Photo by Josh Gios

“Many men go fishing all of their lives without knowing it is not fish they are after.”


I want to be the kind of person to bring the best out of those around me. I love to see folks shining. When that happens everyone around benefits. They are also inspired to let their inner beauty and power free. 

I feel a responsibility to help build this community and to build as much capacity for artists as I can. I was given so much by my community. My journey as an artist is full of stories of people who saw what I didn’t see yet, who believed in my possibility and encouraged me to pursue that. Folks who offered opportunities and support. I wouldn’t be here without them. So I want to provide that for other artists. 

I have come to understand that not everyone will understand my methods. Not without my experiences because my methods are informed by the lives of the people I work with and the mentors who have devoted time to guiding me. 

Not everyone will agree. Some will resist. Some will try to derail. Some will seek refuge elsewhere. A few will try to take up too much space. Not much of any of that will work. Most will concede to that or walk away. Nonetheless, my purpose and vision won’t change. 

My aim is to use the gifts I have to do good work. I consider the folks I have learned from and fought beside and followed and whether I can look in their eyes and not be concerned about any decisions about work I am making. It’s a self imposed standard I will not compromise. Accountability is a choice and I make that choice again and again based on the community that shaped me. 

We all have to figure out where we stand in this work and operate from that position. Outside of the art we create, what is our role in the arts scene we are a part of? What do we see as gaps in what is happening and is available? What do we see as unrealized opportunities? What do we need? How can things be better for all of us? There is a way of seeing and thinking that we have honed in our creative practice that is a valuable tool for creative and critical analysis. We know each other, even if we haven’t met each other. We know what it is that leads us to do what we do. How does that factor into how we advocate for the arts and artists across the community?

There is so much talent and so much potential here. The breadth of artists we have in the area is amazing. Hell, North Carolina as a whole is full of artistic brilliance. Now, as in any arts scene, there are still some issues. There will be. That doesn’t change what’s here. It just means that artists are human beings and we can’t lose sight of the fact that the personal also impacts the scene. We can’t be so disillusioned by the feel of the art that we forget the artists behind it.

The things that are happening here are so promising. There are resources being devoted to the arts. There is growing organization amongst artists. There are new efforts by arts organizations to serve the artists. There are important conversations about equity and sustainability happening. The scope of creative placemaking and public art is expanding and previously marginalized voices are being included in new initiatives and projects. Pay attention, it’s a wonderful blossoming thing. 

“A purpose, an intention, a design, strikes everywhere the careless, the most stupid thinker”

David Hume

As always, it’s about the work. That means that doing the work doesn’t guarantee that folks will recognize the value even if they benefit. But the fact that the work is being done matters. The prospect for impact is there, is what we do the work for. 

We can contribute to the ongoing growth of something wonderful here.