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Art + Design for The Vegan Praxis of Black Lives Matter

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Art + Design for The Vegan Praxis of Black Lives Matter

Vegan Praxis of BLM

About a year after consciously transitioning into a vegan lifestyle I read the book  "Sistah Vegan: Food, Identity, Health, and Society: Black Female Vegans Speak"- a thoughtful collection of essays that bring to light the connection between human rights and animal rights. It was exactly what I needed to read. It offers stories of different women's journeys into veganism in a way that helped me to understand and articulate my own journey. The fact that there are so many different voices in this book freed it from any tone of judgement or "one size fits all" thought; so found it to be  a great social justice piece in general. I keep it on my shelf to reference and reread as needed. It also helped me commit to reading Majorie Spiegel's "The Dreaded Comparison: Human and Animal Slavery", a powerful book (with a fantastic foreword by Alice Walker) that I will also always have a copy of nearby. After reading the book, I started following the Sistah Vegan Blog. I would read it from Fiji, and make connections between what was happening in the states in comparison to what we were experiencing there. I was excited to read that Dr. A. Breeze Harper, the editor of "Sistah Vegan", was organizing an online conference- The Vegan Praxis of Black Lives Matter that is happening this month. After connecting with Breeze I was thrilled to be able to do the artwork for the event.

Vegan Praxis of BLM sketch and watercolor

I did the sketch and watercolor images for conference, and Jack did the design magic. It was a fun challenge to find an image that represents the connection between the issues while honoring each one; and the challenge made me even more excited for the perspectives that will be offered during the conference.

veganpraxisblm flyer

Online registration is up for this Interactive Web Conference. Join to ask and learn how veganism and #blacklivesmatter intersect, as well as why race and whiteness matter within veganism and beyond. Like the book, this conference is taking a holistic approach to anti-oppression work, acknowledging that these politics cannot be single issue.

Visit the Sistah Vegan Conference website for the conference schedule and online registration!

 

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Charlot's Black Christ Mural in Ra

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Charlot's Black Christ Mural in Ra

Jean Charlot mural

When you picture beautiful frescoes in historic cathedrals your mind probably wanders to a European city, and not Fiji. However, we've been aiming to see Jean Charlot's mural of the Black Christ in the Ra District of Fiji for some time now. On our way back from Nadi last week, we made it happen! Along King's Road in Naiserelagi village in Ra, there is a sign for St. Francis Xavier's Catholic Mission. Following the sign towards an uphill 5-minute drive leads directly to the Church that is home to the beautiful artwork. We knew right away that this was the right church, based on the descriptions we'd heard. No other cars or people were around; just yaqona (kava) lying to dry in the sun out front.

St. Francis Xavier's Catholic Mission Catherdral

The cathedral was open, so we removed our shoes and let ourselves in to see the frescoes we'd been eagerly anticipating. The cathedral itself is built in the same manner as the Catholic church on Taveuni- a stairway entrance leading to high vaulted ceilings with stained glass windows and ibe (ih-mbay; Fijian woven mats) covering the floors.

Stained glass windowsWoven mats covering the floor

The set of Jean Charlot's three frescoes was everything we'd hoped for and more. The Black Christ and Worshippers mural is the center piece over, measuring ten feet by thirty feet; and to either side there are ten by twelve panels; one of St. Joseph's Workshop and the other of The Annunciation.

Black Christ and Worshippers

St. Joseph's Worshop

The Annunciation

These pieces were painted in the early 1960s, and his style reminds us of the work of muralists Diego Rivera, Hale Woodruff and Thomas Hart Benton. We are so inspired by the multicultural aspects and empowering nature of the centerpiece; looking closely you will notice Fijian, and Fijian-Indian cultural traditions seamlessly integrated into the mural. Traditional offerings are being made on either side of the Christ figure.

Black Christ detailBlack Christ detailBlack Christ detailBlack Christ detailBlack Christ detail

Jean Charlot has painted murals throughout Mexico and in Hawaii. As we head back to the States- we'll make a serious effort to view more of his work in the region.

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Fiji Pop Up Shop in Suva

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Fiji Pop Up Shop in Suva

POPUP

Last night, we participated in the first Fiji Pop Up Shop in Suva at Distill. It was our first live paint in Fiji. The "pop up shop" concept is a shopping experience that pops up in different locations where new or pre-loved items of clothing, accessories and art are sold. It came together nicely. Our sister in law worked out the concept and details, and Jack designed the flyers for the event. POPUP

Last night's event featured designer label clothing by  two time award winning local designer, Andrew Powell, and new as well as pre-loved pieces handpicked by Andrew.  Our prints and handmade earrings were available for purchase. 

Designer clothing by Andrew Powell

Art Prints and shoesHandmade earrings

Preloved Jewelry

Distill Pop Up Shop Pop Up Shopping

During the event , we collaborated on a live art piece. We had a great time bringing this new happening to Fiji.

Live Painting

Live Paint Distill

Special thanks to Loren Eastgate, Andrew Powell, Jodi Chang and all of our friends and family that came out and supported the event! If you are based in Suva, stay tuned as there will be more Pop Up Shops in the future. Our earrings and prints along with some preloved jewelry are available for purchase at Distill near Flagstaff for the next few weeks.

Fiji Tapa Earrings

Woman Earrings Handmade Earring

 

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Brochure Designs for Paradise in Fiji

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Brochure Designs for Paradise in Fiji

3 fold flyer

We have just completed our contracts with Paradise Taveuni, and we are spending the next couple of months with family on Fiji's main island of Viti Levu. Jack has completed a plethora of projects for the resort, and we're excited to see the printed materials and products. Here are some samples of brochures Jack has designed for the resort. They will be used for promotions within Fiji, Australia, the U.S., New Zealand, and other locations.

3 fold flyer 3 fold flyer2 Dive Brochure Resort Brochure

Wedding Brochure 50 percent specials

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Diwali Kids' Mural

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Diwali Kids' Mural

October 23rd marked Diwali (or Deepavali)- the Hindu Festival of lights. Diwali is a lunar holiday, celebrated on the darkest new moon night on the calendar. Celebrations here included firecrackers and lots of sweets.
Diwali is a public holiday so the local schools had the day off. Jack and I did not have the day off, but were able to celebrate through work. We had 16 kids join in painting one of the containers at the resort.
Jack painting container
We had previously started painting another container at the resort and got a feel for how it would work.
Kids sketching
We showed the kids a few basic organic designs in the classroom, and we showed them how to use leaves as stencils, We also gave a quick lesson in color theory. We didn't have the best paints for the job, but we did have gloves and a very cooperative team of children so it was a relatively mess-free project.
Jack demonstrating
Girls hard at work

We mixed colors and cleaned brushes while they went to work. We gave the kids free range of the composition and color choices. The painting was limited to the areas the kids could reach, but they did a great job of filling those areas with bright designs!

Kids with mural

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Fiji Day

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Fiji Day

fiji flag

October 10th marks Fiji Day in the Fiji Islands. This is the anniversary of two events. The first was October 10, 1874 when Fiji became a colony of England. Within a few years, the English sent indentured laborers from India to plant sugarcane in the islands. The second is October 10, 1970 when Fiji became politically independent of England.

That was the first day that Fiji’s flag as we know it today flew. The flag is blue, in reference to it’s location in the ocean with a Union flag in the top left corner, referencing the colonial history. The flag also features the coat of arms with two Fijian warriors on either side of the shield. Within the shield there is a lion holding a cocoa pod, sugarcane, a coconut palm, bananas, and a dove. Below the shield are the words, “Rerevaka na Kalou ka Doka na Tul" which means "Fear God and honor the Queen.”

Girl Fiji flags

Wouldn’t it be great to have a flag that portrayed Fiji’s diverse history and landscape beyond the relatively short history of British colonialism? We could say the same of most countries I’m sure. For Fiji day, my students designed new Fiji flags including their own symbols for love, respect, natural beauty, Fijian music, and community.

IMG_2484

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Painting in Paradise

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Painting in Paradise

Painting

Taveuni is full of inspiration. In our free time, Jack has been picking up the guitar and ukelele and I've been working on watercolors. Here are a couple Taveuni-inspired watercolors.IMG_1583 IMG_1588 IMG_1627 IMG_1211 Taveuni watercolor

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Art Class Selfies

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Art Class Selfies

kids pics

Several days ago, I took photos of my students and told them to do a silly face and include both of their hands in the frame. We did this in between classes and I did not tell them what this was for. I was aiming for images to use for this week’s Gustave Courbet inspired self-portrait. This week in school, we looked at the history of self-portraiture, and explored visual and narrative techniques employed by old masters and contemporary artists. Self Portrait in process  I gave the kids the printouts of their black and white photographs and they created a 1” grid. They then worked to recreate their images grid by grid. We had previously done a lesson on gray-scale and they used their gray-scale cutouts to help find the lightest and darkest parts of their photographs, and illustrate highlights and shadows.

The final results were great- really cool compositions that they were proud of! Self Portrait 2 Self Portrait 1IMG_1502

***I may have helped on one of these.

 

 

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Tagimoucia Festival

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Tagimoucia Festival

Yesterday we joined in the festivities of the 2nd annual Tagimoucia Festival in Wairiki. The festival is named for the Tagimoucia flower, which is only found on the island of Taveuni. The community came together to celebrate the culture and to support the conservation, protection and clean up of the Fiji islands. Keep Taveuni Clean banner

We joined for the full day yesterday, which catered to the local school children. There were free workshops for dance, music, and visual arts as well as information booths and rides. Last night, they had a mini fashion show and live music. There was an even bigger setup today with more performances going on tonight.

We spent the morning painting faces, and spent the afternoon learning about all of the exciting initiatives happening. It was inspiring to see the local arts, organic farming, recycling, renewable energy, and yoga here on Taveuni and the surrounding islands.

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Latest Designs

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Latest Designs

Taveuni Activities Map

Jack's been busy in Paradise, working on new designs. He's been creating maps, brochures, technical drawings, and ads for web and print. Here's a glimpse of his latest work:map1Taveuni Activities Map Paradisewireframe isometricview

Lotlfinal 50percentcc 4nightcc

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