New Work Thanks to the HPAC

Happy Summer!! I’m really hoping that today being the Summer Solstice the weather really shows up and shows out! The weather has been sort of crummy here in Chicago, we’ve had some beautiful days but more crummy days. Its okay, because I know that the buck stops here and it will be a fantastic summer!!! I’ mean yesterday it was 60 degrees no bueno!!! Anyway its been pretty busy over here at the Steph Graham empire,I’ve been hanging out at the Hyde Park Art Center (HPAC) participating in their Bridge Program. The experience with was a fantastic one, and its sort of hard to explain The Bridge Program because for the most part it felt like I was just hanging out, but it was more than that as we shared ideas, critiqued artworks , worked our artist statements and discussed just how we are navigating the art world in Chicago. For the past three months this group of artists along with facilitator Annie Morse and Jen Tremblay has become my little family, and now that the program has concluded and my Tuesday nights are free… well I dont know what to do with myself I’m sort of starting to cry now… hold on let me just send a little hello text to my buddy Michelle, she was one of the artists i the program..hmm maybe I’m just being a little dramatic.
So I walked out of Bridge with some new friends, a reworked artist statement and a new project! SAY WHAT!!!

I started Bridge with the intention on making more guy portraits. However the violence in Chicago has been off the charts with all the shootings here and its been really getting me down and I’ve started to take it personally. The death of Endia Martin over a Facebook fight.. I took to my sick bed on her death and I really got to thinking, what my role as an artist was to help bring awareness and finding actionable solutions to curb the violence. So I created a video piece of found audio and video that I call Salvation Street . 

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