Zora the Urban Explorer


"Zora The Urban Explorer [compass]" is a 16”x20” mixed media canvas, blending acrylic, oil, resin, watercolors, and faux foliage. It's the latest addition to my #RBJseries, a reflection on life's journey and the forces that shape us. Created in 2019 during a turbulent post-divorce period, it emerged from a chance encounter with abandoned canvases during an early morning trek home from Brooklyn to Harlem. As I grappled with personal challenges, including my father's illness and job loss, the canvas became a sanctuary for my ambitions and dreams.

Originally titled "Cotton Candy Dreamer," it embodied my solitary quest for purpose amidst misunderstanding and discouragement. Stored away in January 2020, it resurfaced in March 2023, prompting a transformative reevaluation after my solo exhibit at HPC in Bushwick. Beneath its surface, flaws and all, lies the truth of my chaotic journey from 2016 to 2020, marked by trauma and resilience.

"Zora" symbolizes the strength and resilience often perceived in others, while honoring the struggles and growth beneath the surface. Inspired by Black women writers like Zora Neale Hurston, it embodies the journey toward self-love and acceptance that has defined my evolution. Through my new mixed-media approach, I pay homage to this journey, hoping to inspire others with its gems of insight and reflection. The poem made with found words from up-cycled magazines reads:

“For urban explorers
A mastery of integrity of artistic intent;
Playing the long game on what makes art:
There is no Rx - no prescription for this!
In my case, it has been the result of an organic process of exploration, engagement and commitment with art and creatives…
And the risks only increase as you age.

She anticipates “some reckonings” around consistent attention to how Blackness and Black feminism show up in the world and pave a clear pathway for growth.
New paradigms bring new opportunities; But change the global view in that they only reveal their magic and mystery over time.
Start your journey with energy and positivity:
Guide the way”


materials: evolved found canvas, watercolors, hand embellished oil, faux flower & foliage, resin & acrylic paint.