Three artists speak of growth


Photo by: Ainara Eizaguirre Irastorza

Miya Fowler gives interpretive dance for audience.

Through singing, dancing and spoken word, three artists told stories about growth, family and the importance of one’s actions on Wednesday, March 30, at the Hyman Fine Arts Center (HFAC).  

The program, titled “Seeds, Cycles, and Sacred Vessels,” was presented by the FMU gender studies department and featured Natalie Daise, Sara Makebe and Miya Fowler.  

Natalie Daise spent her time on stage telling stories of “seeds.” She explained that everyone in her life planted seeds of their personality in her and said the same happens to everyone else.   

For example, Daise said her father planted the seed of painting in her, and her mother planted the seed of storytelling. The seed, Daise said, is then nourished; Daise said her nourishment was found through her husband. Later, the seed blossoms – a process Daise called “a powerful thing.”  

“Blossoming is recognizing my work, recognizing what I do and beginning to do this in a way that other people can see it blossom,” Daise said. “Then, coming to fruit is sort of like a manifestation as a body of work. There’s a body of performance work, and there’s a body of visual work. For me, that’s sort of me fruiting.”  

Daise is not only a storyteller but also a painter of many mediums, including oils, acrylics and thread. Her paintings were displayed in the Kassab Gallery, where guests could view them before and after her performance.  

Daise said her paintings are one of the many products of her work. While some of her work included pottery pieces in the gallery, many of them were portraits that held images of collard greens.   

Daise spoke about the prevalence of collard greens in her work.  

“In my initial paintings, the greens were very realistic, and then they began to morph into hearts and dresses and wings,” Daise said.   

Before Daise’s storytelling, Makeba gave a monologue and song, followed by Fowler’s dancing routine.  

Daise began the performance by watering a plant, foreshadowing the message to the audience. She conveyed a message of healing and of the cycles that one can choose to break.  

A reception followed the performance, offering food and beverages while the artists stood in the gallery to receive questions or compliments and take pictures.  

The event was free to the public in part because of grants from the S.C. Arts Commission. Daise’s artwork remained in the Kassab Art Gallery where it was freely viewable until April 7.