WE CALL UPON YOU
Tamir Rice, Michael Brown, Breonna Taylor, Trayvon Martin are the names of just a few of the known children murder by police officials. Like many people, I am extremely saddened and upset by the unjust treatment and police murders that Black people face in this country. When I watched the George Floyd video, I absolutely broke down when I heard him cry out for his "Mama." I think that is every parent's worst nightmare (I know it's mine)...to not be able to protect or even comfort your child in their times of need, especially, if they are literally on the brink of death. I can't erase that image and the sarrow I feel for all the parents in the same position.
With that in mind and with the help of other invested individuals, I decided to write a letter to my elected officials calling upon each of them to represent me by supporting and voting for legislation and policies that protect the lives and futures of children who are refused opportunity, prejudged, targeted, unjustly jailed, and murdered because of the color of their skin.
I also believe art and artists play an important role in our education and progress towards an informed, accepting, and compassionate society. Therefore, in addition to the letter, I commissioned four extremely talented, Black artists, throughout the USA, to each design a child's coloring book outline to be printed, colored, and mailed with each template letter. Not only is it my hope that families use these inspiring designs as a means to further conversations about race and racial inequality with in their homes, but also, that with these images, parents, children, communities and lawmakers alike will be motivated to take action and support Black Lives Matter objectives.
5 EASY INSTRUCTIONS
1. DOWNLOAD template letter and design/s of your choice.
2. FILL IN template letter with your name and family identifier (ie, mom, dad, parent, sibling, son, daughter child, aunt, uncle, etc)
3. PRINT letter and design/s.
4. SIGN the letter and COLOR the coloring book design/s.
5. MAIL the signed letter and colored pictures together to your representatives! To find your representative's address, please use the following link:
If you're unsure who to send a letter to first, try your State Senators and/or Mayor. (Click on the arrows to the right of each name for address)
MEET THE ARTISTS
Please consider donating to the artists at: https://bit.ly/WeCallUponYou
B R I T T A N Y H A R R I S, Chicago, ILwww.gobeeharris.com | @gobeeharris
Brittany Harris is an eclectic creator with a wide-range of interests and talents ranging from art to social justice. As a visual artist, she creates art with bold colors, abstract shapes, and charismatic characters that represent different aspects of the Black Diaspora. As a social justice advocate, Brittany has worked internationally, supporting advocacy programs designed to end poverty and further justice reform. Additionally, Brittany founded RootedSol, a company dedicated to changing how women manage their menstrual pain while educating and empowering women to take control of their reproductive wellness. Brittany’s ultimate goal through her art and entrepreneur is to give voice to important societal issues and inspire others to use their gifts to change the world.
"I created this design at the beginning of the pandemic as a reminder of my resilience and ability to stand firm during uncertainty."
C O L E , Washington, D.C.
www.colescreations.art | @colescreations.art
Cole is a self-taught mixed media artist who focuses on the experience of being a creator and human. Her work strives to push boundaries and to creatively connect that which seems unconnected. It has never been enough for her to just apply paint to a canvas. Cole believes art should feel better than that, for the artist and art collector. It should be an experience that engages more than just the eyes.
"I was inspired to create this work around the concept of growth; what it takes, who it involves, etc. For me, the most heart wrenching part about police officers consistently taking the fate of black lives into their hands, is the fact that there are children who never get to fully grow. There are black mothers and fathers who never saw their child grow and never will. As a parent, your job is to raise your child with all the water, care, sunlight and love they need- there are swift and firm repercussions when parents do not do this. As a police officer, your job is to protect and serve everyone in your community- there are minimal repercussions when police officers do not do this. There is something terribly wrong, when the person in a uniform meant to symbolize safety, instead symbolizes the plucking of a flower."
Jamaican born, Miami raised, Kimlayn is a multidisciplinary artist currently living in Los Angeles. Her desire to draw and paint has always been a key part of her life. While studying fashion design in college, Kimlayn learned to combine her love of visual art with fashion. She has been blessed to be able to share her creativity in a number of ways. Kimlayn's work is inspired by philanthropy and her love of learning about people and their different cultures worldwide. The music, traditional garments, body modifications, accessories and textiles all serve as a great influence. Often, she combines her passions in creating original art pieces on canvas and apparel while collaborating with businesses and entrepreneurs to realize their vision, representing branding, logos, and customized art pieces through customer requests. By traveling the world through her art, ultimately, Kimlayn's intention is to share her love of people and culture.
"Recent events have brought to light many issues that have been weighing heavily on my heart and the hearts of my community. We have been pleading for equality for centuries and to be seen with pure eyes and an open heart as equal human beings. This inspired me to create an image that shed a little light on what it could look like and I immediately wanted an image of children. Spreading their pure love and open hearts around the world."
K I M L A Y N, Los Angeles, CA
www.kimlayn.com | @kimlayn.art
B E N P I E R C E, St. Louis, MO
www.benjamin314.com | @ninjamin314
Ben's work deals directly with the reafformation of self in the face dehumanization. It is a reach towards the reclamation of our forgotten wings.
"This image depicts a child rising above circumstance. They fly beyond the reach of the world they are shown and into the infinite possibility of self."
J A N E L Y O U N G, Pittsburgh, PA + NYC
bit.ly/jyoriginals | @jy.originals | bit.ly/JYOyoutube
The JY Originals motto is "Inspire Through Creativity + Play." Janel is a Pittsburgh-raised artist who spent more than five years in New York City before the transition to a traveling artist. She specialize in acrylic, oil and wood paintings, including murals and public projects. Janel produces work ranging from abstract to surrealism and is currently the Artist in Residence at UrbanKind Institute where she focuses on environmental justice and community engagement through the arts.
"There are many different ways to protest, and creating art is the one of my choosing. Earlier this year I designed signs for a peaceful protest in Harlem, which were later featured in the New York Times. This was confirmation that protesting through art is impactful and I wanted to bring that theme to paper with a direct reflection of the protests, including messaging like "art is essential" and "who do we call if we can't call 9-1-1?" along with intentionally blank signs for participants to add their own phrases. I decided to incorporate a few of my recurring half-faced, child-like characters at the forefront to bring a sense of purity, sensitivity and anonymity into the piece: these could be anyone's children."
Brittany Harris; Solitude
Kimlayn; Spread the Love