Friday, September 9, 2016

Hunter International House presents Viktor le. Givens.

"Art is Business" reposted for Rootworks Gallery showcases artistic expression that has healing, reconciliation, or the investigation of folk, street and indigenous cultures at its core.

 "The In Between Space: Black Magic. Black Manhood. Black Matter"

Inspired by the "conjure" writings of Charles Chestnutt and the short story "The Man who Lived Underground" by Richard Wright, this immersive exhibition functions as a series of speculative ethnographic installations exploring le. Givens' reflections on matter, ancestry, memory and the position of black men in both physical and metaphysical space.

le. Givens says of this work: “This installation is my propitiatory temple to men with gifts--sight seeing, dream catching, street prophesying alchemists--the brothers whose identity and operations may not garner the attention of the mainstream. In navigating the future of black masculinity we have to understand how the black male body moves through literal and figurative space, sometimes unseen, sometimes hyper-visible and more often negotiating the place in between these spaces."

Viktor le. Givens is an installation and performance artist whose practice includes the gathering of ancestral objects to activate spaces for site-specific rituals. His materials frequently include quilts, garments, shoes, coins, jars and bottles, recipes and other forgotten or discarded household items and personal effects. Through the accumulation of these cultural artifacts, le. Givens seeks to create spaces that act as sacred places or "temples" that inspire the activation of cultural memory, survival, and resistance and that support African-American spiritual retentions and continuities.

Rootwork Gallery (645 W.18th St., Pilsen) is pleased to announce the opening on Friday, September 9 from 6-10 pm of "The In Between Space: Black Magic. Black Manhood. Black Matter" part exhibition, part visual environment composed by mixed media artist Viktor le. Givens. 

Friday, September 2, 2016


Reposted from the California Arts Council Arts Beat

Published: 09-02-2016

We are delighted to welcome Andrea Porras to the staff of the California Arts Council as our newest Arts Programs Specialist.

At her RFK Elementary kindergarten class in San José, Andrea's parents were told their child's approach to simple art projects were "unique."

Many years later, as the director of Sacramento's World Arts Space summer project in Oak Park, a local TV reporter asked her how she came up with such a unique and creative idea. The 200-plus youth Andrea enrolled for the Sacramento Metropolitan Arts Commission program would be categorized as "an unequaled" project for youngsters by both media and observers.

Andrea Porras has created, directed, curated, performed and collaborated in multiple theatre productions. She has performed and assisted on independent film/video documentary projects, live performances, public and private speaking engagements. Andrea's creative engagement expertise in producing  visual art and music shows as well as dance and altar offerings in renown museums, classrooms, galleries and alternative community spaces continues to this day.

Andrea holds a B.A. from California State University-Sacramento (CSUS) in Theatre Arts with a special focus in ethnic studies and a minor in cultural anthropology. Her research, performance and community service travels have taken her to China, Africa, Mexico and Cuba as well as Hawaii and the American Southwest.

While at CSUS, Andrea and colleague Nicole C. Limón-Steward founded "Movimiento Molcajete," that later became a community arts multi-disciplinary training vehicle and platform for arts education in community based learning. The program provides creative opportunities for women and youth in projects that include live teatro, ritual, poetry, music, photography and art.

Andrea also collaborates with a variety of theatre companies including Teatro Espejo and California Stage utilizing her experiences as a former Teatro Campesino Vibrant Being Fellow.

Andrea brings to her work at the California Arts Council experiences garnered from her community based training with collectives and projects like the Royal Chicano Air Force (RCAF), Chicano/Latino Youth Conference, Washington Neighborhood Center (WNC), Sacramento Black Art of Dance, Ebo Oko Kan, and the United Farm Workers (UFW).

Most recently, Andrea served the Yolo County area as Art Space Manager for the UC Davis Chican@ Studies community service center, Taller del Nuevo Amanecer (TANA). She also served as an artist in residence for Poetry Out Loud and Trucha Palabra at the Yolo County Juvenile Detention Center.

Andrea's 13 year-old son, JAH'Sol Amaru, a Cal Middle School student and an outstanding dancer, has already performed in Las Vegas, Los Angeles, New York and in the Bay Area. His journey continues to fuel Andrea's commitment to advocating for arts, culture as well as mental and spirit nurturing experiences for all generations of California.

"I am encouraged by the intersections of past and recent life experiences that bring me to this junction of joining such a gifted and talented team of practitioners/art administrators," Andrea said.  "It is with reverence to my mentors and past CAC staff that I press forward in my new role."

Andrea can be reached at (916) 322-6395 or

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

The Living Heritage Foundation (LHF) DAY OF GIVING May 3

The Living Heritage Foundation (LHF), created by Susheel Bibbs, supports the presentation of artworks of African Americans and women and the careers of outstanding arts professionals who present them in significant ways.   LHF offers them grants, mentoring, and fiscal sponsorship for projects that will advance their careers. LHF is seeking to continue these efforts and to augment our grant fund for artists through The Big Day of Giving -- A national day in which people can give to non-profits online.
Please help us support these artists and their projects with your online gift on May 3--midnight to 11:59pm. You may give on one of two sites:

Both sites below will contain a giving form.

·      =The regular Big Day of Giving Page:
This site allows you to give to one or more nonprofits
·      =The LHF personal Big Day of Giving page:
This site is for LHF only
Please note:  Donors must donate at least $25 via credit card between midnight and 11:59 on May 3. A donation on either of those exact times may win money for LHF. Please help and pass the word. 
Thank you so much,

Alpha Bruton
General Sponsoree LHF 2016

Friday, January 1, 2016


The VADP has closed its office at the studio and gallery of artist/board member Anita P. Lowe. The VADP since the early 1990's have visited Auburn to conduct exhibits, studio visits, workshops, retreats,  Kwanza Celebrations, dinners, clay days, pit firings, and in 2013 altar making.

Anita will be missed by all who worked with her and played with her.
We are all invited to Ohio to her land to bless it in 2016. TBA


At birth we boarded the train and met our parents,
and we believe they will always travel on our side.

However, at some station
our parents will step down from the train,
leaving us on this journey alone.

As time goes by,
other people will board the train;
and they will be significant
i.e. our siblings, friends, children,
and even the love of your life.

Many will step down
and leave a permanent vacuum.

Others will go so unnoticed
that we don't realize
they vacated their seats.

This train ride will be full of joy,
sorrow, fantasy, expectations,
hellos, goodbyes, and farewells.

Success consists of having a good relationship
with all passengers
requiring that we give the best of ourselves.

The mystery to everyone is:
We do not know at which station
we ourselves will step down.

So, we must live in the best way,
love, forgive, and offer the best of who we are.

It is important to do
this because when the time comes for us to step down
and leave our seat empty
we should leave behind beautiful memories
for those who will continue to travel on the train of life.

I wish you a joyful journey on the train of life.
Reap success and give lots of love.
More importantly, thank God for the journey.

Lastly, I thank you
for being one of the passengers on my train.
Re-posted for Anita P. Lowe

After two decades of programming the VADP, thanks all of you who have supported our ventures. Please keep in touch as we plan on gathering at least once in a BLUE MOON to do something extraordinary.  Please keep sending  updates, and projects that you are involved in so we can share on our blog.

Alpha Bruton,  Chicago Illinois
Talver Germany-Miller- Mather California
Anita Lowe- Georgetown  Ohio
Jennifier Andrea Porras- Sacramento California
Caryl Henry Alexander- Clinton  Maryland
Toni Collie Perry- Sacramento California

Thursday, December 31, 2015


Alpha Bruton, Toni Collie Perry (VADP Board members) presenting.

Panel Discussion- Creative Conversation "Are Black Women Loud"- Del Paso presented by Sojo Art Museum- 2013,  this photo image becomes the art for Creative Conversations, on Blog Talk Radio. The show is a place where artists can schedule a time to call in and  talk about their curatorial projects, rant, casual talk, or have a platform to discuss issues that matter. 

The show was launched October 10th - 18th, as part of the United States Department of Arts and Culture, "Dare to Imagine" Imagination Station. 

Stay tune for more talk, as researchers invite artists to discuss "TACTICLE URBANISM." 

Jennifier Andrea Porras, presentation during the Art and Activism 

Porras has long been inspiring thoughtfulness around civil justice through dance, song, theater and education. She shared stories from a life of activism, which she has passed on to her young son. Porras is the art center manager for the Taller Arte del Nuevo Amanecer in Woodland.

Presentation at the Crocker Art Museum in Sacramento. YaYa Porras has built her world around activism for decades. The daughter of educator activists, standing up for her beliefs came naturally.

“I learned how to march before I knew how to walk,” she said during her presentation.

The Buena Vista Rancheria of Me-Wuk Indians of California is a federally recognized Indian tribe. The Tribe has been listed by the Secretary of the Interior as such since 1985. The Tribe’s Rancheria land is a 67-acre parcel in Amador County just outside the town of Buena Vista.

'YAYA', presents the work she is doing in "Art and Social Justice", and how she and members of her tribe are advocates for social justice issues.

On Nov. 19, four artists from Northern California and beyond presented their work and stories of activism at the Crocker Art Museum’s second Art Beyond Fear panel discussion. The artists who took to the stage represented diverse backgrounds ethnically and professionally, showing how activist art can be woven into our society’s most important conversations through various channels. Dance, education, spoken word, theater, public political actions and painting were the avenues these artists have used to unite communities in hopes of a better future.

Panelist Artistic Presentations:

  • Oakland native Milton Bowens opened the night with commanding spoken-word pieces accompanied by multimedia collage paintings.
  • Chucha Marquez, a queer Chicano print maker and digital illustrator, art is about authentic voice and accessibility. 
  • Sarah Wellington came all the way from New York to share her experience with WE WILL NOT BE SILENT, an ongoing public action language project.

Tickets to the final talk, scheduled for Thursday, Jan. 28 at 6 p.m., can be purchased online or by calling 916-808-1182.

Research: Copyright Credits Art & Activism Go Hand-in-Hand
Posted on November 25, 2015 by TUBE Magazine.

Sunday, December 20, 2015


We finally made it Smiley face agrees. (deflated)

Kaylee & Alexis

In April 2015 My Daughter in Law Penny and I drove across country in her 30 foot RV, to visit Alexis my Great granddaughter and Penny’s Granddaughter for her third birthday.  While there visiting, we decided we wanted to live closer to interact with them as they develop and grow especially, since my Granddaughter Marina was having another child in September.

Smiley face in back of car as we leave. (inflated)
  When we got back to our California house, we made the decision to start packing and put the house on the market. This meant three months of packing; after all I had lived in my Auburn home over 32 years.  We also had to pack my pottery studio and all my inventory…240 boxes later the move was on.

At first we thought we would move to Tennessee, that way we would be close to my sister who lived in Atlanta and to the Great Grand’s. who live in Cincinnati?  After checking property in the area, we decided it’s was not the place for us.  Finally, we decided on moving to Cincinnati to be very near the Children.  Property hunting was a success and we purchased 30 acres of land, on US Highway 68 in Georgetown OH.
 The Farm house

The property has a three bedroom 100 year old farm house and three barns, all the buildings are white with red roofs and as pretty as a picture. The property was covered with 15 acres corn and is overlooking White Oak creek water feeding in from the Ohio River.  At time of purchase I wasn’t able to see all the property because of the corn that covered 15 acres, we have yet to find the pound. (The prior owner said he had not mowed it in a long time).

The Farm house
 The house in Auburn went on the Market June 26, 2015, it sold August 19, 2015.  We were surprised at how fasted the house sold.  After packing up the house and getting all moved out, we left California on our sojourn to Ohio on September 2, 2015, seven days later we arrive in Ohio.  My Daughter-In-Law Penny had a custom built “Tiny House” and since Penny couldn’t transport it because it was a “wide load”, she barter traded for a Ski Boat.  We were bringing out our carpenter Tony who built the “Tiny House” and was able to pull the boat for her.  Penny’s RV towed my Ford Fusion and I drove the SUV.  As we caravan from California to Ohio Tony was “Johnny” on the spot and we may not have made it without his help. Tony rescued us three times when the RV overheated and broke down.

 Soon to Be My Studio

The birth of Marina’s baby didn’t wait for us to get to Ohio, Kaylee Mae Canterbury, was born, on September 4, 2015. Yes, during the trip our 2nd Grand/Great Grand daughter was born.  We arrived in Georgetown Ohio on September 9, 2015. Met Kaylee for the first time on Sept 10 and we took possession of the property on September 11, 2015.  We took it as a good omen because It was Leonard’s, my late Husband, birthday.  Leonard is the Grand/Great Grand Pa of the children.

To be My Showroom
From September 11 until October 10, 2015, the prior owner was busy cleaning out the three barns.  He emptied one of the small barns before my furniture arrived.  I was able to put all the Studio boxes and furniture there.  He had one month to get all item out of the three barns and there was a lot.  When all was done, Tony was able to clean up the large barn and made his own space for sleeping and all his tools.    From Oct 10 to December 10, Tony was to build my studio and gallery in the two barns.  After a lot of haggling with the Brown Township, Clermont County and getting architecture drawings letting them know we were only going to have group showing and no running water in the barns.

That meant I didn’t need a septic tank and I didn’t need architecture drawings just to enclose the barns.   So after all that stress and trouble, the first of November Tony said He couldn’t get the Barns finished in the allotted time he was staying and went back to California.  We were able to get quotes on what it would cost to have the two small barns enclosed as a gallery and workshop.   I hired TM Fano Custom Builders to preserve the 100 year old building allowing the wood to be shown inside and out when they enclosed the two barns as my gallery and workshop.  He said he hopes to have them finished by early spring.

 On November 2, 2015, three large machines came and mowed and shucked  the corn down   It was interesting how it was done  The machine mowed the corn stocked down and the corn passed through a area that shucked the corn and spit out the cob.  Then the shucked corn was passed into a truck.  Taking them 3 hours to mow, shuck and process the 15 acres of corn.  I’m now able to look out and see my property along with my neighbors I didn’t know lived so close.
One of our neighbors came over and introduced themselves to us.  They wanted to know if anyone was going to be hunting deer on the back of my property.  When I told them no, their 12 year old son asked for permission to shoot deer on my property, which I gave to him letting him know to shoot away from the houses.   He promised he would give us a deer roast if he got one.   So I’m hoping he did (smile)

Christmas is almost here and the weather has been extremely warm for Ohio.  We have been busy getting things winterized.   The cars are done and Penny has  bails of straw place around her RV,  she also had her boat winterized and put in the big barn.  I purchased a Kobota Mower and bucket.  The bucket will help clear out the snow in the winter and the mower will do the lawn in the spring. The bucket  helped a lot when they were putting down gravel to cement  the barn floors.

Year 2015 has been exciting, stressful, and interesting.  I’m hoping 2016 will be just as good if not better then 2015.

Monday, June 1, 2015


CALL for Abstract Artists/Installation Artists/Performance Art /Media/Film

Phantom Gallery Chicago Network:

CALL for Abstract Artists/Curators/Installation Artists/Performance Art /Media/Film

Miami Art Basel Dec 3-6, 2015

Application Deadline Extended July  31th,2015

Application documents
Please  copy application format from,, and submit as  ONE PDF DOCUMENT (max 10 mg) to  Subject: Miami/application-

Please note that websites cannot be taken into account in the selection process. 
Please do not include digital catalogs.

Application fees
The nonrefundable application fee of $40, for each application form, must be paid, before sending in the application. Application fees can be paid by credit card via online to Phantom Gallery Chicago Network Paypal. A receipt confirming payment has been received and processed will be generated.

Participation prices:
Feature in online catalog and, 10’ x 10’ entry                              $100
Outdoor Installation…………………………………………….        $100

Additional Fees:
Desired booth wall spaces:  S-250sf        M, 500 sf     L-750 sf    XL- 1000 sq.   
(Each artist will be given catalog featured photo, artwork, and bio)
Storefront: $10 square footage- (building owner)
Tent- (City of Miami- event tent fee’s, include licenses, security etc.)

The number of participating artists/curators is limited contingent upon spaces available. Decisions on admission are made exclusively by the curatorial selection committee.


We will be happy to answer any questions you may have about your application/ please contact our Gallery and Project Manager, via email at

Lavon Nicole Pettis is a Creative Business Development Specialist who blends her background of Psychology and Sociology into the world of creative professionals such as fine artists, writers, actors, and cultural arts musicians with all of the business acumen of a comprehensive fine arts company.

Scrapbook Files

2014 Art Africa, Miami Arts Fair, Lavon Pettis and Collector

Friday, May 22, 2015

Fine Art Exhibition and Reception

Friday June  19, 6-9pm

Griffin Gallery


2233 S. Throop St. #209

Chicago, IL  60608

A matriarchy is a social organizational form in which the mother or oldest female heads the family. Descent and relationship are determined through the female line. Most anthropologists hold that there are no known societies that are unambiguously matriarchal, but some authors believe that exceptions are possible, some of them in the past. 
GRIFFIN FINE ART  proudly presents the work of five outstanding women artists. As they have created incredible artworks  from that intangible, primordial space that is the spirit and essence of  female expression.  They visually reflect upon the stories of life in the nurturing tradition that is uniquely feminine and fundamentally, matriarchal.  
"This exhibition promises to be a feast for the eyes and nourishment for the soul".