This morning I received news of Outsider Art, not labeling me as such, but nonetheless bringing attention to the fact that I haven’t attended art school.
(Full disclosure, I don’t have an MBA, no MFA and I haven’t spent hours studying the human form or still life.)
“Outsider Art” is defined on Wikipedia as “Outsider artists who are artists with little or no contact with the mainstream art world. They are frequently on the margins of society: for example, slaves, prisoners, and the mentally ill. Their creative output is referred to as Outsider Art.”
I wasn’t sure how to feel. The word “outsider” is a pretty discouraging word, it’s cold and divisive. Unlike the word “insider” which conjures up thoughts of inclusivity and warmth.
Perhaps the only reason that I continued to read the email, was because the person who sent it, a stranger, is highly regarded in the art world and knows a lot about art curating.
It peaked my interest, as so many things do and I Googled it. Come to find out Outsider Art is relatively a new term, though the act of making outside art surely began with the drawings of the first caveman, acknowledged, collected and curated.
There’s Outsider Art Fairs held annually around the world, one is held at the Museum Of Modern Art (MOMA) in New York City annually. There’s also American Visionary Art Museum (AVAM) in Maryland https://www.avam.org/exhibitions-and-events that has year round exhibitions.
When I first began this blog I struggled with a decision, should I just write or should I also share my art. I vocalized my hesitancy in those first days of blogging, I didn’t consider myself an artist and a trained artist named Chris Ludke* (who writes a blog named Plein Air Experience), left a kind comment for me. Later Chris shared my blog. It was validation and acceptance. Slowly my confidence grew from that first nudge and I’ve been posting my paintings ever since.
Which brings me to my news…
Next month one of my paintings titled “Free Knowledge Must Bring Your Own Container” will be exhibited on solo display part of Billboard Hope 2021 in Boston’s historic John Elliot Square in Roxbury from August 30- September 26th. Meanwhile, across town, in the South End, running simultaneously and independently another of my paintings, titled “Ameryca’s Two Sons” will be on display, as part of the Forbidden Fruit Fall Exhibition at Boston’s Piano Craft Gallery (Sept 3 – Sept 26th).
In 2016, I was hospitalized for nearly a month fighting for my life and a team of dedicated doctors saved my life. Later the hospitalist visited my room and told me “Go home & do nothing” and I’ve been painting ever since, releasing the #OutsiderArtist within.
*Check out Chris Ludke here: https://chrisludke.com/