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  • Arthur Severio

Art in America

Updated: Jan 2


Cherice Harrison in a photo from our first time working together.


On Collaborating

Collaboration is the action of working with someone to produce or create something.

Most collaborations are rewarding especially when everyone has the same goal in mind. They can also be quite challenging for all parties involved to have their voices heard and their artistic touch represented in the finished product. I've worked with some great people whom I've learned so much from that left my artistic view expanded and my personal life enhanced giving me terrific connections and some great friendships.


A Mardi Gras Indian Queen

My most recent photographic collaboration is with my friend Cherice Harrison. Cherice is a Queen in the Keeper of the Flames Maroon Society. Our work together got us published in Art In America. The feature has an essay written by her with a collection of photographs of her including one by me. It's an honour and a privilege to receive such an accolade especially with her. Many have tried and haven't yet made it into the magazine. It's one of those things that happens magically in my life-call it pure luck.

I love Cherice in the fact she is tireless in her artistic ventures. She is a performance artist and spends time mentors "her babies" of the Flame. Throughout the quarantine, she stood wearing her Plaque Doctor suit at 5 pm for 7 minutes at the St. Claude and St. Roch intersection holding a Black Lives Matter sign. Het "Plague Doctor performance installations. The character was created and rooted in the BLM movement, the goal, to make commentary on the plague of white colonial paradigms on Black lives. The character doesn’t speak to symbolize white silence in the face of overt racism and institutionalize privilege and power of those who strip POC of their humanity in order to normalize their inhumanity to other human beings." She is a true artist using her life experiences to address what's happening in the world right now. In the article, our photo is a picture of her left breast with a scar telling her story of survival. Cherice is proud of her battle scars going against all preconceived judgments of family and society as how a woman of a "certain age" should represent.


ART IN AMERICA


Art in America is an illustrated monthly, international magazine concentrating on the contemporary art world in the United States, including profiles of artists and genres, updates about art movements, show reviews and event schedules. It is designed for collectors, artists, art dealers, art professionals and other readers interested in the art world. It has an active website, ArtinAmericaMagazine.com.

photo taken from the article: Art in America: CHERICE HARRISON-NELSON ON HER MARDI GRAS INDIAN SUITS AND FAMILY TRADITIONSDecember,2021 link in bottom of blog


that "pink haired woman"

I met Cherice through my friend Bethany Bultman, another fierce warrior who heads the New Orleans Musicians Clinic. NOMC is a non-profit organization that provides medical and mental assistance for the greater New Orleans creative community. Bethany is a big supporter of my photography and of Reba - my drag persona. She is tireless in her philanthropy works spending her time in Quarantine having virtual meetings with experts from the international medical world staying abreast of the latest developments to help all of us in the New Orleans area.


The Krewe de Vieux

Not only is Bethany a hard worker, the parties she throws in her French Quarter courtyard/apartment are legendary. She is quite the Martha Stewart making all the food herself with a guest list that includes people of all gender identities, shapes, sizes, colours, rich, poor, celebrities, artists, performers, musicians and just plain ole normal folk.

The first time Cherice and I met was at one of Bethany's parties she held for the Krewe Du Vieux's 30th anniversary. Krewe Du Vieux is a Mardi Gras parade that marches through the French Quarter using political satire as it's theme. The parade brings out locals and tourists alike who mob the streets trying to get a view of the parade and grabbing whatever loot the parade throws. For the 30th anniversary, the Krewe saluted all former royalty. Bethany who served as Queen 26 threw a party on her balcony in which she invited all her "queen" friends to wear our feathers and sequins to bow to Big Freedia, the current Queen as the parade passed by. Queen Reesie and Reba stood next to each other on the balcony getting a lot of attention with waves and beads thrown from the revellers down below. Reba and "Reesie" have a lot in common - they are both big and very colourful. After the party was over and most of the guests had left we sat in Bethany's living room with our wigs and head dresses off scratching out heads getting the blood flowing and becoming friends.


Bethany and Cherice






Here is Cherice's article:

Art in America

https://www.artnews.com/gallery/art-in-america/interviews/cherice-harrison-nelson-on-her-mardi-gras-indian-suits-and-family-traditions-1234611986/queen/?fbclid=IwAR1gEZVDE65NiupLceKK3JMjsDw1oVkQ_uvfxS2C8VPo4I1l2Rb6NO9VUGw









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