Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Suzanne Njeri Tetu: Biography

"Purple Maiden"

Born and raised in Nairobi, Kenya, Suzanne Njeri Tetu has been involved with the visual, performing and literary arts since early childhood.  Relocating to the United States in the mid- 1990s to pursue her creative goals, Suzanne has avidly studied and engaged in the disciplines of drawing, painting, sculpture, dance, theater, literature, and creative writing. 

A graduate of Sarah Lawrence College, New York Film Academy, and a certified Kukuwa Dance Workout instructor, Suzanne enjoys all forms of creative expressionism with a passion for the studio arts.  During her time in the United States, Suzanne has embarked on a variety of endeavors ranging from commissioned portraits to illustrating book covers and storyboards. 

In 2010 she established her art business presenting to the world all that is "Exclusively, Njeri!"  Suzanne is a 2011 HerStory participant.

Hot Projects in the Works 2011
  • Calvert County Student Art Show, Visual Arts Judge                        
  • Creative Quarantine with artist Larry Poncho Brown
  • Commission pieces, child portrait
  • Commission piece, church history painting

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Image of a Dancer: Tawana Alston in her owns works

"Who am I?  I often ask myself the same question.  They call me Tawana Alston.  The applely core of me exists in being Woman, Wife, and Mother of three beauties.  Never before have I truly thought of myself as an artist, but the artistry is woven and intertwined in my heart and head."

Now let’s talk about dance.  My passion for dance began as a child about the age of 5.  I was like most other little girls dreaming of becoming a superstar...Envisioning myself in a classical ballet like Swan Lake.  Thank you mom for helping me connect those early dots.  She put me in studio dance classes.  It was then when I developed the appreciation, but wasn’t ready to go the real disciplined route.   I became an observer of sorts.  It was not until I joined the Ebenezer A.M.E  [Ft. Washington, MD] Dance Ministry that I felt dance in my heart.  It was total reciprocity; Jesus was in and ministry through dance poured out.  At the applely core of me, liturgical and interpretive dance seeds were planted firmly.  But on this journey I found respect for dance as an art form.  Ballet is so necessary…..good discipline! Like Alvin Ailey is to black dance.  Modern and lyrical technique is the dance space that comes natural for me.  You may see inflections of hip-hop in my choreography.  Hip hop takes a shape of its own….steeped in its culture. Young people have it down….as I watch them ticking, locking, popping, jerks/rejerks & choreoing it until the judges say that was the best or that needs work ….Still willing to conquer that New Age stuff though.
My inspiration to dance and choreograph comes from music.  I usually internalize the rhythms and lyrics to to the songs.  I find balance with movements until they take shape.  They help me keep order amid the attention-deficit life of teaching.   The finished product usually tells a story.  But to smooth out the elements of these 2 worlds, I birthed a new baby called Parallel Visions, LLC.  This is my dance company, a place where I can work out this artsy business.  Currently, I am a part of the Production Staff at Renaissance Christian Academy, a freelance dancer, and a choreographer."  

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

She's Making HerStory: Anike Robinson...in her own words

"As an artist, writer, high school teacher, and activist, I look for opportunities to educate people through a variety of methods. I am an advocate for diversity in the arts, the classroom, and the media. I was raised during an era when South Africa still had the shackles of apartheid tied to its feet; supported and paid for by American dollars. Even as a young student, I learned firsthand how to organize, educate, and disseminate information about Apartheid and other issues of concern. By watching and working with TransAfrica, I learned how protests, film festivals, and fundraisers could rally support and influence public opinion. In the 1980’s, constant and accurate media coverage and the challenge of organizing people in support of sanctions against Apartheid helped to open the prison doors of Nelson Mandela and hundreds of other freedom fighters imprisoned on Robin Island. So what does this have to do with me as an artist and creator of Sweetroot?

Almost twenty years later, the lessons learned about local and national politics have served me well as an artist. My work incorporates prose, wood, resin, found objects, and other materials to tell stories. My first collection entitled, "The Memoir Series," included 14 paintings ranging from 20”x20” to 20”x 60” in size. This collection chronicles my life as a child growing up inside the household of an activist.

My latest work explores the world of myth, magic, and the overlapping worlds of religion and the unseen world.  The unseen world, that seems fused to my dreams, blooms in my waking life in the form of mixed media paintings, talisman, and objects."

Anike Robinson is a supporter of Making HerStory and is a 2011 participant.