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Today marks the day of my 28 years on this earth. After a year like 2020, this birthday is a little bit more special than previous years. I think about my 28 years of life. A lot of those years were filled with tears, trauma, sadness and anger. Then again many of those same years were filled with love. They gave me strength, lessons, beautiful people and experiences, but most importantly they gave me hope. They gave me hope for my future selves. This year I wasn't sure who would be taken away from me, including my mother.

I am blessed to be alive. I am blessed that my mother is still here. Blessed that both my grandmothers, my siblings, my family, and my friends are here to celebrate my birthday with me. I am filled with gratitude. I am filled with love. I am filled with hope.

This year was dark. It was dark, yet I always found the light shining through the cracks and I thank my community and the arts for being those moments of light for me this year. 

This year I did what I loved the most, make and share art. I have grown as a person. I have expanded my own art practice, taking a chance on myself by sharing more of me and my work with you all. I dove into the deepest, most hidden parts of myself and have healed. I have never loved myself more and have never been more proud of myself than I am today. I love who I am and it took all 28 years to get to this point. 

I am happy and I thank you all for being on this journey with me. Thank you for your support. Thank you for believing in me. Thank you for following my practice and collecting my work. Thank you for listening, thank you for seeing, thank you for simply being here with me. You all have validated me as an artist and person and again, I thank you. 

Finally at 28, I truly believe that I have the power to change the world we live in. I believe we all do. I believe in the future and I believe in myself. 


In the words of Master P., "If I dream big there is no limit to my success." 

A toast to 28 years of life. 

With Love, 


Ciarra K. Walters 
CURATED BY CIARRA
A VIRTUAL COLLECTION 

Curated by Ciarra is an ongoing series of online exhibitions, curated by me, featuring artworks from my virtual collection. Yes, you read that right, my virtual art collection. Over the years I have compiled a collection of works from museums, galleries, the internet, and books, virtually! 

I think it is time for us to rethink what an art collection is and how it can exist. Although I dream of the day these works in my virtual collection become pieces in my physical collection, I understand the value of working with what you have. 

I am sharing the art that speaks to me, art that I revisit time and time again. I am curating exhibitions that mean something, exhibitions that literally come from my heart. I hope you see what I see and I hope you don't see what I see. That's the beauty of art.

Curated by Ciarra themes will range anywhere from a feeling, a color, a political statement, a mood, a sudden urge to throw some artworks together. It'll show you what I feel and which works and artists tap into those same feelings.

Each exhibition will be featured on my
website and will be accompanied by an Art Talk, where I will be discussing the works in that show. I am thrilled to expand my practice as an artist and I am honored I have you all to share it with.
AN ONLINE EXHIBITION 
ANXIETY

The exhibition Anxiety came about the week of the elections. Like many of us, I was anxious, I was fearful, and I was uncertain what would come of the future. I was not in a space to make art about these feelings, but I was in the space to see art that tapped into those feelings. I went through my virtual collection and noticed I was drawn to works that were red, black and white, and works that contained words. 

Red is the color of the Root Chakra, which is the chakra responsible for grounding. It regulates feelings of safety and security. Red is also the only color in the spectrum that provokes the strongest emotion. It is the color of passion, danger, seduction. It is the first color we see in the womb. It is the color of blood. For me that week, it was the color of fear. 

The election week seemed to be those three colors, red, black, and white. Red for blood that could shed from the results of the elections and black and white for the two most important colors in The United States in 2020. They represented the colors of race, of division. They represented the gray area we were living in. 

Anxiety comes from not being present. Anxiousness comes from feelings of lack of safety and security. These art works dive into chaos, death, loneliness, emptiness, resistance, violence, honesty, and life's fragility. These works can calm your anxiety or heightened it, which is why I chose them. I hope this exhibition makes you think, makes you feel, makes you believe whatever it is you need to believe in this moment, right now.


I present to you my first curated exhibition, Anxiety

View Anxiety 
here

BIRTHDAY SELF PORTRAITS
28: ANOTHER YEAR UNDER THE MOON

For my 28th birthday I decided to shoot my birthday photos instead of getting one of my talented friends to shoot them! They aren't perfect, but they are so me at 28 years old. Silly, serious, and sexy. This was the first shoot I've done in my studio since returning to LA and selfishly I will say, I'm glad I was photographing me first. I listened to all three of Solange's albums and danced my way through the two hour shoot. It was great.

I decided to name these self portraits,
28: Another Year Under the Moon, to emphasize the unforgettable presence of the Moon in my life this past year. The moon has carried me through 27, giving me answers to questions I could barely ask and has given me light in the darkness (literally and figuratively). I spent many nights staring up at the moon this year.

Look up. The sky is the limit. 


View 28: Another Year Under the Moon here. 
A PERFORMANCE PIECE
Blue, Like Some Part of the Ocean

Blue, Like Some Part of the Ocean (2020) is one of my newest performances. LA brings me an energy I have longed for for months. I shot this piece five days after I landed back in LALA land. 

Listen to the waves and watch me move in blue in this unedited performance above. 
THE ROLE OF THE ARTIST
A WORD FROM TODD LEVIN

"The role of the artist, in short is to help us live our lives. The artist does this by creating a world to which we can turn, again and again, so that we eventually are unable to conceive of our lives without that artist's imagination and feeling. Art is the crucial interface between the imagination  and reality, the thing that makes life deeper and broader than it might be without such insight. We have to believe in that kind of creativity. I know I do. There must be something in me, and hopefully in you, that makes us want to continue, and to create art is to believe in continuing. To share one's critical feelings about the past, to try to describe and assess the present --- all that implies a firm belief in a future." 

In Artsy's, What the Art World's Past Tells Us About Its Future beyond Covid-19.


Photo: Ciarra K. Walters, Untitled, 2018, from The Self Portrait Series
BUILD YOUR COLLECTION
POSTCARDS + PRINTS + POSTERS

I have them all. Gift some art for the holidays, yourself included :) Prices range from $5 to $85, I like to keep my work affordable for my people.

Buy some work
here
MISSED THE LAST ARTLETTER? 

View October's ARTLETTER, Art in the Streets. 
THANK YOU FOR READING, LOOKING, CARING, AND SHARING. 
Send a one-time donation here or venmo/cashapp @ciarrawalters

This ARTLETTER is intended to educate and promote the arts to everyone.

Always free, always for the art.
WWW.THROWINGTOAST.COM
Copyright © 2020 Ciarra K. Walters, All rights reserved.


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