Incognito 2014


2014 Incognito Logo by Henry Taylor. Photo Credit: Santa Monica Museum of Art

Mystery.  Strategy.  Anticipation.  Revelation.

Incognito is the perfect training ground for art collectors who are willing to trust their instincts to add to their growing collections.  This fundraising exhibition, benefitting the Santa Monica Museum of Art, showcases artworks donated by over 550 blue chip and emerging artists.  Over 700 pieces of 10″x10″ artworks were displayed in the gallery and set at the same price point.  Once you discover a piece of art you take its corresponding number tag and pay for the piece. The catch is that the artist’s name isn’t revealed to you until after you purchase the work.

It’s a win-win for all.  Artists get exposure, the museum gets funding for its educational programs and patrons have access to art that cuts out the economic politics of galleries.  You could come away with a piece from an art world luminary or you could find yourself at the cusp of an emerging artists’ creative trajectory.

I had the pleasure of spending a few moments with Incognito Committee Chair Joy Simmons during the gala and she shared that one of the other unique aspects of this museum and this event is that they showcase emerging and established African-American artists like Henry Taylor, Betty and Alison Saar, Sadie Barnette and Kenyatta Hinkle.

I love Incognito because it exposes me to new artists and it exercises my decision-making skills (or should I say, my husband’s…)

Turns out in this forum, my husband reigns supreme.  Two years ago he copped a beautiful Rena Small photograph.  This year he selected a work by South African Artist Ralph Ziman.


“Mabara Bara”, by Ralph Ziman

This year was the 10th Anniversary of Incognito, and it is hands down my favorite art event of the year.  Congratulations to the museum and the Incognito team for putting on another fantastic evening of art.


New Yorkers are turning their cell phones into Easter Baskets while collecting massive Easter Eggs during the Fabergé Big Egg Hunt this month.  The event brings artists, charitable foundations, and other sponsors together for a virtual Easter Egg Hunt around the City.  The Big Egg Hunt first started in London in 2012 and has since been held in Dublin and New Zealand.


Curtis Kulig, Photo Credit: jtenag, Instagram

Here’s how it works:  you download the Big Egg Hunt App, check out the map and go!  Winners finding the most Eggs get Instagram bragging rights and some lucky folks will come away with some swag. The swaggiest (yes, I know) being a Fabergé Egg necklace.

The Artists and Designers donating their creative talents include Curtis Kulig, Retna, Marchesa, William Wegman, D*Face, Cynthia Rowley and many others.  You can view all the Eggs and Artists on Paddle 8’s site where the one of a kind works will be auctioned off for charity.  If you aren’t in NY check out snap happy Instagrammers using #TheBigEggHunt. You’ve gotta love eager egg hunters!


Shantell Martin, Photo Credit: Shantell Martin, Instagram



Faig Ahmed, Photo Credit: enti_tea, Instagram


Benjamin Shine, Photo Credit: The Big Egg Hunt, NY

For more info check out their playful website here:

The Big Egg Hunt

Paddle 8

Zac Posen, Fall 2014. Photo Credit: Vogue

Zac Posen, Fall 2014. Photo Credit: Vogue

So I’m kind of having a Cinderella moment.  The MOCA Gala is this evening and I’m not going.  To be honest the MOCA Gala hasn’t been on my radar since 2011, but I do love fashion, art and any opportunity where culture vultures can be viewed in their unnatural environment.  This year’s event is lacking the hype machine’s fervor this year, and there’s a pronounced lack of controversy (no rotating heads on tables, or live cadavers a la Marina Abramovic).  However in classic MOCA fashion, the 2014 Gala is sponsored by Louis Vuitton and will undoubtedly showcase the creme de la creme in Hollywood and the arts.  Absent are my favorite arts writers which I find curious, but I digress…

If these two weren't so fierce I would cast them as my step sisters in CultureShock Art's rendition of Cinderella.  Liz Goldwyn and Dita Von Teese.   Photo Credit: Liz Goldwyn, Instagram

If these two weren’t so fierce I’d cast them as step sisters in CultureShock Art’s rendition of Cinderella. Liz Goldwyn and Dita Von Teese.
Photo Credit: Goldilocksg, Instagram

In an attempt to assuage my feelings of ennui over not being Hollywood enough to attend a gala, I am watching Andre Leon Talley and Zac Posen talk fashion.  If I had a Cinderella moment, these two would show up with a glam squad and 3 gowns from Posen’s INCREDIBLE Fall/Winter 2014 collection and send me happily on my way. I adore how the simple, restrained tweed dresses and the impeccably constructed evening wear evoke Hitchcock’s femme fatale of the 50’s. Let’s not even mention the Opera Coat, it’s beyond words.

My obsession with this collection was immediate once I laid eyes on Posen’s Instagram video of Anna Cleveland in this show-stopping stunner of a gown last month.

I loved that Andre Leon Talley got a “behind the scenes” look at this amazing dress moment and also had an opportunity to chat with Zac Posen about his influences with this particular collection.

The entire collection is fantastic down to the fabulous shades, and of course anytime I see a cape, I’m delighted. Here’s the collection. I couldn’t agree with Posen more, “Elegance is timeless.”


As thousands of people made the trek home from SXSW armed with a cadre of musical experiences designed to put them on the cutting edge of what the masses won’t be taking about musically for another 6 months from now, I took a trek back into time.  A couple of weeks ago I was record shopping with my favorite producer, who gave me a challenge.  He asked me to pick one album from an artist I had never heard of before based solely on the album cover.  No advance listening, no Googling of the album or artist.  We would take the album home and find out what we’ve got.

Many of our vinyl excursions end up like this and always we’re surprised by what we get.



The album I picked stuck out to me for a few reasons.  First off there was so much going on here with the Chairmen of the Board with the Flute, Maracas, blue polyester suits and hexagonal glasses.  Then I looked at the back cover and the graphics reminded me of Ellsworth Kelly.  So I had a musical hodgepodge featured on the front and cool color blocking on the back.  It spoke to all of my creative sensibilities!


Ellsworth Kelly, “Red, Green, Blue”. Photo Credit: Walker Art Center

“In Session” was produced on Invictus Records in 1970 and was the second album by Chairmen of the Board.  Invictus was the first label to first spin-off of Motown and their sound was heavily prominent in this album.  The Chairmen of the Board was the label’s marquee group, who had their first album hit with “Give Me Just a Little More Time”, (which was tragically resurrected in a Swiffer ad).  “In Session” fused bluesy gritty guitar riffs with classic Motown R&B strings and psychedelic baselines. Turns out this second album produced 4 chart topping singles, but none of them eclipsed the popularity of their first hit single.

I think my favorite song was the “Everything is Tuesday”, with “Hanging On to a Memory” being a close second.  I learned much more about Motown and Invictus Records than I had known before, and got an interesting peek into the record industry in the 70’s. There’s a Documentary called “Band of Gold” that gives a deep dive into the industry that spawned Invictus.  Interesting stuff.  So this album took me on a musical journey that I would never have embarked upon.  Trust your creative instincts and take a chance on something you might not normally listen to, you just might be surprised at what you learn.


“When people say, ‘I don’t get art’ … that means art is working.” Love this Design post from TED

Originally posted on TED Blog:


A look at the Target Design Café at TED2014, with the North Shore Mountains in the background. Photo: Bret Hartman

For years now, Target has invited designers like Isaac Mizrahi (watch his TED Talk), Diane von Furstenberg (check out her TED playlist) and, most recently, abstract pattern-master Peter Pilotto to dream up collections. So when it came to creating the Target Design Café at TED2014, we knew it was going to be cool. The space features three enormous white barrels with plush red interiors that are perfect for lounging. Also in the space: a robotic arm composing quotes coming from the mainstage, graphologists analyzing attendees’ handwriting, and artist Daniel Duffy’s live action portraits of  TED2014 speakers.

Our favorite feature in the space is a simple one. On the cloth strips that cascade in a canopy over it all, there is writing. Here, Target has printed quotes…

View original 320 more words


When traveling for work I stock up on Business periodicals like the Economist or Harvard Business Review and use flight time to tackle a career challenge.  During my flight from Los Angeles to West Palm Beach two weeks ago I was reading Black Enterprise Magazine and as I flipped through pages of Black Women of Power in Technology, Finance, Politics, Entertainment, and Advertising (I even came across a former insurance industry colleague of mine who is now President and COO of Prudential Capital).  I quickly experienced an array of feelings including pride, inspiration and intimidation…

And then I got stuck on intimidation.

These women are no joke and I started to question what value I would bring to the conference.  I took another look at the advertisement for the Black Enterprise Women of Power Summit in the magazine, and the theme was “Embrace Your Power”.  I saw it a million times while making my plans to attend the conference, but at that moment the importance of the theme nudged me in the arm like a sharp elbow.  Right then and there I knew that the Black Enterprise Women of Power Summit was right where I needed to be.  Little did I know that nudge would soon turn into a supportive embrace.

“Lean In” and Lean ON

As Black History Month transitioned into Women’s History Month, the end of February and beginning of March was the perfect time to hold the 9th annual summit which brought together powerful women of color in leadership.  Over 600 participants representing all industries gathered for networking and personal development.

The event kicked off with the Legacy awards dinner celebrating activist and author Myrlie Evers, actress Cicely Tyson, Executive Director Julieanna Richardson, Valerie Daniels Carter and Marian Wright Edelman. These women shared their personal stories of triumph, strength, and determination while stressing the importance of reaching out to others to pull them up and support one another.  I cannot stress how important it was to have this epiphany. We are so conditioned to compare ourselves to others and we are bombarded with images of women tearing each other down over trivial matters.  We succumb to antiquated archetypes associated with being strong black women that we forget how important it is to have and rely on a support system, both our careers and personal life.  Without this, it is surely lonely at the top.

During a breakfast session Myrlie Evers challenged us to focus on “the dash” and the legacy we choose to leave behind. What will we be known for? What is our impact?  In our life’s journey we must not confuse being Human Beings with being Human “Doings”.  Her raw honesty about her mission to bring her husband’s assassin to justice was riveting, especially when juxtaposed with her many professional accomplishments that cement her own place in history.

The summit was an incredible opportunity to celebrate our authentic selves in a nurturing supportive environment where competitiveness and gamesmanship gave way to fellowship and mentorship. While many of us did not know each other, we all shared experiences, tips, book titles, and mobile apps to fortify us on our journeys to develop our careers, our passions and our legacies.

While this is a departure from my normal posts about art, fashion and music I will continue to share some of the lessons I learned from the conference.  Stay tuned for some additional “Power-UPs” that I picked up during the conference.

This 14 year old Designer, Animator, Philanthropist, and Entrepreneur is my inspiration. Not only did she give a flawless TED Talk but she showcased her diverse talents in a very personable way.  Loved seeing this video and had to share. Maya Penn started her first company at the age of 8 and she has been pushing the proverbial envelope ever since. She can tell her story far better than I, have a listen!

This mini dynamo is a force to be reckoned with. To find your passion at such a young age and to nurture it is an incredible thing. For more on Maya Penn and “Maya’s Ideas”, check out her site, her CV is impressive.



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