Art and Music Swinging After 80

Homage to the Past, Hope & Inspiration for the Future

Black Women are inspiring their peers and other generations to break the stereotypes that are often associated with aging. The idea for this work comes from a Chicago Black women’s band The KCR Ensemble, led by 75 year old guitarist Rita Hassell and managed by her husband Oliver Hassell. Here they are:

The art is not portraits of the KCR Ensemble members, but follows the pattern of and pays homage to these women who are playing the classics, the music from the diaspora, contemporary and futuristic jazz.

The images pay homage to art that has gone before, art media, and cutting edge art of today.

The Woodpecker Story under construction

Have you ever wondered where your values were formed? Had a flash back the other day. A homeless man stood at the COSTCO driveway with a sign asking for money to feed his family. Anything would do it said. I looked into my pocket but had no change. I looked into my wallet and had several $20 bills. Did I really want to give him twenty dollars? And then a picture flashed into my head. It was of an old lady with a black dress on, a white apron, and a red bonnet. I immediately asked my wife to pass him the twenty from my wallet. Does anybody know who this old lady was? She was a character in one of my early picture books. The old lady had just baked a pie and sat it on her window sill when a hobo (homeless man) smelled the pie and asked the lady if he could have some. She said no but she would bake him a smaller one. But when the pie came out of the oven it was larger than the first one. She didn’t want to give him a bigger pie so she tried again. The next pie was even larger. She tried a third time and it was even larger. So she said “No, I can’t give you any. Get out of here.” The homeless man stomped his feet and she became smaller and smaller until she turned into a woodpecker. He said to her that from now on she would have to go and peck the trees to find food. Now is this where my value of self-sacrifice comes from? I don’t want to become a woodpecker? But from now on I am keeping some dollar bills in my wallet.