredients are used. 


Where can we find you online?
 
I have two shops: etsy.com/shop/urbanfireproducts, where you can get a vast array of products and my smaller personal shop called SoapMuffin.com. Come and take a look at both.
~
Everyone please support UrbanFire products, both through their etsy store and especially the new SoapMuffin site. As an artist, I fully understand the desire and importance to branch out and be more independent. I know I'll be purchasing some UrbanFire items very soon!

Peace,
Marcus

Thursday, January 31, 2013

Black History Month Art Exhibit


Long time no post. I'm back again with new art and a new exhibit at the Gannett Gallery, SUNYIT, 100 Seymour Road, Utica NY 13502. The show runs from 2/4/13 to 3/1/13.

My portraits of Muhammad Ali, Bob Marley, and Rita Marley are just some of the new pieces on display.

If you're in the area, come to the opening reception, Wednesday, February 6., 4:30 to 6:30 pm.





 

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Domain Updates + Snow Daze


A couple months ago this blog was offline for a while when I forgot to renew the domain name, which was followed by a week of misadventures with Google's nonexistent customer service. When I went to renew the domain I found out, to my surprise, that the domain marcuskwameblog.com had apparently been snatched up by someone else overseas. I'm pretty sure their name isn't Marcus Kwame, but I guess they liked the name. The moral of the story is if you are trying to get to my blog use this address: www.marcuskwame.blogspot.com. If you have Bloggin' Out bookmarked, update the address.

In other news, most of my creative energy in recent months has been spent on the comic book, Snow Daze. If you're interested in comics or good stories check it out.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Riddims

Electric Bass 12x16 Acrylic on Canvas

Here's a painting that I made 6 years ago. I gave it to my father as a present before I had a chance to take a photo of it. I missed it, so I borrowed it back and finally got a shot of it. It was a companion piece to my painting Electric, seen below. I'd always intended for this to be a series with a painting for each member of a reggae band. Now feels like a good time to complete the series. I think I'll revisit it soon.

Electric 9x12 Acrylic on Canvas

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Bloggin' Out Reloaded


It's been a while. Time to dust off the ol' blog (I look at the traffic occasionally and I'm appreciative of the people who still check in). It's usually safe to say that when I'm away from this blog for a long time I've been busy with something. This time is no exception. I've been very busy working on issue 1 of Snow Daze (see 2 entries ago). Snow Daze is a comic created by my good friend Leo Faierman and myself. It's challenging to fit the job of comic book illustrator around my primary jobs—father, husband, and art teacher—but drawing comics has been a lifelong dream of mine and I'm dedicated to making it a professional reality.

I encourage you to check out the first half of Snow Daze issue 1 online at www.snowdazecomic.com. I'm proud of the work that we've done so far and the best is yet to come. We have a lot of plans for this series. I also have 2 other comic stories bouncing around in my head that will hopefully see the light of day sooner than later. There's Untitled Love and another title that I'm keeping under wraps for now.

Speaking of things bouncing around my head, there are at least ten paintings in there and I hope to put them on canvas soon. People familiar with some of my past work know that I don't shy away from social commentary in my art, and with all of the madness going on in the world right now I have a lot to say. I'm also looking forward to experimenting with some new mediums and styles. Look out for some new art and some more blogging.

Peace!
Marcus


Thursday, April 19, 2012

Trayvon: Little Kings Lost to America

Little Kings Lost to America 11x17 Mixed Media

Little Kings Lost to America
by Marcus Kwame Anderson

spring touches down on
gated community lawn
watered with the blood
of another innocent
viewed as suspicious

a seventeen year old
who looked like me,
like my brother,
like my crew,
like my cousins

a seventeen year old
lanky like i was
at that age

a seventeen year old
who's only real crime
was striking that unfortunate
combination of height
and complexion

i know this curse well
i wear it well
perhaps too well
knowing
just how easily
black life is taken
away in america

as i watch Trayvon's
family wrestle for answers 
i think of how well my mother
masked her fear
every time my brother and i
walked out the door

i think of her praying that we
would not fit "the description"
that our names would not
find their way on to
the list of the lost
two more nameless
members of a generation
asphyxiated beneath the
weight of misrepresentation

i think of how easily
life slips away
for some of us

how we are not
afforded the benefit
of the doubt

tonight i pour libations
for all of those
who died nameless

i recognize your lives
for i too am you
another member
of a generation
struggling beneath the
weight of misrepresentation

© Marcus Kwame Anderson 2012

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Snowy Days Are Coming!


Monday, April 16th is the launch date for Snow Daze, an web comic that I created with my friend Leonardo Faierman. You'll be able to read issue 1 in installments on snowdazecomic.com. Snow daze follows the exploits of teenager, Nolo and his crew as they fight to build and defend their surprisingly lucrative snow shoveling empire. We've been crafting this world for a while now. The characters have grown from ideas and seeds to walking, talking offspring who demand that their story be told. At times their stories intersect with our stories or those of people we've known, but at the same time, they possess elements that are unique to the town they call home, Oxenvale. We invite you to join us on the pages of Snow Daze.

Visit snowdazecomic.com today to read about some of the characters and come back on Monday to begin reading issue 1!

Also for you social media savvy folks, follow Snow Daze on the following platforms:

Facebook
Twitter
Google Plus
Tumblr




Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Please Support!



Idiopathic angioedema. I had no idea that this rare condition existed until my friend, Vanessa told me a few years ago that she was suffering from it. Chronic angioedema is a disease that has been given very little analysis and research. Physicians don't know what causes it.
This life-threatening condition is triggered by medications, dyes, environmental components, foods, trauma, and other elements that act as allergens, releasing histamine into the blood stream, and oft times causing anaphylactic shock. In addition to an extremely stripped down diet—usually mimicking anorexia—and other necessary avoidances, the major treatment to date is large quantities of antihistamines on a daily basis and, when exacerbated, epinephrine injections and steroids--although these drugs prove to be ineffective for the rarer, Bradykinin form of angioedema.
Not one to be passive, Vanessa has been working tirelessly over the past three years to create Life Without a Fork, a film who's goal is to find a cause and cure for chronic angioedema. The 80-minute documentary follows Vanessa, Brian Holden, Shelline Ross, Heather Campbell, Jacqueline Griffin, and Spencer Slama as they live with angioedema. The accounts range from humorous to emotional, from the practical to the educational. Life Without a Fork aims to educate and raise awareness. As the film's Kickstarter page states:
There are many people who have fallen prey to this condition and whose lives may be saved by making this infirmity as publicized and important as the more reputed diseases of Parkinson’s, fibromyalgia, diabetes, cardiovascular, and cancer.
Please take the time to visit the film's Kickstarter page to learn more and support. Even the smallest contributions make a difference. Help bring Life Without a Fork to the big screen!

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Holler!

Make Me Wanna Holler 14x22 India Ink

I think I posted a photo of Make Me Wanna Holler when I first created it, but I recently took a much better photo, so here it is again. Also, I have quality 13x19 prints available here at a very reasonable price. Check 'em out!

Peace.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Move The Crowd


Here's a new portrait of Black Thought of the Roots, one of my favorite emcees of all time. I originally did this painting last summer, but it didn't feel finished so I reworked it last week. I wanted to really capture the energy of an emcee moving the crowd. I'm happy with it now. It feels finished.

Prints are available in my store.

Peace