Wild Card: The Sanctuaries - The Awakening

In prior posts I may (or may not) have mentioned that I was recently selected to be a visual artist on the Multidisciplinary Arts Team with The Sanctuaries in October 2016. The Sanctuaries is a diverse arts community in Washington, DC where soulful creatives come together to collaborate artistic projects and promote social change and personal growth in safe spaces - essentially, in "sanctuaries." So think art, expression, and inspiration! 

On December 15th, 2016 we had our very first show, "The Awakening: Multimedia Arts Experience," as a response to the current political and cultural climate. This pop-up multimedia arts experience blended music, poetry, and visual art to explore issues of grief, violence, identity, beauty, and hope to fiercely affirm solidarity and collaboration in the face of political forces that seek to divide us. 

 Here's a clip from the event below: 

Video Credit: Damel Dieng

Contact information: dameldieng@gmail.com


About my piece:

My piece is entitled Nova. She was inspired by the constant battle many face when undergoing a change in thinking - an awakening. I decided to go for a contrasting theme on both sides. The bottom is more of a cold still state that represents a more robotic and hallow existence, unaware and inhibited by our monotonous environment. The top is more an explosion of the mind, similar to a supernova, where old matter is extinguished while simultaneously creating new vibrance, life, and meaning. Together, Nova represents the elevation of ourselves that prompts us to think, to act, and to ultimately be. This is an internal awakening from our slumbered realities to our higher purpose. 

"An explosion of deeper thought and understanding. A new self, awakened from slumbered misconstructions and elevated to higher purpose. Through this spark, Life and meaning is created."

"An explosion of deeper thought and understanding. A new self, awakened from slumbered misconstructions and elevated to higher purpose. Through this spark, Life and meaning is created."


Family and friends came out to support our first showcase as the new Multidisciplinary Arts Team!  It was pretty awesome. As a visual artist, I thought I'd get to skip over the performance aspect of the showcase and be more in the background. NOT! Rev Erik, one of our co-leaders, wanted every artist to speak and share their piece/performance with the audience. As easy as it would seem to give a quick speech explaining my piece, I was terrified. Public speaking has always given me huge anxiety and explaining a painting to an audience was just something I've never done/don't do. Using the 'every piece is open to one's own interpretation' rhetoric, I never had to explain my paintings. and gave the autonomy to my audience, encouraging them to decipher their own story instead. Speaking to crowds? HA! But after some practice and pep talks, I got on stage with the rest of my teammates and shared my story.  


Joining the Multidisciplinary Team has been a blessing in disguise, especially since I am aiming to live more outside of my comfort zone and challenge my art. I have met many interesting people from different backgrounds and at various stages in their life and artistic development. It's refreshing to meet with such dope creatives during our busy weeks and refocus on our creativity and spirituality - two areas of my life that I plan to hone this year.  

I look forward to many more opportunities and events with The Sanctuaries and The Multidisciplinary Arts Team this year. We have many ideas and collaborations in store and are also focusing our efforts to both individually and collectively push our limits. Stay tuned! :)

Nova and I. All smiles and good vibes that night :)

Nova and I. All smiles and good vibes that night :)