Touch here: your-face-1.m4a
I saw your face today
Save the date for this upcoming exhibition!! We are excited to share that Ciara Elle Bryant is curating the first physical exhibition in the new 500X space!! Vivrant Thang features the work of 12 artists including Jeremy Biggers, Ari Brielle, Ciara Elle Bryant, Xxavier Carter, LaShonda Cooks, Danielle Demetria, Jer’Lisa Devezin, Elizabeth Hill, David Jeremiah, Jas Mardis, Jamilia Mendez, and Desiree Vaniecia.
There will be a virtual reception on August 15th from 7:00-8:30 pm CST. Vivrant Thang will be on view from August 15 through September 6, 2020 at 500X Gallery. The new gallery address is 516 Fabrication Street, Dallas, TX 75212. Vivrant Thang will be available to view virtually on http://www.500x.org and in the gallery on Saturdays and Sundays, by appointment only. More details to come soon! Be on the lookout for upcoming social media posts about the participating artists!
Jas. Mardis: HOME exhibition of leather portraits, statues and a single fabric/leather collaboration at Dallas Love Field Airport has been extended. Due to an overwhelming public/traveler response Curator Rachel Simpson has negotiated a two week extention. This is an 11 piece art exhibition by Dallas Poet, Fabric/Leather Artist, Jas. Mardis. More at http://jasmardis.com.
Thanks Dallas for the LOVE!!! (yes, that is a play n words)
Love Field Airport has featured me for the second 2020 exhibition: Jas MARDIS:HOME for the month of June. The highlight of this exhibition is a fabric and leather piece from the series, Mothers & Sons: “Sons of Her Thunder” subtitle: “Not Another Boy Harmed!”. Select pieces from my “Just A Crown” series on pedestals and two leather burned portraits on new stands complete the display.
Dallas Love Field Airport featuring Jas Mardis: HOME
“Sons of Her Thunder” uses a leather drawn image and a printed image on cloth with the backdrop of an andinkra symbol for energy. John and James, “The Sons of Thunder” from Luke 9:54 who asked Jesus of their enemies, “Lord, do you want us to tell fire to come down from heaven and consume them?” In Matthew 20:20 their Mother famously asks Jesus if her sons could sit in an exalted place in Heaven. In consideration of the current climate I offered a twist on a Mother’s response. “Rain Thunder, Lord, on those who would harm my sons! Bring them home to sit beside me!”
Winds of Change
AUDIO: Did You Know…
Did you know that
Jas. Mardis is an awarded Poet, Writer and Fabric Artist living in Dallas/Ft. Worth Metro area.
When we were boys, my brother and I had the run of Cypress Street in North Little Rock, Arkansas on our Summer visits down home. We ate like kings and fished almost daily between stints of wrestling and throwing rocks at wasps nests and some, mean-as-hell, blue jays.
Early mornings broke thru a small window above the kitchen sink. It was always lined with the hard-skinned, green tomatoes from Madear’s garden below. Every morning, sipping cooled black coffee from Daddy S.L.’s saucer and crunching bites of beautifully browned toast, coated with runny egg and grits, there was little else to satisfy our boyhood needs.
I am certain that the early morning dew of Arkansas is medicinal. We never remembered our shoes and wore threadbare pajamas when walking Daddy S.L. to his blue and silver station wagon, but we were sorely protected from the 5:45a.m. chill. I think now that his smooth, baritone chuckle was our warmth as we skittered back into the kitchen to argue over the last sip of cold coffee and bites of breakfast left on his plate. We would be curled asleep beneath the small, press board and vinyl table within minutes of his leaving…every morning.
He returned home at 3:30pm and walked in giant steps thru the curled up grandkids watching the black and white half hour of Lone Ranger and a local BOZO The Clown Show. We made it a good luck charm to touch the dirt dusted leg of his work pants as he swiped by. In the kitchen MaDear hard fried them palm-sized perch and boiled hot dogs and beans for the kid’s dinner. We heard them kiss.
Other afternoons he stuck his head thru the door and called for us to “come run with me”. On those afternoons we headed down to the ballpark at Whitmore Circle to watch men play baseball. The best part of those “runs” were the Mexican tamale cart vendors who surely over delivered on those one dollar, corn husk wrapped bundles. But, the best thing ever about those “runs” was a singing ball player, they called, “Big Cole”.
From the dugout Big Cole ran thru, what I imagined were, old songs; rifts of blues and names of women and men who had done him wrong. He was older than the players and rarely made it to the plate. I recall him swatting a slow lobbed ball over the Pitcher’s outstretched glove just once. He couldn’t “run slow”, the men teased Big Cole, and he slung the bat and settled back into the dugout. After awhile he began to hum, then riff on the idea of finding a woman who could “wait til the bottle run dry”. “What He say, Daddy?” my bug-eyed query brought chuckles from the grown ups.
Again, Big Cole riffed on about Birmingham not being a ham at all! We oughta see the one up dat gals draws! And me, “What He say, Daddy? What HE SAY?” Soon, recounting stories of thunderous home runs were overshadowed by the salty tongue of Big Cole and a few others trying to jump into the rowdy workman’s calling.
Driving home, Daddy S.L. said that Big Cole was a “Caller” for the Gandy men who worked to straighten the tracks. The heavy loads of trees being harvested from deep in the woods would damage the rail lines and could warp the creosoled drenched ties. He said the “Gandy Dancers” and work crews from the Penitentiary “throwed” them back in line. Big Cole sang to the men and got everybody on the same rhythm to make the job easier.
Daddy S.L. said that Big Cole hung around places and picked up stories to use in his songs. Later, in July, he drove me to the Little Rock Stock Yards and we parked near the junction where myriad train tracks snaked and fingered alongside the warehouses for delivery. We left the car windows down and a warm breeze had me nodding.
I awoke to a shadowy clanking of iron rods and deep laughter. A White man suddenly shouted, “Gwine up to de quarter head”, and men moved in unison toward a curved section of tracks. I sat up and leaned out the station wagon’s window just as the White man made a jerking arm motion and yelled out to the men.
On the hot breeze a long moan built quickly to a wailing, then nasally passage in Big Cole’s, familiar cadence.
Aahh—Two lil’ gals was court’n Me
One was blind & One caint see
My Grandma put a switch to me
When I come home wit a kiss on me
Ol boys pull t’gether
Ol boys pull t’hether—HUH!
At “HUH!” the men shuttered, stomped, whipped their iron rods in a hard, short burst and I saw the track jut to the left.
He did it twice more before the White man gestured with his hand and the men halted. On the wind, that carried dry and hot back to the station wagon window, was laughter. Behind the guffaws came a question. “You couldn’t hide dem gal’s kisses, Cole?!”
Daddy S.L. shook his head, chuckled and started up the family car.
This story first appeared in the blog, Three Days In The City. All copyrights reserved.
Jas. Mardis is an awarded Poet, Radio Commentator, Editor and Fabric Artist. He is a 2014 Inductee to The Texas Literary Hall of Fame.