Wednesday, October 08, 2014

Wanda's Picks Radio Show, Wednesday, October 8, 2014 --the Red Moon

William Rhodes and Crystal Azul Barajas Barr join us to talk about SOMArts Cultural Center Presents, Visions at Twight: Dia de los Muertos 2014, Oct. 10-Nov. 8

1. William Rhodes is a sculptural furniture designer who studied at the Baltimore School for the Arts. He then earned a BA in Furniture Building and Design from the University of the Arts in Philadelphia and a Master's of Fine Arts from the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth. Rhodes' work is in the collections of various galleries and museums.  In addition, they are featured in several major publications. Visit

William Rhodes and Michael Ross lead student artists from two SF public schools who are participating in the Dare to Dream arts program offered by the Bayview Opera House. The students are creating a superhero-themed altar, “The Guardians of San Francisco,” featuring a cohort of newly minted heroes that protect important cultural elements identified by each young artist.  The life size figures will be created from cardboard and will be decorated with paint, fabric, photographs and found objects. They (the Superheroes) will be suspended from the ceiling to appear as if they are flying.

Rhodes believes the spirit and characteristics of materials lend themselves to a particular piece of art. Recycled materials are an important component of his work. Rhodes has been featured in multiple shows, including "Stop Asking," curated by internationally known fiber performance artist Joyce Scott. This show represented the work of 25 innovative nationally recognized artists.  Having exhibited his designs nationally, Rhodes has established himself as a "creative, against-the-grain" sculptor.

William is joined in the studio by artist and Oakland teacher Crystal Azul Barajas Barr. Her interest in the cyclical nature of all things has informed her creative practices, including her use and reuse of found, discarded, and biological materials. After a lengthy adventure learning ancestral survival skills, she earned a BA in Studio Art from Humboldt State University, with an emphasis on sculpture.

Crystal considers herself a pocha.  Pocho (pocha feminine) is a term used by native-born Mexicans to describe Chicanos and those who have left Mexico. Typically, pochos speak English and lack fluency in Spanish. Among some pochos, the term has been embraced to express pride in having both a Mexican and an American heritage asserting their place in the diverse American culture.  This is Crystal's first year participating in Day of Dead at SOMArts. 

Crystal attended last year’s Day of the Dead at SOMArts.  She has hosted a Day of the Dead ritual in her own home for the past 5 years. There are some photos of Crystal's art attached here. To view images of her sculpture, visit:

Ras Kofi Kwayana joins us to talk about PermaKulture, natural living and the rhythms of life. He will be performing at Life is Living on Sat. Oct. 11, at Lil' Bobby Hutton Park in West Oakland  and on Friday at the Black Panther Party Commemoration event 

2. "Ras Kofi Kwayana is an educator, veteran journalist and Manager of the Truly Living Well Center for Natural Urban Agriculture. As a radio host and producer of 19 years, his life work is the re introduction of the principles and practices of Agriculture into the mainstream pop culture. Raised in Guyana and schooled in the U.S, his experience in these societies has informed his perspective on the political, spiritual and physical implications of food justice, and the social landscape has inspired his approach to helping establish this human necessity. As a man of faith, he finds joy in speaking, entertaining and in other ways communicating with global audiences, as a means of extending an invitation to fellowship with the Creator by observing and harmonizing with His creation, known as "Mother Nature." He currently resides in Atlanta, Ga with his wife and children."


Music: Wolf Hawk Jaguar's Exu Exit; Ras Kofi's Oneness (Tawhiwd) feat.: Bilal Samadhi.

We open the show with an interview with an interview with Amikaeyla Gaston (7/26/14).


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