Welcome to TheGodIs Arts, a vibrant tapestry woven with threads of lifestyle and artistic philosophy. Our journey began with a simple realization: "I rarely found God in church. Yet on any given weekday or night, I'd find God on a dance floor, in music, in poetry, in people, and always in love." These words, crafted long ago, now serve as the foundation for TheGodIs Arts, a testament to the profound connection between spirituality, art, and the essence of life itself.
In the crucible of the Age of Corona, a revelation unfolded – the reason for the relentless pursuit of artistry was crystal clear. It was the key to true living, a means to transcend the daily grind and hustle that, while admirable, often delays the realization of our goals. Living in a city like New York, the struggle is real, and survival comes at a cost that extends beyond mere financial strain.
But for us, the goal reaches beyond personal success; it's about creating and maintaining safe spaces for Black culture to be known, celebrated, and preserved. It's about dismantling the barriers that keep voices unheard and talents unseen. TheGodIs Arts is not just a philosophy; it's a commitment to empowerment, education, and celebration, a legacy forged in the crucible of resilience.
Rooted in a generational greatness, TheGodIs Arts is the brainchild of C. Joi Sanchez aka Radical Black Joi, a child of legacy – a descendant of Patrick Adams and Christine Wiltshire, luminaries who worked with icons like Rakim, Herby Mann, and Luther Vandross. Growing up amidst such influence, the seeds of communal creation were sown. From the Harlem Renaissance to the present, the ethos remains the same: nothing of significance is achieved alone. TheGodIs Arts is the torch passed on, a platform built to empower, educate, and celebrate, to leave a mark that echoes through generations.
In 2011, Art LovHer was born out of a desire for representation in the art world. The founder, armed with a well-cultivated mind and the hustle of NYC, embarked on a journey of research, information gathering, and forging connections. A decade later, the dream of creating a space for voices reflecting a distinct identity is alive and thriving. The living dream of ancestors is embodied in a community capable of achieving anything when united.
Now, as we navigate a post-pandemic world, TheGodIs Arts doubles down on its passion and belief in the necessity of spaces that center and honor Black culture. From comedy to visual art to music and movement, our dedication to creating atmospheres that empower historically overlooked creatives remains unwavering. In the words of RBJ's 2023 art statement, "God made you this bright so that others could see in the darkness."
As an artist who creates work centered around Black joy, the mission is clear – celebrate and amplify the beauty, vibrancy, and resilience of Black people. In a world often fixated on portraying Black individuals as victims of trauma and oppression, there's a commitment to showcasing the full spectrum of humanity, including joy.
The everyday moments of joy in Black communities serve as inspiration – laughter shared between friends and family, the music and dance that fills our souls. This is a deliberate effort to challenge the dominant narrative that fixates solely on Black pain. Centering Black joy is not just an artistic choice; it's a revolutionary act, a form of resistance against forces seeking to diminish humanity and erase contributions to society.
Through art, a space is created for BIPOC individuals to see themselves represented positively, a reminder of their beauty and worth. The artist envisions their work as a source of inspiration and healing, contributing to the ongoing struggle for liberation.
Another artist, deeply committed to celebrating and centering radical Black joy, joins the chorus. The dominant cultural narrative has for too long fixated on pain and struggle, and it's time to change that narrative. Black joy is not just a subject; it's a radical act of resistance in a world that seeks to deny humanity. The art captures the multifaceted nature of Black joy, using colors, imagery, and movement to evoke celebration and liberation.
At the heart of this artistic practice is a belief in the power of joy as a form of resistance. The goal is not just freedom from oppression but also the freedom to revel in the fullness of our humanity. The artists aspire to contribute to a cultural shift towards a more positive representation of Blackness, envisioning a world where joy is as central as the struggle.
"I am just another artist joining the symphony of voices committed to exploring and celebrating the fullness of Black life", according to founder Sanchez, the Black experiences are too often framed solely in the context of struggle, perpetuating harmful stereotypes. The art seeks to challenge these narratives, offering a different perspective rooted in joy, resilience, and beauty.
Bright colors, bold shapes, and expressive lines become tools to capture the energy and vibrancy of Black joy. The artist intentionally includes a diverse range of Black experiences, rejecting the notion that there's only one way to be Black. The goal is clear – inspire others to embrace Black Joy and contribute to a world that celebrates the fullness of Black life.
As we delve deeper into the narratives of these artists, the common thread emerges – the celebration of Black life's richness and the challenge to limiting narratives. Black Joy is positioned as a form of resistance, a reminder of resilience and creativity. The art becomes a spotlight on overlooked moments of joy, a tool to inspire a broader understanding, using vibrant colors and diverse experiences.
Embracing Black Joy becomes an affirmation of the full spectrum of Black life, a revolutionary act that challenges existing norms and narratives. In each stroke of the brush, beat of the drum, or step on the dance floor, the artists of TheGodIs Arts contribute to a legacy of empowerment, education, and celebration. The canvas they paint is not just a reflection; it's a call to action, an invitation to embrace joy as a radical act of resistance.