black witch: the arts, featuring nastassia, lupe, and much more!

August 20, 2010
Here comes another round of The Arts! I hope you enjoyed the last one. Now we did completely music for The Arts but I wanna make sure everyone understands I’m doing all the arts. If it’s creative, it’s up here. I couldn’t modify the post for Artscape, a festival that’s every summer in Baltimore celebrating all the arts (except for the literary arts), for last month because The Arts posts are fairly pre-planned so it’s here this month. Now, let’s get this going, shall we?

Black Witch: The Arts, featuring Nastassia Davis, Lupe Fiasco, and much more!
Review Olivia Haynes

Nastassia Davis

I found Nastassia’s work in an honest case of mistaken identity. When I met some of the first members of Wondaland Arts Society (Janelle Monae’s crew) back in May, it was at complete and random chance. I met Kellindo the guitarist and I remembered his name very well but I couldn’t remember the back-up vocalist’s name though she told me her name just as much as his. It did make me feel rather dreary and I would constantly think, “What is her name?” So I did some looking through the help of my own personal blog post I made that day, Twitter and Wondaland itself. First I found Isis Valentino but then I thought to myself, “Chea, I’m Black and Pagan, I would remember someone named ‘Isis’ and the name ha d a T in it.” Though her pictures were familiar, in my Olympic absent-mindedness, I totally disregarded that and thought it was Nastassia. When I had seen Kellindo again at the Summer Spirit Festival, I told him of my “achievement”. He responded, “Oh, I meant to tell you, Nastassia is our photographer, Isis is who you met.” That means the ‘T’ I probably heard was from her last name, Valentino. I need flash cards, I’m telling you. One day, I’ll get everyone straight, Wondaland Arts Society is a big group!

Though embarrassing that was, it did bring me to something amazing. Nastassia is an incredible and imaginative photographer, her work is stunning and unbelievably creative. If you’ll look at her site, nastassiadavis.com, you’ll see that she’s an absolutely fantastic photographer. I just adore her work!

I love her Selfies, I couldn’t stop looking at them, they’re so amazing! Each picture is clickable to see a bigger version. Every picture here is posted with the permission of Ms. Davis.

“Dumb Mees”

“Wakeup! Create!”


Her selfies are wonderful and each picture is incredibly amazing. When working with others, she is just as terrific!

“Day Dreaming Out of Season”

“Guitar Light”

Besides being an amazing photographer all-around, she is the top photog of Janelle Monae.

Wanna see more? ‘Course you do! Visit her website, nastassiadavis.com! Got Twitter? @Nastassiadavis

Oh boy, the first three The Arts have showcased someone from the Wondaland Arts Society. Last month was Janelle Monae, this month is Nastassia Davis and next month…you’ll find out soon enough. Know me in real life and you’ll know I love Janelle Monae to death and she really does surround herself with very talented people. She’s the co-founder of the Wondaland Arts Society and they certainly do live up to their name for they create amazing things together and individually. That said, I’ll try to keep everything even but don’t be too surprised if there comes a “Wondaland Corner” in The Arts. They’re all quite stunning.

Oh, and by the by, I am going to the 9/13 (and most likely the 9/14) Janelle Monae concert at the 9:30 Club in DC. Be there.

Onward with the other artsy stuff!

Japanese Cartoon

This is Lupe Fiasco’s side project but is not steeped in hip hop. As a matter of fact, this is more punk and fusion (I guess, I never have done well classifying music beyond the bare basics. I’m just a listener, not a discriminating critic). Either way, Japanese Cartoon’s album, “In the Jaws of the Lords of Death” is a cool listen. I really love “Heiroplanes”, “Crowd Participation” and “ARMY”.

Artscape 2010

I only could mention Artscape in passing last month because there wasn’t any space to discuss it. I plan all my The Arts! ahead and there was no space to mention this yearly festival. Oh well.

Artscape is one of the biggest free festivals on the East coast celebrating the different manifestations of the fine arts from music to dancing to acting to visual arts. Everything is free, the concerts, the shows, the activities, everything (but the food). I love Artscape and I go every year, especially because I live so close to it. I really recommend anyone to come if you’ll be in the area next summer. Sadly, Artscape used to showcase the Literary arts as well but the people over at The Arts and Promotions office thought that the Baltimore Book Festival (September) and the City Lit Festival (April) were good enough.

The free concerts were amazing as we had Musiq Soulchild, Cold War Kids and Maysa this year. In years past we’ve had Joan Jett and the Blackhearts, India Arie, Wyclef Jean, Lupe Fiasco, Cake and Citizen Cope to name a few. Remember, these are perfectly free concerts so try to come next year!

There are many things to see at Artscape, such as the art cars, concerts and flyers for outside Artscape events! My favorite part of Artscape? The short films! I looove short films. They’re not a bunch of big budget things with big budget names and terribly recycled plots. No, they’re usually unique and totally stand out.

Here is a short film from this year’s Artscape, courtesy of YouTube.

Now not everything is short films that I like at Artscape that’s got something to do with moving pictures. A couple years ago, Artscape had a graffiti house and I am a big purveyor of graff art. “Getting Up: Contents Under Pressure” is one of my favorite games, I keep track of the new art that’s around my neighborhood and when I visit a city, I wanna see its graff art.

In the graffiti house I saw this awesome independent movie called “WaveTwister”!

It was created by DJ Qbert and he made the album before the movie so everything is cut to his WaveTwister album. It’s a story of a dentist pursuing the lost arts of Hip Hop, which was outlawed by the wicked Red Worm yet the villain used them for his own malicious deeds. You have got to see it, I watch it all the time, especially when I’m sick, and never tire. I was tired of the searching I had to do but I managed to find a spot selling “WaveTwister” here. I really treasure my copy, I hope you’ll like WaveTwister, too.

That’s all for now! And remember, next week is Ask a Witch so ask me anything via email, in the comments or using the Ask a Witch form and I’ll answer the best three I see – I know, I originally said six but I doubt I’ll be getting that many (guess it’s because I’m so new) so I have dwindled down to my usual three. If I get more, I’ll answer more. Either way, send ‘em! They will show on the Black Witch external site since I am posted here every other Friday. So know that I am answering them, just there (see last month’s with Damos’ question). And I’ve been using my Twitter, oh I’m so proud!: @thisblackwitch.

And check it! I’m doing some traveling this week. I’ll be in Philly on Thursday so if you want to say hi or chill for a bit, we can! I know, I originally said I’d be in NYC too buuuuuut that trip has been rescheduled for mid Sept.! Sorry peoples but know that I’ll keep you updated! And I may be slipping in a Samhain/Halloween trip to the Windy City, Chicago! And if you’re in Baltimore, MD… just say hi, I live here, ha ha!