Mash-Up Winner: Michelle Pond

Michelle Pond







Portrait of the Artist


Michelle Pond


I attended another great program at the American Jazz Museum last night.“Bob Barry-Jazzography in Black & White”-Salon and Screening. The program included a panel discussion and screening of the Dailey Pike jazzumentary about Mr. Barry.

He is an iconic jazz photographer (actually music industry photographer) who takes what he calls performance portraits of  musical artists. The photos are black and white, candids taken during a performance and shot in existing light. His work has been on exhibit at the jazz museum since early May and this exhibit remains open until July 21. You still have a few days to go see it and I highly recommend that you do.

The evening certainly was a portrait of Mr. Barry as an artist, but it also became a portrait of artists in general. Following are some thoughts that I came away with from the discussion by panelists Barry, Pike and Jason Piggie, a videographer and Kansas City resident and from the film:

  1. The need to express oneself through an art form has to be the No. 1 motivator for the artist. If it isn’t, the individual probably isn’t going to stick with the art long term because
  2. most artists have to find a way to survive as an artist. This generally means a diversity of revenue streams in order to survive financially. Most artists have to do this at one time or another even if they eventually become stars in their art form.
  3. Sharing is a component of expression. In fact, it completes expression. I don’t recall hearing this relationship described quite this way before. It makes sense to me because I started this blog and my participation in open mics because I wanted to share my work more often than I could by  getting published.
  4. Do not limit yourself. Let your artistic gifts take you where they may. Don’t be afraid to move from literary art to visual art or to combine the two. Try a different form, medium or genre. Let your creativity lead.

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