The Grease Pole (Festival Betances 2014)

I can't picture a Summer in the South End without Festival Betances, and I can't picture Festival Betances without The Grease Pole. It is a tradition that has been kept alive since i was a child. Groups of men and women take turns climbing a pole covered in grease with the intentions of grabbing the flag at the top. Besides the cash prize, the winning team walks away with bragging rights for a year.

I remember growing up in the Villa Victoria this event was the highlight of my every Summer. Not until recently did I realize exactly how significant this event is to my community. As I documented the event I came into realization that it was our way of uniting as people. The men and women that participate are from several neighborhoods in the Boston area. We all share differences, as people, but for a split second we all shared a common goal. Not one person ever wins on their own. Unity is a requirement.

My focus was to take pictures but I decided to film the event. I wasn't able to get pictures of the climb but I did put a video together. If you wasn't able to make attendance please watch the clip below. A video would never equal up to being there live but... it is a good second option. Enjoy and share!

If you can't see the video CLICK HERE.

My Week of "Pasillos Pintados 2014"

Every year The Hurley School celebrates Pasillos Pintados. It's a week in which they invite about 20 Latino Artist from the City of Boston area to host a week long event involving all kinds of art forms. The Artist gets a class assigned to them and has one week to create/produce a project with the students. The students will then showcase their work in front of the school and community at the end of the week. I was chosen to work with the 9th grade class. My mission was use my poetry, visual art & photography/filming skills to have each individual express themselves. I was beyond excited!

Our project was named "YO SOY, I AM". I had the students create works of art that would showcase who they are as individuals. I wanted to allow them the chance to use their voice without a filter. Some write poems, some drew and others used my camera to document the experience.

At the end of the week, the school created a gallery in the hallway. Being able to see their work hanged up was a cool feeling. Some even performed their poems on stage. The experience in itself was amazing. I learned a lot as am artist and as a person. I showed them a little about art. They showed me a little about life. That's how it went.

When it was all said and done, I made some new young friends. I took a few aside and asked them a few questions regarding the project. The video below is a look behind the scenes, enjoy!

Pictures in Motion: Little Isabella

Pictures in Motion is a project I started experimenting with a few months back. I wanted to create somewhat of a picture movie or a slideshow with a twist. I used the "burst mode" on my DSLR to capture the movement of Little Isabella in numerous shots. I layer them out in a perfect sequence to bring my images to life.

By the way, I had a blast working with "Little Isabella"!