Archive for the ‘TriBeCa’ Category


I was so moved by the women of the Omo Valley that I wanted to get models to photograph. I went to the MAC Cosmetics store in Harlem and they suggested
that I go to their Chelsea location. I shared images from Hans Silvester and the staff was blown away. But immediately they shared how I should model.
So, with their help along with the Body Shop in Harlem, I experimented. I want to thank MAC and the Body Shop for letting me enjoy this moment.


Jewellery is made and worn in all African tribes. It is often made from available materials such as plant and animal materials like seeds, feathers, horn, shell, bone and leather. These materials themselves may be symbolic, such as ivory, which is highly prized as a sign of strength and hunting skill, or lion’s manes worn by the most powerful Masaai warriors. Other desirable materials have long been traded, bartered and imported into Africa, such as glass beads. Precious metals are used for jewellery in numerous tribes.
Most common are brass, copper and bronze, while much gold was mined and used in West Africa, for example by the Akan-speaking people like the Ashanti of Ghana. This wealthy society has based its economy and artistic heritage on gold since the early eighteenth century, and highly skilled goldsmiths and jewellers have produced superb jewellery and artefacts. The royal court of Ashanti still possesses and uses vast amounts of gold jewellery. The jewelry that we are spotlighting is from Brooklyn based artist Jimmy Shack. In remaking the Omo several oieces from collections were loan to show how one can use contemporary jewelry to create this African inspired look.

Jimmy Shack is a contemporary artist working in Brooklyn, New York. He is a graduate from the Ontario College of Art in Toronto in 1986 with a primary course of study in painting and printmaking. 

After moving to New York City in 1987, he continued his artistic development by exploring the field of ceramics through coursework at the Parsons School of Design, Greenwich House Pottery and Chelsea Ceramic Guild, all in New York City and in New Jersey at Peter’s Valley Craft Education Centre. 

In reflecting on his journey with clay, Shack finds symmetry with life and pottery.  “Clay becomes the vehicle for expressing your vision.  Through the process and rhythms of creating a pioece you find beauty in the clay which only becomes richer with the layering of color and glazes.  It is also the provocative way that a pot holds ad bound you in rapture of it’s emotional content and function.”

Shack has participated in group shows in his native Canada and in New York, including the Nexus Gallery, New York City; The Art Collaborative, New York City; The Brooklyn Artist Open Studio Show, Greenpoint; The Roots Underground Gallery, Toronto; Gallery 76, Toronto; and mdh fine arts, New York City. Special thanks to Wanda at Barking Lizards Gallery in Williamsburg who represents Mr. Shack and arrange for the inclusion of his collection.




Photo credit: Hans Silvester

The Sacred Body Art of the Omo Valley

The Omo Valley people have lived in southwestern Ethiopia and neighboring Kenya and the Sudan for centuries. The landscape of the Omo Valley is very diverse: vast savannah with mountains on the horizon, beautiful views, the arid semi-desert, acacia bushes, hills and forests on the banks of the Omo River with its deep canyons and rapids.

The Omo Valley people still practice body painting and tattooing. A garland of flowers, a veil of seed-pods, buffalo horn, a crown of melons, feathers, stems and storks all could be used to express joy or celebrate a rite of passage. The wearer can sometimes takes on the characteristic of a supernatural state.

The West Harlem Art Fund in an attempt to preserve this tradition will re-create this body art work with Scherezade Garcia, sculptor and installation artist, that will be displayed at the African Burial Ground in Lower Manhattan, along with a dedicated blog site that features other artists for Armory Week 2012.

An evening of wine tasting will be held on Friday, March 9th at Lot 125 at 7p.m. Tour and artist talk at the African Burial Ground in TriBeCa, March 10th at 2 p.m.

Lot 125 is located at 566 W. 125th Street, New York, N.Y. 10027 (212) 663-9015.

African Burial Ground, 290 Broadway (btwn Duane & Reade Sts), New York, N.Y. 10007 (212) 637-2019