Dear Uncle Sam,
You are like a very creepy family member and behave more like a member if the mob then a member of the family, so from here on out I'm just gonna call you Sam and drop the uncle shit. I'm wondering if it would be possible to get an itemized break down of where my tax dollars go. Just send it to my address. You know where to find me...after all you find me every year at the same time. I read some where that 40% goes to fund our expansive military complex. I don't want to pay that much for that. Can I opt out? Let's do away with annual property taxes. A home isn't a slot machine, let's just have a sales tax and drop that fluctuating every year tax thing. Put it all into sales taxes. Also would it be possible to have taxes distributed to schools based on the numerical student population of the region verses dwelling location. I just think schools should get funding based on the amount of students they have not how rich their parents are. If rich people get really bugged out about that, they they can send their children to private school (most do that any way) and opt out of paying for public schools out of their taxes. Hey, if the education system gets better broader and more inclusive, I suspect that gentrification would be a thing if the past. Here's how it breaks down. In our current system annual property taxes fund schools in that area and the annual property tax increases and decreases based off of some complicated, secretive schematic that factors income, census records, what color morning poo, horoscope etc. Lets trash that and just do income and sales tax. Then distribute the funds evenly per student. The child grows up, with a head full of relevant knowledge and tools to work in the environment they live in. They will have the tools to foster more beneficial contracts particularly when it comes to real estate and development. Also what's up with this tax bracket stuff? Let's just tax 15% across the board...keep it simple. Oh yeah, and while I have your attention Sam, can civil servants get paid minimum wage? and minimum wage be a livable wage? Folks should want to serve their community with the intention of making it better, not getting rich. Speaking of civil servants let's touch on police and the judicial system. They get paid out of our taxes right? So they work for the people right? OK if that is so, they are doing a bad job (I know the intentions are good, but let's face it this isn't really working out) and maybe they should be let got and just start over. If we know that black people are not biologically prone to being criminals then why is that reflected in our prison, and all this brutality? Perhaps those departments have gotten lazy it's time to get some fancy consultants in and redo this system. I'm not saying everyone is a bad apple but the whole system needs a complete new thought process behind it. I'd opt in for tax fund allocation for that. Well Sam, that's all I have for now. It was a pleasure chatting with you. We should do this more often.
Friday May 13th – Sunday May 15th: Pop-up festivities and artist talk for Explorations In Nude, will be held at 5 Central Ave, Brooklyn NY 11206. The concept behind these events is a performance driven display of the artist’s work using emotions, inspirations and community connections. Events include live performances, a video screening, community yoga class, and a fundraising evening with chef prepared vegan dinner - proceeds will be donated to Black Lives Matter.Explorations in Nude is Chanel Kennebrew’s first solo exhibit. In this new work, she attempts to shake off assigned categories and invites us to explore the different definitions and associations of the term nude. In Kennebrew's opinion, society hides behind -isms (racism, colorism, normalism, conformism, westernism etc) and uses them to neatly organize and categorize practices, ideologies, and movements. Explorations in Nude is the articulation of Kennebrew’s deep dive into that world of isms. Using mixed-media, illustrations, photography, hand-cut paper, wood, paint, ink and installations, Kennebrew dissects, defaces, layers and crassly tacks on foreign elements to chisel away at society's history, power, trends and language. By exposing the layers, she clears a path to imagine, design and build a better futuristic representation of a transparent new world socially aware.
SCHEDULE OF EVENTS
Conjunction (Friday May 13th, 2016) - A screening of a video project by Chanel Kennebrew and Brooklyn35. Followed by live performances. RSVP required. Please note - limited display of Explorations in Nude at this event. To see the full exhibit visit the Brooklyn35 and Junkprints pop-up space on Saturday and Sunday. Doors open at 6pm
Concordance (Saturday May 14th, 2016) - Find your at-oneness in a free community yoga class held in the environment of Explorations in Nude. Led by Tara Sponsored by WTRMLN WTR - RSVP for Class at 10am. Exhibit open to yogis at 9:45am and to public 11am - 7pm
Communion (Sunday May 15th, 2016) - An intimate dinner party and artist talk hosted by curators Jen Joyce Davis and Hana Elkhazin. Plant-based fare prepared by Chef Joanna Jeros. RSVP and donation required. 100% of proceeds from ticket sales will be donated to Black Lives Matter. Exhibit open to public 11am - 5pm
CHANEL KENNEBREW (b.1982, Inglewood, CA) is a Brooklyn/Philadelphia based mixed media artist and prop stylist. Kennebrew holds a B.F.A. from Ryerson University and has also studied at New York School of Visual Arts and Ontario College of Art and Design. She has exhibited her work at The Leroy Neiman Gallery, Westwood Gallery, i-20 Gallery, WNYC Radio’s Green Space, Rush Gallery, Andeken Gallery, SXSW and the Manifest Hope Art for Obama Democratic Convention Gallery Exhibition. She has done site-specific installation work at Etsy’s HQ, Publicis and branded art projects for Nickelodeon, Birkenstock, Pepsi, and Macy’s. In 2013 she won first place entry in Curate NYC. Her art has been featured and written about in the New York Times, The New York Post, Gawker and The Wall Street Journal. She has spoken on panels for The Asian Art’s Alliance, Corridor Gallery, The Black Future Project (Toronto), NYFA, and Craft Magazine. Kennebrew is a contributing prop stylist for InStyle Magazine, People StyleWatch Magazine, Travel + Leisure, Real Simple Magazine, Essence Magazine and Ebony Magazine.About Brooklyn35BROOKLYN35 is a progressive collective of musicians, singers, emcees, Dj’s, producers and visual artists who, instead of being pigeon-holed by the hip-hop genre, hang their hat on versatility. Brooklyn35 has a diverse collective of various styles, including Jazz, Reggae, RnB, Soul, and Dance. The collective’s process is in the vein of classic Motown. All aspects are collaborative from the song writing to the production. Most of our songs are created in a jam session environment. This process ensures that the music is clever spontaneous and unique.
Tara Purnell is a Washington, DC-native, brought to Brooklyn by magic and good fortune. She took her first yoga class as a student of media and marketing at University of Pennsylvania and fell in love. Yoga and transcendental mediation practices continued to ground her work as a multimedia producer and grant writer for youth, arts, education and wellness. With a compassionate spirit and a zest for life, Tara has dedicated her life to celebrating wellness and mindfully meditative arts –empowering people to feel better in their bodies and express their humanity.
About WTRMLN WTRWTRMLN WTR™ is a great tasting, all natural cold-pressed watermelon water that hydrates and rejuvenates. Every bottle is packed with electrolytes (6x the leading artificial sports drink) and L Citrulline for workout recovery, plus nutrients and antioxidants from vitamin c and lycopene. With no added sugar or water and only watermelon flesh, watermelon rind + organic lemon, WTRMLN WTR is a pure and delicious way to stay hydrated.
About Joanna JerosJoanna Jeros is a New York City-based vegan chef and activist working at the ACLU. Having worked in the non-profit sector fighting for social justice for the last ten years, Joanna believes that working to support health through plant-based cooking is a natural extension of her passion for positively contributing to the world. She is a graduate of Hunter College and Ann Wigmore’s Living Foods Lifestyle course.
I kinda snuck and did a group show in Brooklyn. It's currently up at Welancora Gallery. This group show is entitled 'HerStory'. It's a partnership with the Center for Arts and Culture Bedford Stuyvesant Restoration Corporation. I'm super excited to announce that my wwork not only sold out on opening night but was also featured in Monday's AM NEW YORK. The show will be up until June 18th
My very slow breakup with NYC. Well I'm happy to report that contrary to the beliefs of many, NYC is not the center of the universe. For a solid decade I have been wonderfully embraced by the big dirty apple, but in the realm of growth I've decided that I need more space both figuratively and literally. So I made the big huge little leap and have moved Junkprints to Philadelphia! Yep, Yep, sorry NY, sometimes you just have to ditch a bitch. Living in New York has become somewhat like dating a celebrity, it's fun exciting, glamorous and kinda makes you seem 'big time' On the flip side you are constantly questioning your relation to the relationship.
That being said...it is a slow breakup and I still spend about half of my time in NYC (maybe even more than that), on sets styling for all your fave mags and brands.
So now let's talk about all the great stuff that Philly has to offer. SPACE! The home of junkprints is in a lovely loft space smack dab in the Philly proper. Folks are generally not complaining as much about rents, you'd be surprised how much head space talking about and dealing with gentrification takes up in NYC. Yo! there is some incredible art coming out of this city, it's amazing what folks come up with when they have room to take risks and experiment.
Speaking of incredible art. I'm thrilled to announce that I am working on a new Series of Art Called Explorations in Nude. Yep ART!!!!!
Alrighty! Welcome to America! You may have noticed, particularly if you are a person of color, that this nation is obsessed with RACE, and using it in some form to divide folks. In fact things have gotten so out of control that seemingly smart people made up terms such as 'The Race Card.' It's a term usually used when one person is pointing out, that due to racism, a particular imbalance or inequality is experienced. The other person who doesn't want to acknowledge that, then says that the person is simply 'using the Race Card'...as if it's a Visa in the back pockets of jeans waiting to be used to pay for a win in a debate. So, me being the vigilante of social justice that I am, have taken the liberty of making and printing these nifty Race Cards, to remind folks how silly that concept is. You may have seen them. They have been making their way into coffee shops bookstores and counters all across the U.S. In the case that you have not yet come across them you can order them from junkprints.
Yesterday I met up with a long time friend and Brooklyn business owner and a commercial real estate developer pal. My friend is looking into expanding his business in Philly so I tagged along with them to scope out neighborhoods talk to other business owners and get a general feel of Philadelphia. We had some pretty interesting conversations regarding gentrification, the inevitable boring cloud that will roll over nyc due to pricing out creatives, and we also talked about our various view on what the future holds as far as urban development.
If you ever want to really get the lowdown on what's to come in your neighborhood, make friends with a real estate developer and members of city council. So much of the conversations about what will be allowed to go where are are determined by those two entities...with supposed input from the community residents. The part that was so startling to me about many of the views of the developer was how much money and aquisition of it seemed to be a primarily concern. For examples, the proposed plan to build a gated high rise luxury apartment building in an area of row houses. The community was completely against it. The developer was for it stating that by bring in higher earning residents the city could have more tax revenue. My concern is that property taxes are done based on average area incomes so that would inevitably push out old tenants by the tax increase. He argued that the schools and public facilities, such as parks would get more funding from that and get better...but better for whom? My concern was primarily for the residents that currently live in the neighborhood not the rich ones he hoped to invite. I understand that change is inevitable and cities are constantly in a state of flux. One thing that became very apparent in that conversation is that there is a huge gap in perspective in how residents view where they live and developers view that same region. I truely feel that most folks just want a decent roof over their head in a safe and neighborhoor. There are so many people in the business of shaping what that means to potential buyers, often done in a way that doesn't support diversity in age, backgrounds and socioeconomic position. Doing that isn't generally as profitable. So that gap in perspective of what the future of the neighborhood could be is so large that folks are often not even speaking the same language.
I don't think that all developers are bad folks and there are some beautiful examples of valuable developments such as Crane art and the teachers lofts on philadelphia. It's just that so much of the positive development is rarely enjoyed by people of color and old neighborhood residents. I'm sure alot of this has to do with the limited participation and involment if those parties with city planning, funding and development.
That limited involvement sounds like the same problem with every other sector (with the exclusion of activism) of business, from art, fashion, music, finance, tech, entertainment etc.
At the end of our conversation I had a series of mixed emotions and thoughts.
I've been doing some research and there are many religious and spiritual connections to 'I am'. It is such a powerful self declaration. So I figured instead of battling what we are not, let's start to declare what we are and look at the complexities and simplicity of what we are. This is a participatory piece. In the form of posters and post cards. I've been sprinkling them along my recent travels through the southern U.S. and Central America. If you would like to receive some here's a link.
Bible/Torah Use: I Am that I Am (אֶהְיֶה אֲשֶׁר אֶהְיֶה, ehyeh ašer ehyeh [ehˈje aˈʃer ehˈje]) is the common English translation of the response God used in the Hebrew Bible when Mosesasked for his name (Exodus 3:14). It is one of the most famous verses in the Torah. Hayah means "existed" or "was" in Hebrew; "ehyeh" is the first person singular imperfect form and is usually translated in English Bibles as "I will be" (or "I shall be"), for example, at Exodus 3:14. Ehyeh asher ehyeh literally translates as "I Will Be What I Will Be", with attendant theological and mystical implications in Jewish tradition. However, in most English Bibles, in particular the King James Version, the phrase is rendered as I am that I am.
So Hum Mantra: So Hum is an ancient Sanskrit mantra meaning "I am that," which represents the connectedness of all beings. It is a powerful mantra used in meditation on the inhalation and exhalation of the breath. So HumYoga was created with the intention for the practitioner to gain mind and body awareness of him or herself.
Civil Rights Use: Historically, in countries such as the U.S. and South Africa, the term "boy" was used as a pejorative racist insult towards men of color and slaves, indicating their subservient social status of being less than men. In response, Am I Not A Man And A Brother? became a catchphrase used by British and American abolitionists. In 1787, Josiah Wedgwood designed a medallion for the British anti-slavery campaign. He copied the original design from the Society for Effecting the Abolition of the Slave Trade as a cameo in black-and-white. It was widely reproduced and became a popular fashion statement promoting justice, humanity and freedom
Rastafarian: I and I (also spelled I&I, InI, or Ihi yahnh Ihi) is a complex term, referring to the oneness of Jah (God) and every human. Rastafari scholar E. E. Cashmore: "I and I is an expression to totalize the concept of oneness. 'I and I' as being the oneness of two persons. So God is within all of us and we're one people in fact. I and I means that God is within all men. The bond of Ras Tafari is the bond of God, of man." The term is often used in place of "you and I" or "we" among Rastafari, implying that both persons are united under the love of Jah. Also in the Twi language (in which patois uses a lot of Twi loan words) of Ghana, Me ne me is also said, which literally translate to "I and I".
They sneak gratuity...pull you way out of cell and WiFi region then auto charge your credit card for gratuity...after you have been cash tipping the whole time...fail
"Washy washy". There are over enthusiast folks eager to spray you with hand sanitizer everywhere and they say 'Washy washy'
The cruise director makes random announcements across the ship's pa system. It feels like you are a participant in the hunger games or in 1984. Our cruise director's name was Dave 'Dingo' he had an Australian accent and was always enthusiastically announcing things like the 20 minute dance party on deck 7 or that deck 4 has sprinkles.
You will not receive an accurate map nor information about your next port unless it relates to booking an overpriced activity or excursion. And Internet service is $30 per day. Best bet is to check your emails when you arrive at your docking destinations most of the restaurants had free wifi...and negotiate when you get places. There is tons to get into.
And all the restaurants on the ship serve the same food. They just arrange it differently.
There are lots of shuffle board courts on decks perfect for socializing and getting the scoop on cruises from fellow cruisers .
The elevators take forever and are always full. Take the stairs, you probably ate 3 plates worth of food for dinner so you should probably take the stairs anyway.
The towels folded as animals and surprisingly very impressive.
Water... bring your own bottled water. The ship's water taste sketchy and half of the water dispensers are out of order at any given time.
Everyone is super friendly, the workers the passengers...it's pretty cool. One thing I notices is that the staff don't get much time off. One of the fitness instructors said that he had been working for 2 weeks straight and within that time had only had 4 hours off...sounds exploitative, but they did seem happy and I don't know the full details of their working arrangements.
Mind your head if you are sleeping on the bottom bunk
Being vegetarian/vegan, gluten free or pretty much having any kind of "dietary restriction" better yet, if you aren't into eating heavy salt sugar and starchy meals it's challenging to eat balanced. The folks on the ship never want to exclude, I guess it's part of the hospitality so you'll find yourself asking about 3 people for every dish if it's dairy free, vegetarian etc. and most likely it won't be dairy free (gluten free etc.) and if it doesn't contain dairy (or whatever else you are attempting to stay away from to stay clean) it will be ridiculous salty or sweet. The part that makes it super rough is that you are pretty much trapped on the boat for the majority of the trip. And you are not allowed to bring food from your ports back on the ship.
It's a great way to visit many places. I'm Belizean on my mom's side and it was honestly the least expensive way to get there. While I was there I discovered that you can catch a bus up north to Playa Del Carmen Mexico, right outside of Cancun, for about $9 then catch an inexpensive flight back to the U.S. I even ended up meeting folks who jumped ship at certain spots along the cruise...don't think you are suppose to do that but hey it's your life
Overall it's a dope experience, mostly because my folks are dope and central America is dope. Glad to roll with @Kennebrew the 2M2X crew and Tough Dumplin on my first communal yachting experience aka cruise.
I've been working on my Styling website for a few days…uhhhem, I mean few weeks. I asked on of the photographers that I work with regularly if she could send me some of the images I've worked on and she told me it's a lot, bring a drive. She did a meta data search to find all the images I've worked on for the last 2.5 years. It was over 5000 shots. crazy huh? Well I've finally done through it all and picked out the creme of the crop. The site is done!