Kendall is here

By kendallishere

Ameya Okamoto

Sunday would have been the 21st birthday of Moose Quanice Hayes, whose grandmother Donna Hayes is the playwright whose play/movie I've been supporting for the past couple of years. Donna was asked to speak at a masked, socially-distanced  "Meditation for Black Liberation" that happened coincidentally to be scheduled on Moose's birthday. Ameya, knowing it was an important day for the Hayes family, came quietly, out of sight of the cameras (except mine), to present Donna with her portrait of Venus,  Moose's mother. Usually Ameya works digitally, converting photographs into poster-ready digital art, but Ameya made this portrait in acrylics. 

Donna said to Ameya, "That's my child, right there. You got her. That's who she is."

Ameya told Donna that being asked to make protest art in the aftermath of Moose's murder changed her life. "I hadn't seen a place for myself in the Black Lives Matter movement," Ameya said. "But that changed how I feel about being an artist." More of the background of that change in Ameya's life is explained in this article, and her website features her digital art, some of which may be familiar to you.

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