Saturday, February 17, 2007

Happy 80th Birthday to my mother, Elsie Mae Barnes

Born 18 February 1926 at No Point Farm on St. Jeromes Neck Road in Dameron Maryland in the county St. Mary's County my mother celebrates her 80th birthday, 18 February 2007.

When, as a young girl, that she attended St. Peter's Claver Catholic School at the Cardinal Gibbons Institute my grandparents, Violet and Walter Biscoe would walk with her across the tobacco field and fruit orchard to St. Jeromes Creek where they would then transport her, by boat, to St. Inigoes.

On 29 November 1998 she and husband, Bernard Barnes, celebrated their 56th anniversary.

Happy 80th Birthday to the my mother, Elsie Barnes, who many say I am "the spittin' image of" .

Visit Wikipedia to learn more about births, deaths, and music in 1926. Or Brain History to learn about others' who celebrate 18 February as their birthday.

Friday, February 16, 2007

Metro Arts - WMATA - Art In Transit

Mass transit systems around the world use the power of art to transform utilitarian spaces into places that enrich the everyday lives of transit customers. MetroArts installs artwork in the Metrorail system to make Metro stations more attractive, to provide enjoyment for customers and to contribute to the cultural life of the National Capital area.

The eighty-three-station Metrorail system with its award-winning architecture, is an excellent venue for exhibiting artwork. Since 1995, seventeen works of art have been permanently installed in the system. Eleven art projects are currently in various stages of development for eight existing and three future stations.

L'Enfant Plaza Station in SW WDC features two works, namely Howdy and Ready by photographer William Wegman, that were installed at the station, in 2003, due to its close proximity to NASA Administrative Offices and the National Air and Space Museum.

In June 2006, WMATA - Art in Transit Program in collaboration with the Virginia Department of Rail and Public Transportation issued a call to artists for artwork for the Metrorail system's five Metrorail stations to be built in Virginia as part of the Dulles Corridor Metrorail Project - Phase 1.

According to the Call to Artists (pdf), with a submission deadline for 30 June 2006 finalists were to have been announced in August. Commission announcements were scheduled for winter 2006.

When checking the websites of Dulles Corridor Rail Association (DCRA), Virginia Department of Rail and Public Transportation (DRPT), and Metro Arts - WMATA - Art In Transit Program I have not yet been able to determine the status of the Dulles Corridor Metroral Project - Phase 1 - Metro Arts (Arts in Transit) Project. I will contact the various coordinators for an update.

Though, for several years, I have contemplated exploring the art on display in the WMATA system it was during my trip to the L'Enfant Post Office, in SW WDC, that the ongoing documentary project would be launched.

Usually on Friday afternoon I venture out into the streets but during this cold February wintry spell I have shifted my focus toward indoor scenarios. In fact, had it not been for the fact that I needed to get to a Post Office to mail a birthday card to my mother and a sympathy card to the Dove family I may would not have gone outside yesterday afternoon.

It was during my trip to the Post Office on Friday, beginning at noon, when standing on the platform at Waterfront Station that I decided that, during this particular winter season, to explore public art in the lobbys of buidlings and the metro system. Similar to my January 2006 Ronald Reagan National Airport project.

When the Green Line train arrived, in the direction of Greenbelt, my intention was to head to the Post Office at Washington Square Building at Farrugut North at the corner of Connecticut Avenue and L Street. Where I hoped to get a few architectural interior shots.

However, as the train neared L'Enfant Station, I remembered that there is a Post Office at L'Enfant Plaza. Exiting the station at the La Promenade Mall exit, I'd began my Metro Arts - WMATA - Arts In Transit Historiographic Project.

Walking through the La Promenade Mall I inquired of a security guard if I could photograph inside the mall. He said "I don't think so!".

Disappointed but not defeated, after dropping off the material at the L'Enfant Plaza PO I stepped outside onto the promenade's plaza and took two exterior shots of the L'Enfant Plaza Hotel.

I had actually contemplated heading over to the Mandarin Oriental with hopes of getting a few architectural interior shots, in preperation of my 2007 Cherry Blossom Festival Project - but, it being colder than a witches tit, I quickly returned to the lower level of the La Promenade Mall, walked back through the corridor which was so familiar to me since when working at the DOT NASSIF Building in the 70's I often frequented its shops and eateries. And, on several occasions, in the 90's, "visited with" a manager who worked at the then Loew's L'Enfant Plaza Hotel.

I sometimes wonder where he is and how he is doing, since we had 'some good times' - at the hotel.

Once back on the Green Line platfrom, waiting for the Branch Avenue train to arrive, I quickly snapped photos of the second of two works, at the L'enfant Plaza Station, by William Wegman.

In years to come, I will always remember that it was during my trip to the L'Enfant Plaza Post Office on a cold February Friday afternoon, in 2007, that I launched my Metro Arts - WMATA - Art In Transit Project.

Black Expressions: Hip Hop Festival @ Dance Place

Don't Miss Black Expressions: Hip Hop Festival!

The fourth annual festival, at Dance Place, features New York City based Full Circle Productions, founded by female hip hop artist Rokafella and male hip hop artist Kwikstep. The festival also includes other hip hop artists from around DC and the nation performing dance and spoken word.

17-Feb-2007 at 8:00 pm
18-Feb-2007 at 4:00 pm
18-Feb-2007 at 7:00 pm

SEEN's artist talk at Transformer on Saturday @ 2 pm

Join Transformer on Saturday, February 17, at 2pm, for an artist talk with Seen exhibition artists Lely Constantinople and Antonia Tricarico. Seen explores these DC based artists' use of photography to bear witness, journalize, document, make connection and homage to people, places and things seen through travels and everyday life.

A press release and recent reviews of Seen may be viewed on Transformer's website.

No rsvps for the artist talk are required, just come by the gallery shortly before 2pm. Artist talks at Transformer are wonderful, informal events that allow for a great exchange between artists and audience.

Friday's Photo of the Week . 16 February 2007

WDC . Sunday, 11 February 2007

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Valentine Day 2007 Snow Blizzard - Deju Vu, all over again!

This all started yesterday morning when a WTTG-Fox News reporter asked that folks send in /upload their Valentine Day weather photos. Within seconds I was at my bedroom window photographing snow covered vehicles in River Park Apartment's parking lot and the Near Southeast DC cityscape. Which includes a panaromic view of the US Capitol Building and SW Freeway to my left, the Washington Navy Yard/Southeast Federal Center Complex and the newly constructed but yet to be completed Washington Nationals Stadium and Ballpark directly in front of me and Buzzard Point to my right.

All in all - I'd visit the window three different times throughout the day. In the morning, at noon and in the evening. Where I captured pedestrian and vehicular traffic along Delaware Avenue between M and N Streets, SW. As well as the going-ons in the parking lots of the properties in the immediate area which included two people cleaning the snow and ice off their cars and workers plowing the lots of Carrollsburg Condos and St. James Mutal Homes. And a man who after parking his car on Delaware Avenue, walked through the parking lot to River Park Complex.

Working on various photo projects throughout the day including last Sunday at the newly renovated Donald W. Reynolds Center for American Art and Portraiture I'd reflect on past Valentine holidays, over the years.

Deju Vu, all over again!

Most which since 1992 I remember as having also been associated with a major snow storm. If not on Valentine's Day the day or so after which leads in President Day Weekend. I say since 1992 because it was in January of 1992 that I began photographing the way that I do. And when ever I revisit images that I've taken in the past I can recall exactly what I was going through at the time. Providing an important documentation not only of the times but also of my personal story.

As I now recall that what I am going through on Valentine Day 2007 leading into President's Day weekend is exactly what I have experienced since 1992. Which, is in sharp contrast to the experiences and freedoms of my white counter part.

Valeintine Day does not mean to me - a black man - what it means to my white counter part. President's Day does not mean to me - a black man who practiced integration - what it means to my white friends.

Deju Vu, all over again!

After posting several Happy Valentine and Anti-Valentine postings I celebrated Valentine Day 2007 with a bowl of my favorite ice cream garnished with strawberries, blueberries and honey.

I spent the rest of the night and much of this morning completing my Valentine Day 2007 Snow Blizzard project. And scanning images from my 10 February 1997 Brian Gibson Funeral and 21 February 1998 Don't Bomb Iraq Protest.

Deju Vu, all over again!

Earlier today I remembered that my best recollections of Valentine Day are all associated with my relationship with Frank Gramarossa. Including our first Valentine Party at Studio 54 in 1981 when hershey chocolate kisses were dropped from the ceiling onto the dance floor. And, if my memories serves me correctly, Grace Jones performed.

This started yesterday morning when a WTTG Fox News reporter asked that folks upload their Valentine Day Weather photos. And has led to the creation of a blog at WTTG -Fox News.

Last weekend for "Outwin Boochever Portrait Competition 2006" Exhibition

Inspired by a recent Baby It's Cold Outside blog posting pertaining to Cultural Tourism DC's Warm Up to a Museum February campaign and, hoping to come across a Black History Month exhibtion, instead of embarking on my usual Sunday photo walk through the streets of DC ... last Sunday ... and since it was extremely cold outside I, instead, visited the National Portriat Gallery and Smithsonian American Art Museum complex. Which, since a July 2006 re-opening and dedication has been known as the Smithsonian Donald W. Reynolds Center for American Art and Portraiture (DWRC).

Several exhibits that caught my attention are:

1. American Experience on the first floor of the Smithsonian American Art Museum (SAAM); America's Art / Colonies on the second floor of SAAM; America's President's, 2nd floor, National Portriat Gallery (NPG); Outwin Boochever Portrait Competition 2006, 2nd floor, SAAM; American Art / 1940, 2nd floor, SAAM. And Josephine Baker: Image & Icon which I did not photograph since photography is not permitted.

Nor is photography permitted in the Outwin Boochever Portrait Competition 2006 exhibit hall but before realizing it I had already taken a few shots of.

Since it will be extremely cold outside, this Valentine/President's Day 2007 holiday weekend, may I suggest you visit the DWRC complex. And, by all means, check out the Outwin Boochever Portrait Competition 2006 Exhibition, since it will be on display through Monday, 19 February 2007.

Learn more about the Outwin Boochever Portrait 2008 Competition at Face It!. Here are the 2006 finalists whose work will be on display through Monday, 19 February 2007.

Click above photo to view my Outwin Boochever Portrait Competition 2006 - SAAM - WDC photoset.

Perhaps, I'll see you some Sunday at the Museums.

Baby, it's cold outside ...!

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Congress Day 2007 - Thursday, 15 February - 8:30 am - 12 noon

DC Shadow Representaive Mike Panetta, reminds in an email earlier today that tomorrow is DC Vote's Congress Day 2007.

Please join city leaders, including Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton, Mayor Adrian Fenty, Chairman Vincent Gray, other Councilmembers, the "Shadow" Delegation, and many DC voting rights supporters in this important effort to educate members of Congress and their staff on the DC Voting Rights Act (H.R. 328).

You'll be given all the materials and information you need to speak about the issue - so don't hesitate to show up!

Here are the details.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Cannon House Office Building
Cannon Caucus Room (Room 345) on Independence Avenue and New Jersey Avenue

8:30 AM to Noon

8:30 AM - Continental breakfast

9:00 AM - Welcoming remarks from Mayor Fenty, Chairman Gray and others

9:30 AM–Noon - Visits with members of Congress and staff.

Stay Tuned for more information about a March on the Capitol in April!

Ptown's 4 July Celebration Week

Saturday, June 30 - Friday, July 6, 2007

The Crown & Anchor presents a week-long celebration of the 4th of July.

Dance and party all night long during the week at Paramount, Provincetown's premier waterfront nightclub showcasing world-famous DJs.

Kick off the week with international producer & DJ Junior Vasquez, followed by the legendary Roland Belmares, resident DJ Chris Racine, DJ/producer Tracy Young, Alegria's own Eddie Elias, Joe Gauthreaux and Wendy Hunt.

View the complete schedule.


Passes go on sale February 15 online or at the Crown Box Office. For more information: 1-888-CROWN29.

Don't want to miss out on other great parties? Sign up to receive exciting event announcements.

Please support our local sponsors and reserve your room now at one of the many fine establishments referred to in the accommodations and travel sections of our Web site.

-- excerpted from JustCircuit Promo Partner Independence 2007 mailing dated 14 February 2007.

Happy Valentine's Day to my FLICKR CONTACTS

HAPPY VALENTINE's DAY 2007 to my flickr contacts.

Anti-Valentine Day Meet-up at Hawk & Dove

Valentine's Day is like herpes: just when you think its gone for good, it rears its ugly head once more. No wonder some people prefer to call it VD.

Yes, it's that special time of year when chocolate manufacturers and greetings card companies encourage you to demonstrate the extent of your fondness in cold, hard, cash (or the satin-covered equivalent) on February 14th. Fuck that.

The 20/30's Going Out Group is partnering with Vanessa Mitchell and the DC Singles group, to host the Anti-Valentines Day Black Hearts Party.

This party will take place on February 14th from 7:30 pm-11:00 pm at the Hawk & Dove in DC.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

TONIGHT! - All Acoustic Benefit Show for Briana Waters

An All Acoustic Benefit Show for Briana Waters will be held TONIGHT at the Brian Mackenzie Infoshop.

The Ghost Mice Show & Benefit is scheduled from 7 - 10 pm and will feature the following artists:

Ghost Mice (Plan-it-x Records)
Rachel Jacobs (Local, but from NY too. Amazing!)
Christian Brady and the 12 Foot Scarf (from Mass Movement of the Moth
The April Decca (Local, Acoustic Indie/Pop/Punk)
Sarah Lazare (Local folkish punk

$5 to benefit Briana Waters.

Brian MacKenzie Center Infoshop Events Working Group
1426 9th St. NW Washington, DC 20001