Friday, May 25, 2012

Catherine Howard: An American In Cape Town

Catherine Howard is a dear friend of mine. She's one of those people that you would love almost immediately upon meeting. She's a great painter, a talented writer, a stunning beauty and a world traveler.

Today I want to share with you a series of works that Catherine created while she was in Cape Town, South Africa. Fr the geographically challenged: that's a long way from Durham, NC! She was there working with the Percy Bartley House, a powerful organization that helps youth in Ogilvy Cape Town. According to Catherine, while working with the boys at Percy Bartley House, their energy and the vibrant color palettes they chose inspired her to become more playful in her own artwork. 

“ 'I know ‘em so well I tell ‘em with my eyes closed' consists of 29 individual drawings that fit together to create one single work.  Integrating markers, acrylic paints, and pens, the layered images (trees, ocean, portraits of the boys at Percy Bartley House) vacillate from representational to abstract, depending on how the eyes focus and how light hits the drawings."  

The title of the series is a lyric from rapper Brother Ali’s song “Us”, references her desire to use her artwork to encourage others to tell their own stories.

…Fear, faith, compassion, and pain
Try as we may, the mask it remains
Such as your religion or your past or your race
The same color blood just pass through our veins
And tears taste the same when they splash on your face
The world’s getting too small to stand in one place… 
- Brother Ali “Us”

For more of Catherine's work, check out her blog at


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