“I brought my nine-year-old with me to help with the Creative Crossings contest. She is the only one of my kids who likes to draw and I wanted us to do this together. We are going to be a mother/daughter team. I have a show I want us to do called “Follow Me.” I bought her a bunch of canvasses and she has replicated a lot of the paintings I have done in the past but it is from her own perspective. I talk to her like she is 15 and we talk about going to Paris to study. We can get a little apartment and paint all day.
I have not had an art show since high school. Life happens. Kids, school, husband, house and dog and a year turns to five turns to ten. This year I made up my mind to get everything in perspective and get back into my art and this is the first thing I have done publicly. Whoever wins gets to come back and spray it with permanent paint.I am comfortable now, I don’t have to impress anyone but my daughter and it’s not hard to impress a nine-year-old.
It feels good to create this crosswalk with all of the intersections coming through downtown. You have to go through all areas to get downtown and we all come together through Mardi Gras, so that is the reason for the Mardi Gras beads. My oldest daughter prayed for us before we got started. I always pray before I create because I am thankful my hands can do what they do. I am so grateful.
I was one of three daughters and my father taught me have to draw. There is no color or race when you create, it’s just color. My sister always told me God will make room for your gifts and it took me this year to do it. I donated one mural to my old high school and I put in on Facebook and it spread like wildfire. When you are an artist you do feel vulnerable because it is about opening up.”
(I met Soynika Bush-Edwards almost a year ago today with this interview. This contest was a big moment for because she had locked away the artist inside herself to take care of her family and she didn’t think she would get it back. Soynika has done more public art since this crosswalk and now we are working on a mural in Prichard. It is a wall full of hope, color, and history because she wants to give something uplifting and inspiring back to her city and be a part of positive change that can happen there.)