It’s not easy to hold down a full time teaching job and then come home to work on art projects but I’m about to turn 50 so I figure it’s time to make a larger commitment to my art practice. Today I joined the Asian American Women’s Art Association. I also submitted some artwork (including The Altar of Clarity at left) and a proposal to a show they will be producing next year themed around the work of Yuri Kochiyama. Kochiyama, became famous for a photograph in Time magazine of herholding Malcolm X’s head as he lay dying at the Audubon Ballroom in 1965. The image has always haunted and inspired me because she was the first Japanese American woman activist I had ever seen or heard of. There she was, right there with Malcolm X, being his friend and colleague, supporting his cause for justice in the last tragic moments of his life, telling him to “stay alive!” Now given an opportunity to participate in an artshow devoted to one of my greatest Sheros, I really hope to be able to participate. Regardless, of whether or not my work is accepted, I feel like this is a good step in a positive direction, to get artwork out into the world and to join forces with a proactive group of women who are organizing to empower Asian American women artists.
To view the image I mention above, here is a link from Time magazine. Be forewarned, it is incredibly graphic: http://time.com/3880035/yuri-kochiyama-at-malcolm-xs-side-when-he-died-is-dead-at-93/
Here is a link to the Asian American Women’s Art Association site: http://aawaa.net