Friday, December 14, 2012

A day dedicated to children

My heart breaks for the families affected by today's shooting. My thoughts and deepest condolences go out to all the families in Connecticut. In a day filled with tragedy and loss it is especially poignant to relay this message about compassion and giving.

Children are the beacon of light in an otherwise uncertain world. I do not have children of my own yet. When I do, I will guide them, protect them and show them the path to making their dreams happen. I cannot imagine any harm or ill being bestowed upon a child. I feel for all parents facing a threat to their little ones's health and well-being.

It is in this spirit that I've chosen to highlight a great organization such as Ronald McDonald House Charities of Hawaii. The Hawaii chapter recently celebrated their 25th anniversary helping families stay together during times of grave illness.

Life threatening ailments can frighten anyone but events like cancer, leukemia and others can be especially scary for children. Ronald McDonald House of Hawaii makes it possible for families to go through treatment without worrying about a place to stay. In addition, families can comfort each other and partake in regular activities with other children going through similar situations. This home makes for a positive and supportive environment where kids can be kids.

I will dedicate tonight's art opening to children everywhere. If you would like to contribute or learn more about Ronald McDonald House of Hawaii, please check out the video I posted. Mahalo Nui Loa and God Bless!

a PREVIEW: Philippines

"Violeta" 26x30 canvas giclee. Edition 1/1. Internacional by Kat Reeder 2012
Here is a preview of one of my newest works, "Violeta", inspired by the Pagapir fan dance of the Philippines.

According to an entry on "Pagapir depicts a royal manner of "walking" among the Maranao people who live mainly around Lake Lanao. Ladies of the royal court perform this stately dance in preparation for an important event. The ladies gracefully manipulate the Aper (apir) or fan, while emphasizing their small steps, or "kini-kini", which symbolizes their good manners and prominent family background."
I'm sure this dance has a long and colorful history. I look forward to learning more from my filipino fans about this style. After all, this show is about sparking conversation and learning----and I just LOVE to learn new things.

For now, this is my interpretation of this beautiful dance in visual form. Remember, only one canvas print will be available so make sure to snag it before it's gone!

Mind.Blown. The India/Spain dance connection.

 Here is a wonderful example of two dances sharing common roots, India's Kathak and Spain's Flamenco. These are two beautiful styles in their own right. When performed in unison they create a stunning mirror image that speaks to a common ancestry (and to my soul). Just an amazing performance. Enjoy.

Internacional: The Art of Kat Reeder opening Friday!

Hello folks. It is the eve of the opening of my newest show "Internacional: The Art of Kat Reeder", opening Dec. 14th at Manifest in Honolulu. All my works are up and ready to go and I'm super excited. This internationally-themed project is one I've envisioned for a long time and I'm glad to finally share it.

You see, I've long been fascinated with world folklore, especially dance and music. I'm sure somewhere is a link to my growing up in Lima and then Miami, two completely different cities with their own local flavor. I was lucky enough to have been exposed to folks from all over the world. From Cuba to Jamaica, my friends were diverse and very much in tune with their traditions. It was a wonderful time of sharing music and dance.

Sure, as with all large cities, sometimes there was discord among ethnic groups in South Florida. Some native Floridians were displeased with the influx of Cuban immigrants as were some Cubans with the influx of Haitians and so forth. Sometimes people didn't understand one another. Whatever the political environment, food, music and dance always brought people together.

It was in this sharing that I noticed the common links between our world dances. I learned that Peru, Cuba, Haiti, Puerto Rico and even America, could trace their dance roots to Africa. This was an awesome concept in my young mind. The idea of all dances were born of cultural interchange, the same type of sharing I did with my friends, was captivating to me.

This fascination with Latin dance soon sparked curiosity for all dances. If Latin-America and the Caribbean shared common roots, why not other peoples?

(By the way, I recently learned there are other nerds like me in the world...they're called Ethnochoreologists. Look it up, pretty cool! :)

This quest eventually took me many places around the world...some figuratively, some literally. I learned that in fact many dances do have common roots. For instance, American western dance can trace it's lineage to Ireland. Spanish Flamenco to India. Phillipines Pagapir to Muslim dance, and many more back to Africa. It is a very cool concept. One I explore with my newest art series.

So please if you're around you should definitely check it out. Only one canvas will be released and the proceeds all go to The Ronald McDonald House of Hawaii...more on that later. :)