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Why is it so important to make connections with people? Why is it so important for me to make connections with my neighbors, colleagues, people who walk into an art gallery, that has my work displayed on its pristine walls.
When I moved to this country, 16 years ago, I lived in my own world contented.Yes, there were not that many people to meet, either. As I lived I in a small town called Farmerville in Louisiana. Most folks were cotton farmers and kept to
themselves. Most of them respected me as my husband was one of the three doctors in that town. So I didn't feel compelled to reach out and explain myself to people.I was different, but in a good way. Brown or yellow but acceptable.
All that changed when I moved to Shreveport, LA and 9/11 happened. Something, somewhere, somebody gave me an identity. Was it the men who drove the planes into the World Trade center or the people who were talking about it. I am not sure. It does not matter any more.What matters is that here I am after so many years, still consumed by it and every decision I make has a little or more to do with it.
Be it my art, or the reason to give up my parking space to another at the grocery store parking lot. It all goes back to that dreaded day. I sometimes wonder if I would be a different person if it had not happened? The answer is yes. I would not be compelled to make the imagery that I do.I would be adifferent person all together. Acutely aware of peoples preconceived notions about my religion and culture, I was automatically on the look out. In a situation like this, you either hide or try to do something about it. I was never an ostrich, so hiding was out of the option. So I gathered all my energy, to go back to school and to do what I only knew how to do best. I painted.
I painted the colors of my culture, the images of my written words and found co-relations with my new found country.
Believing everyday, that to make changes one has to be part of the American fabric and engaged in constant dialogue, be it through color or words.