Why art is in my life

By DeShauna Hollie

Middle school scripts
High school haiku’s
Rite of passage puppet shows

Words occasionally slipping out
Fitting themselves together
Largely without me knowing

Forming into creative pieces,
That even I was surprised by
At least…In the beginning

Process mattering so
Much more than product
That sacred place
Between vulnerability and art

Do you know those things that you take for granted as a kid, but as you grow up and go through all of those phases of development that help you figure yourself out? Do you ever think about that instance when you discovered all the gifts that your parents and caregivers have given you, those gifts that you are only now beginning to appreciate? Do you know what I’m talking about?

When I sat down to write this blog I started to think about why I write poetry or why I’m so interested in art, and I remembered being in first grade. I had a pretty lucrative tracing business that year. My classmates often asked me to trace pictures for them from coloring books. They paid me in blow pops and pencils. I also thought back to ninth grade, when I learned how to write a haiku. I’ve been writing them ever since then, and although I don’t trace as much as I used to I do still find myself doodling on meeting agendas (it helps me listen) . Until a few years ago, it never occurred to me that those artistic tendencies were a gift from my father.

My father made us handmade cards for our birthdays and every holiday. They were personalized to our personalities and to our hopes and dreams. They often included cartoon characters from pop culture interwoven with words of wisdom, psalms and poetry. I say cards but usually it was a packet of cards and drawings for birthdays and every major holiday.

Although I don’t remember it, I’m sure I must’ve learned how to trace from him. He died a few years ago but I have quite a few of his stencils that he used when he made our cards.  One of the things that he did for work was that he also painted signs on buildings, usually lettering on the sides of walls. So sometimes when I am walking around town I’ll glance up at the words on the side of a building and see his name.

It’s kind neat to have that reminder of his work and that reminder that art is very much entwined in my culture and in who I am.  I’m grateful to have the opportunity to share why art is in my life.

Get Involved!

  • Every LAST SATURDAY from 7-9pm King’s Landing hosts a Monthly #DrinknDraw event where artists are invited to gather together to draw, have a drink, and enjoy the camaraderie of community creating collectively!
  • Central Texas Artist Collective will be having its first quarterly public meeting on Sunday March 12 at Maker’s Edge from 3-5pm. If you are an artist in the area looking to connect with other creatives, volunteer with arts events, learn about exhibiting/vendor opportunities, mark your calendar!
  • Waco Poets Society hosts open mic every Second Saturday 7pm @ Rufi’s Cocina and every Third Thursday 7pm @ Tea2Go :: open to poets, spoken-word artists, story-tellers, musicians, singer/songwriters, and other performance art/creative expression
  • #CTAC will be having their next #Ekphrasis planning meeting Saturday April, 1, 2017 (location TBD) open to anyone interested in volunteering with the planning process or any of the events along the way to prep for the exhibit opening in the Fall, email: [email protected] for more info.
  • Creative Waco has a Top 10 Creative Ways to Engage in Waco over Spring Break, and a line-up of summer camp options for the blooming young artists in your life!
  • The Art Center of Waco has upcoming exhibits, summer camp options, and classes for adults and youth…visit their website to explore the options!
  • And don’t forget to check out the Waco Symphony, Waco Civic Theater, Brazos Nights, Art on Elm coming up April 7-8th, Food Truck Showdown on Saturday April 1st, and many more ways to stay inspired and creatively fed in Central Texas!

DeShauna Hollie is local poet who loves the process of writing poetry and creating art much more than the end product. Sometimes for fun she records poetry for practice. She also loves creating with other people, for her art is very much a community process.

The Act Locally Waco blog publishes posts with a connection to these aspirations for Waco. If you are interested in writing for the Act Locally Waco Blog, please email [email protected] for more information.


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