Tuesday, June 9, 2015

What I learned from Nona Hendryx about being an artist: Kelle Jolly Artist Interview with Marcus Carmon

Thank you Mrs. Kelle Jolly
for sitting down and talking with me. I learned so much from you and it
was an honor to be able to do so. Thank you for the good energy.

Kelle is the first artist on our new series where we seek to highlight
artists around the region and those who have dedicated their lives to
their calling and craft. If you know or have a suggestion of an artist
to highlight hit the inbox. Enjoy!

Saturday, June 6, 2015

Jazz Singer's Jam with Kelle Jolly at Lane Music 6/6

Join me today at Lane Music 9648 Kingston Pike for a jazz singer's jam session.

If you plan to sing bring your sheet music. Piano accompaniment provided.

You can come to listen too! Hope to see you today from 2-4pm.

Monday, February 16, 2015

Kelle Brings First Black Barbie to the Knoxville Museum of Art- Family & Friends Day for Black History Month

On Saturday, January 28th, Kelle Jolly and The Will Boyd Project performed at the Knoxville Museum of Art for Family & Friends Day during Black History Month. Emily Mathis played keys and David Whitaker played drums.

Planning for a gig always starts with the wardrobe for me. I wanted to give people a musical history as well as a visual history with my attire. So I started researching dolls and doll costumes.

Dolls are so important to little girls. And having a doll that looks like you says a lot about how valued you are in society. In my research I learned that the first Black Barbie was released in 1980, which to me is was not that long ago. Before that, the Black dolls that did exist were not the same as Barbie and could not wear her clothes. So they were not commercially successful.

I decided to dress as the first Black Barbie. I bought 4yds of red polyester and gold foam to make the jewelry. At home, I looked over photo after photo so I could get a closer look at the details of the dress. I committed to a plan and started cutting.

My first attempt had a wide waistband that I thought it needed. But after trying it on, I decided to cut it off and go with a smaller waistband. I got the idea for the wrap from a pattern on Pintrest.

I cut the necklace from a sheet of sparkly foam. And I made the earrings from foam blocks that I painted red. 

The afro really took it there and made the look.

The audience included everybody from little lap babies to swinging seniors.
I enjoyed the little dancers who shared the floor with me. I wanted everyone to know that children need to see positive images of all people. And I hope this event showed them.

In my research, I discovered a non-profit that donates dolls to girls of color in orphanages around the world. You can learn more and donate here: http://www.beautygap.org/what-we-do/

What do you wear that makes you feel like a doll or a super hero?

Kelle Jolly & Will Boyd- Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Commision of Knoxville 2015 Art Award recipients

When I first learned from Dewey Roberts that Will Boyd and I would be receiving the Art Award for 2015, I wondered, "Why?" Knoxville is a city full of creative minds and art makers.There are visual artists who have worked on murals projects to bring communities together. There are choir directors who lead community choirs to lift the spirits of Knoxvillians all over the city. In my mind I felt like there were more deserving artists that needed to recognized for what they do.

Will and I played at the luncheon on Wednesday before we recieved the award. While we were setting up to play, Reverend Middlebrook came to greet us. He told us that he nominated us for the award. How could a man who marched with Dr. King nominate us for an award in his honor?

At that moment, the weight and responsibility of the award started to overwhelm me. And I felt even more undeserving. You see, I was just coming out of a season of hopelessness. I spent the year before recovering from losing a baby and my fertility for good. I didn't perform that much in 2014. I chose not to design and sew.

I felt like it was all pointless. What good is it to be able to perform beautiful music or design upcycled wearble art, if you can't create the one thing you want.... a child.

We were scheduled to receive our award during intermission at the NIGHT OF THE ARTS TRIBUTE at the Tennessee Theatre. A friend of mine, jewelry designer Wendy Seaward, allowed me to wear her beautiful jewlery. I also wore a fascinator that I created to match my dress. Busying myself with my attire relaxes me before an event.

The night of the Arts was on a Monday. The Austin East African drum and dance group led by Obayana Ajanaku performed. The Knoxville Symphony and a jazz group led by Vance Thompson performed. There was a dramatic performance by Sherineta Morrison. I was brought to tears by the performance of that angelic choir. With tears on my face, Will and I made our way to the front of the house to follow Rev. Renee Kesler on stage to receive or award. I was so emotional. Renee had to pray with me.

Thankfully I made it through my acceptance speech without being s sobbing mess.  I waited till I was backstage for that. Starr ran to the staircase to give me hug. Will and I took our award back to our seat and we enjoyed the rest of the show.

Friday, January 9, 2015

Blazin' Laser Coaching session with Jade Simmons

Today I will take advantage of a FREE, Blazin' Laser Coaching session with Jade Simmons that I won on Facebook. Jade Simmons is a pianist and public speaker. I think I started following her on Facebook because she is from Charleston.

I don't know how much we will accomplish in 20minutes. But I am eager to learn something that will help my business. K