Today we are featuring the story of how two artists met via our Newsletter! At BxArts Factory we love when we hear stories of collaboration and new relationships formed as a result of the artists meeting through us!
We have heard many awesome stories like this and we thank Ijeoma and Gia for letting us share theirs!
I live a stressful life. As everyone reading this knows - behind every struggling artist, is a stressful day job! I also live a blessed life as I am actually able to make use of the degree I am still paying for! This summer those two adjectives - stressful and blessed - collided in my backyard. I'll back up a bit. As part of the blessed part of my life, in my mid-twenties, I was able to survive on Top Ramen for a year to save up to purchase my home. Since then, I have been ever so slowly renovating my 115+ year home. This summer I finally landed on decorating my back yard. After endless trips to Ikea, and bleeding on said Ikea furniture, as I put it all together myself, I finally got to the point where I needed to address the huge concrete patio. Being a child of the 90’s I of course wanted to do some old school graffiti! Why not tag my backyard?! I reached out to all of the Bronx based graffiti artists I could Google. Unfortunately, they did not reach back. So I was left staring at this concrete patio that was staring back, daring me to make it something beautiful.
A few stressful days later I am checking my email and stumble upon the BxArts Factory newsletter. Of course I scroll through to see what I have missed while bleeding over my Ikea furniture, and there it is! It was the love child of Francis Bacon and Georgia O’Keefe. It was a picture of a mural painted by Giannina Gutierrez! I found my artist, now if I could only convince her to take on my small project. Out goes the slightly frantic email asking her to consider the project. Thankfully, it only took the 748th refreshing of my email for me to see Gia’s reply that she was interested in coming to see the patio. If she thought I was both a bit weird and the size of the patio (roughly 20’ long x 9’ wide) was a bit much, she played it off well. She was interested in flexing her creativity on more than just a vertical canvas. We settled on the price of the commission (pay your artists people, even if it means living on box macaroni and cheese for six weeks!) and the time table to create the piece. I made a sure to have the space prepared ahead of her begin date. Working nights and weekends, armed with industrial strength bug repellent, she made art where there was once only concrete. With dogged determination and unceasing creativity Gia created the beautiful piece that I am now once again blessed to live with every day. You never know what amazing opportunities will arise from the BxArts Factory newsletters!
Ijeoma D. Iheanacho
Bringing Art to Every Household.
Chief Editor/House Blogger
Natalie N. Caro is an editor, writer, and professor. She graduated from Lehman College, Magna Cum Laude, with double major in English Literature and Philosophy. She earned a fellowship and an MFA from City College. In 2013, she was awarded the Bronx Recognizes Its Own Fellowship by the Bronx Council on the Arts for excellence in Poetry. She was nominated for The Pushcart Prize, one of the most honored literary projects in America, in 2015. Currently, she's a doctoral candidate in CIAS- Center for Inter-American Studies, Bielefeld, University, where she will.