HOUSTON IN 2020: SELF-EMPLOYED BLACK ARTISTS
Each artist was invited to create an original work inspired by and/or in response to HOUSTON IN 2020.
Brandon Morgan performs a monologue from the play WHEN WE LEFT by NSangou Njikam.
*NOTE TO VIEWERS: Strong language
BRANDON MORGAN, THE ACTOR: MONOLOGUE
ANAMARIS COUSINS PRICE, THE CHEF: 3-COURSE DINNER
On December 19, 2021, the HOUSTON IN 2020 group was to gather for a special dinner hosted by Amy C. Evans and catered by Anamaris Cousins Price. The intention was to feature Chef Anamaris' creative menu—her commissioned work—and to finally bring the group together in one room and celebrate HOUSTON IN 2020.
Enter the Covid-19 Omicron variant.
We cancelled the in-person gathering out of an abundance of caution, but Chef Anamaris kept cooking. As was her solution during the height of Covid, Chef Anamaris packed up each dish, labeled each box with instructions, and Amy hand-delivered the meals to the other artists from the project for them to put together at home. It wasn't the celebration we intended, but it was a delicious meal that we all shared together, apart. (All images by Amy C. Evans except the last photo, which is a selfie from Imani Stevens, the deejay.)
IMANI STEVENS, THE DEEJAY: MIX
GOSPEL BABY MIX: "The music that kept me grounded during quarantine. When I felt anxious, these are the sounds that comforted me. First time ever mixing gospel, even though it's one of my favorite genres."
EYES ON THE PRIZE, portrait of Chloé Crawford Ross by Frank Xavier, 2021
CHLOÉ CRAWFORD-ROSS, THE DRAG QUEEN: PORTRAIT
ISRAEL McCLOUD, THE PAINTER: PAINTING
BEING THE BEAUTY SOUGHT, enamel on panel, 43.5 x 24 in.
PORTRAITS BY AMY C. EVANS
In early 2020, my original grant-funded project was to document Houston businesses that have been in continuous operation for 80 years or more. As part of that proposal, I included the creation of original paintings—portraits-—of each business. In March 2020, just as the pandemic hit, I was given the opportunity to revise not only the scope of my project, but the theme, as well. Enter HOUSTON IN 2020: SELF-EMPLOYED BLACK ARTISTS, the inspiration for which you can read more about here. As I got deeper into this work, creating paintings seemed less about the goals of the project and felt more like centering myself within it. But the HAA liked the paintings as an element of the creative products for HOUSTON IN 2020, so I went ahead and did them. If you happen to already be familiar with my painting style, you know that I very rarely do portraits, so this was a personal challenge, as well as a practical one. Creating the portraits featured below helped me grow closer to these artists through the simple act of studying the intricacies of their faces and expressions, offering a satisfying and rewarding challenge to my personal creative practice.
All portraits are done in acrylic on wood panels, 24 x 24 in. each.