Jodie Smith is an author in Jacksonville, Fl. While writing is often seen as a task for others, writing has always been her passion and her therapy. A book of her collected thoughts and poetry titled "The Book of Real Shit" is how Jodie decided to introduce the world to her talents and inner self. Behind the cover of the raw titled book are the real emotions that not only Jodie has experienced but that many have endured in their black experience.
I've known Jodie since high school and she has always had a commanding presence. The talent she shares in her book easily matches her spirit. In 2017, I had the pleasure of working with Jodie at Black Opal when she captured the ears and thoughts of many when she performed her cleverly titled poem Negus in Plastic from her book. Since that experience I have grown more interested in her work and seeing where her talents will take her. Allowing herself to literally be read in an open book is a gift to us all and allows us to realize that we do not experience the hardest parts of life alone. Her brave unveiling is the openness we should all strive to achieve.
Tatiana Kitchen is a visual artist from Jacksonville, Fl. Also know by the artist moniker Phoenix, Tatiana’s works feature a vibrant palette of colors, shapes, and whimsical beings. She is talented in a variety of mediums including acrylic and digital work but her primary medium is watercolor. With a lifelong interest in art and dedication to her craft she has grown immensely over the years.
I met Tatiana several years ago at a co-op space for artists and artisans. Considering we didn’t exchange many words that day, there was no way to know we would grow to know each other so well. Her work has always been vivid and captivating but she continues to evolve her style and skill every year. It has been such a pleasure to watch her grow as an artist and friend.
Tatiana has work that is currently displayed at Jax Makerspace and along The Landing’s mural walls. You can also witness Tatiana painting live on April 19th at Art Battle.
I met Steven Westbrook Adams at "Ah La Life" in February curated by Khalil Osborne. In a room full of art and onlookers his photography managed to stand out amongst the crowd. That night, he was featuring only black and white photography which made his work even more intriguing. I knew from looking at his work that he was someone that I'd love to meet and to watch grow artistically.
Later, I learned that the "Ah La Life" exhibition was his very first show and his first time going through all the motions that artist go through in preparation for a show! As a young and emerging photographer, he has already established a great portfolio featuring soft yet strong images. With goals to display his work in other exhibitions and a hunger to grow, Adams is sure to reach impressive heights.