For Single Artists Who Have Considered Painting

13 Feb


For Single Artists Who Have Considered Painting

When Commercialism Is Too Rough

By Shaunda Holloway

My 1st grade valentine crush never knew it, but he had a way of unlocking my heart. He was neat, intelligent, and cute.  Hey, it’s worth remembering. But I always hated those little pink candies with the red words written on them. They were too dry and powdery for my taste.

Fast forward far and beyond grade school, Valentine’s Day still keeps arriving.  America still keeps on shopping. Hearts keep opening (and breaking), and some of us have decided to be happy no matter what.

Recently, I started a painting series that turns me on. It gives me something to come home to. No red heels necessary. Every night there is a new discovery both provocative and enchanting. Monday through Sunday I ask myself, “What will it be tonight?  Will I use long, short, or fat canvases?  Shall I use ink or found objects?” The list goes on.

Often it’s a spontaneous process. Other times, it is planned to a T.  The beauty is not always knowing where I am going, but getting there slowly and surely. There is nothing like a new project in motion. Setting a goal is sexy.

The same energy you put into a “romantic get-together” is the same energy we as artists must give to ourselves. We all like newness. We all like to be loved.  But the challenge is to remain connected to what we love. Actual romances heat up and cool down all of the time.  Chocolates and trinkets are fun, but the journey to the spirit is forever.

I am always aroused by the act of making art. Any artist will tell you, once we are in the groove, PLEASE DO NOT DISTURB. I feel really good. In fact, I am more fulfilled as an artist than I have been in a long time. Creative excitement is truly indescribable. Be it art, music, poetry or any other creative form of expression, centralized energy leads to something serious.  Best of all, it gets better and better.

I urge any single artist to take advantage of this time. Tap into the source, put on some soft music, light a candle, and experience your passion.  I promise you there will be no arguments or hurt feelings. You will wake up with a glow and a smile on your face. People will wonder how you spent that special night.  And here is the good part, it will cost you nothing. YES!!! YES!! YES!!!!


Shaunda HollowayJune 8, 2013Third Floor Chronicles : In

2 Feb

In Honor of Langston Hughes


ImageImageShaunda Holloway

June 8, 2013

Third Floor Chronicles : In Memory of  My Mother Sheila Holloway born on June 8th

Always Wanted


Earlier in the week a friend challenged me to do what I always wanted.  I assured him that within 24 hours I would have accomplished a much desired goal. 

 I managed to get around to the initial step the following day.   I registered with the Beinecke Rare Book & Manuscript Library online. The end of my work week piled on like a heap of 50 lb. weights.  I was tired so  I stayed in and basically relaxed.  But, day 2 was, indeed, the door opener.

I gathered up books to return to the New Haven Free Public Library, packed them in my book bag, and then rode my old Schwinn down the bike path.  Next, I made a stop to the New Haven Reads book…

View original post 346 more words

On My Mind

2 Oct

Books: On My Coffee Table, Between My Fingers and On My Mind–

The Right to Write: Julia Cameron

The Art of the Compliment: Christie Matheson

Shake Loose My Skin: Sonia Sanchez

A Pocket Style Manual: Diana Hacker

Something Like Beautiful: Asha Bandele

The Courage to Be Rich : Suze Orman

Even The Stars Look Lonesome: Maya Angelou

The Black Panthers SPEAK: Philip S. Foner

Medium Raw: Anthony Bourdain

Romare Bearden: Frank Stewart

Get Yours…

Shaunda Holloway (Sekai)

Winfred Rembert: The Story of Art by Shaunda Holloway

13 Aug

Winfred Rembert- The Artist
Tuesday August 12, 2014
By Shaunda Holloway

     Two days ago I hopped on my bike in search of inspiration. I headed over to the Kehler Liddell Gallery on Whalley Avenue in New Haven, CT. There has been talk around town that nationally recognized folk artist, Winfred Rembert is exhibiting his work in the city’s Westville section. The show opened on July 31, 2014.  However, on Sunday I had to fill my cup.

     When I entered, I saw Winfred sitting on a long wooden bench in the middle of the gallery. His wife Patsy spoke to viewers regarding the details of his work.

     I have known the Remberts for several years. In fact, I first met them somewhere around 2004 while I was working at local art supply store. They would come in to pick up framed work. No one in the entire staff could say they failed to greet them, because the Remberts are two of the world’s friendliest people.
      I have been known to paint on leather here and there, but it would be Winfred Rembert to give me a deeper understanding of professionalism. The day I visited his home studio he told me, “You gotta create quality work. Something that’s gonna hold up and last,” he affirmed.         

     Flash forward, the fire which sparked national attention to his work still burns.   

      “I always wanted him to show his work,” Patsy said. “People actually touch his work. It is not the type of work that you can’t touch,” she said.
      Rembert’s use of color is bold and flat in some cases which force you to concentrate on the language of his media. He is by no means “toying” with leather. He knows it and exploits its qualities to talk about painful things.
      Though it wouldn’t be my first impulse to touch it, I admire the welcoming sense it sometimes yields. However, personally, I would be too afraid altering the images. Would a finger print be visible? Would the oils in my skin effect the pieces later on? Despite my hesitation, I know these original works are created to endure.
     The stories they convey are both provocative and delicate. These carvings in leather which are painted are our modern day hieroglyphics. Though he is based in New Haven, CT, Winfred Rembert has not forgotten his Southern roots in Cuthbert, Georgia, the intense political climate in which he grew up, or the peril of consumerism on today’s society.

     Winfred Rembert is a man who was nearly lynched to death, but he survived.  He has seen the inside of a jail cell, but he overcame that.  He has witnessed cotton picking and is aware of the subtleties of modern day slavery.  He is not in denial. But he is victorious.

     There is a framed piece behind us which depicts Jordan leaping through the air and slam dunking a sneaker into a young man’s mouth. There are young men beneath at a cemetery. Some are in coffins.  One is shot with blood gushing from his body, while another extends his arms toward Mr. Jordan offering fists full of money. A pair of Air Jordan’s dangled from his neck.

     “I want to talk to him,” he says in regards to basketball legend Michael Jordan.

He has no smile on his face when he says it.  He looks a bit sad for the moment.  His eyes are cast downward  slightly and I get the feeling that there is quite a personal back story.

     I can’t help but wonder how Mr. Jordan would respond to an image of him ramming a sneaker into some boy’s mouth.  Would he even have a reaction?  Had he known anyone personally to be robbed or murdered due to the footwear he is so famous for?  Would he be interested in talking to Winfred Rembert?

     For the sake of argument, I uploaded a photo of the piece and put it on Instagram and hash tagged both Michael Jordan and Winfred Rembert.

“If he contacts me,” Winfred said, ” I am going to come looking for you.”
      The greatest thing I’ve learned from Winfred Rembert : If you have a story, share it. Don’t get so caught up in the “beauty” aspects of art. Have something to say.

New Haven’s Own: Winfred Rembert runs though August 31, 2014.

For more information contact: Kehler Liddell Gallery- (203) 389-9555

Thursday – Friday 11-4

Saturday – Sunday 10-4

Winfred Rembert at the Kehler Liddell Gallery in New Haven, CT.

Winfred Rembert at the Kehler Liddell Gallery in New Haven, CT.

A Poem For My Mother

8 Jun

In Memory of Sheila Holloway ( A Birthday Celebration)


A poem for my mother

by Shaunda Holloway (Sekai)

Do they wear high heels in heaven

and gold hoop earrings

with Posner’s “Get Down Brown lipstick

has God  posted a comment on your style

your quick wit and

fierce vernacular

have the angels told you

that your smile is spectacular

have sins

been washed away


stopped asking you

to pay

How are the ones who’ve

transitioned before you

and the ones thereafter

are they cool

what’s it like

to have loved ones

reflecting on the best

of you

I have never actually

looked for signs

but none

would be


refuting their existence

your footprints

have shown me

paths to trod

and roads

to avoid

and I walk now

with a sense of


the best teachers

have lived their lessons

flesh goes back

to the essence

but spirit keeps on


smart women (they are few)

wear your perfume

and it is as if you are

in the room

Sometimes i hear

foot steps across the sky

and I know

you are nearby

as bird goes soaring

you  are suggesting

that I



my wings




The Motivator

25 May

The Motivator

With effort, the motivator and the doer shall become one.
Shaunda Holloway-

Zenzele- A Letter for My Daughter by J. Nozipo Maraire

24 May

In one hundred ninety-four pages Mararire writes:

“Please remember that your arrival marks the beginning, not the end, of your journey. It is a long and challenging trip. You are a sojourner, there, just passing through. You will eat, study, talk, and travel with friends of European and African origins. it is our hope that you will draw genuine wisdom from each encounter and each adventure. Just remember at the back of your mind you are preparing for very different realities. Their sense of reality is the modern Western world. You, however, have dual citizenship, even global citizenship. You must absorb multiple frames of reality.”

I loaned my original copy to a girl named Maggie in 2008. She happened to be from Zimbabwe. I have not seen it or her since. That is the beauty of home.

Shaunda Holloway-