In Conversation with Emmy Award Winning Composer David Nichtern

David Nichtern is a songwriter, record producer, guitarist, and composer for film and television. A four-time Emmy award-winner and two-time Grammy-nominated composer, he is widely known for his classic song, “Midnight at the Oasis”.

David began playing guitar when he was eight, composing in his teens, and working as a professional musician while still in college at Columbia University, where he had a rock band called Voltaire’s Nose with lifetime friend Christopher Guest.

Throughout a diverse and colorful career, he has collaborated with a wide range of artists including Jerry Garcia, Stevie Wonder, Paul Simon, Christopher Guest, Lana Del Rey, Brand New Heavies, Maria Muldaur, The McGarrigles, Patti LuPone, David Bromberg, Dr. John, Sultan Khan and Krishna Das.

We caught up to discuss his successful career and his latest recording “Pandemoonia”  You can read the full interview on Occhi Magazine.

 

Image, courtesy of David Nichtern

Participating in A Global Art Community

The challenges of the last few years are combined with the necessary focus on my practice and wider professional commitments. Despite the pandemic and its challenges, I have endured, moved forward, bridged significant relationships, and created opportunities with hope for a positive and prosperous future. Whilst have been shamefully neglectful of my personal blog site, I have documented many of my activities via my company websites; Occhi & Entertainment, Occhi Contemporary, and Occhi Magazine. You’ll find several projects I have curated and interviews with several amazing artists who have inspired me beyond measure!

In recent months, I have been privileged to once again participate in the 2022 Caribbean Fine Art Fair, and co-host a number of webinars and talks with prominent artists and academics from the African and Caribbean diaspora. Art fans from across the world were able to join CaFA 2022 at the Norman Centre, Broad Street in Bridgetown, Barbados, but also through caribbean.global .

One of the artists I was honoured to meet was Cheryl D. Miller. Cheryl D Miller is a designer, author, and theologian who is best known for her diversity, equity, and inclusion advocacy for black graphic designers in the industry and marketplace. Miller holds a Master of Science degree in visual communications from Pratt Institute and received her BFA from the Maryland Institute College of Art, with Foundation Studies completed at the Rhode Island School of Design. She also holds a Master of Divinity degree from the Union Theological Seminary in New York City. An accomplished, award-winning designer and businesswoman, Miller established one of the first black women-owned design firms in New York City in 1984.

The event included a segment on NFTs by Zoe Osborne of Mahogany Culture, one of the early adopters of NFTs in Barbados and the Caribbean. She dedicated a portion of her panel discussion to exploring and clarifying facts about the new digital option for artists. For further information on the artist and the online exhibition of works, visit the caribbean.global website.

Together for Our Planet Exhibition

Further to the Occhi Arts and Entertainment/Phoenix call for artists to participate in the collaboration, we have produced a short publication featuring artists across the globe. I have also interviewed several artists and discussed their careers and exhibition entries. Further information is available on the Occhi Arts &Entertainment websites.  For further information visit the following link

 

Call For Artists: COP26 & Climate Change Initiative

This project is a collaboration between Occhi Arts and Entertainment and Phoenix FTA Limited, a UK-based sustainability strategy consultancy. Inspired by the UK Creative Earth Competition, Occhi Arts and Entertainment and Phoenix FTA Limited are inviting young artists from around the world to creatively engage with key topics of concern at the COP26 Climate Summit in Glasgow. This initiative provides a wider audience of young artists with a renewed opportunity to visually express their views to world leaders and community stakeholders by producing 2D artwork (drawing, painting, printmaking, collage, and photography) that supports at least one of the following themes:

1. Protect What You Love

Climate Change is giving rise to more frequent wildfires, longer periods of drought in some regions, and an increase in the number, duration, and intensity of tropical storms. Glaciers are shrinking, plant and animal ranges are shifting or go extinct. Humans could save thousands of species from extinction if they act. ‘Protect What You Love’ encourages participants to express their concerns, highlighting what their hold dearly and want to protect from the effects of climate change.

2. A future beyond neoliberal capitalism?

With our societies forced into a truly deranged economic paradigm, one that landed us amid a terrifying climate emergency, it’s hard to imagine that the future of our human species lies beyond the patent immorality of neoliberal capitalism. A completely new system that puts equity and justice at its core is required. Young artists are invited to creatively express their interpretation of a “post-ecopathic” economic system via the mediums of drawing, painting, printmaking, collage, and photography.

The Objective

The objective is to foster and establish an inclusive young artists’ community that feels empowered to engage with global climate change politics by using their creativity, expressing their democratic voice, and participating in this vitally important discourse. We believe the project will help build a noteworthy platform to establish intergenerational collaboration with key stakeholders by raising awareness of COP26 and serve a cross-sectional analysis that will allow deeper insights into how Generations Z and Alpha perceive the severity of climate change. It fosters political engagement, participation in the democratic process, and voices intergenerational concerns.

Submission Process

Participants will be required to submit one image (max file size: 500KB/300 dpi), a short bio (max 150 words), and a written summary of the artwork via email to submissions@occhimagazine.com

Please title your email subject ‘COP26 Art Submission’.

Each featured work remains the copyright of the participating artist who consents to work being exhibited as part of this initiative.

Early submissions (artwork submitted before 28th October 2021) will be featured on the Occhi Contemporary Art website, from 31st October 2021, to coincide with the launch of COP26.

The call for submissions will be open for the duration of COP26, which ends on Friday 12th November. A final selection of works will be featured online and in a publication, to be produced after and in response to COP26 key outcomes. The featured artists and artworks will be announced approximately two weeks after the official deadline to ensure that our guest curators and editorial team give their full attention to each applicant’s work. Further updates and additional information will be posted on occhicontemporary.art and occhimagazine.com.

Art, Artists and Inspiration!

David Emmanuel Noel: Photo Credit Gary ThomasI’ve been extremely productive with Occhi Arts and Entertainment over the last few months, launching the platform’s Contemporary Art Gallery. We’ve had the privileged of showcasing the work of several talented artists, including Pantea Mahrou, Despina Symeou, and Gary Thomas.

Pantea Mahrou began her professional career ten years ago, delving into architecture and taking a leading role in her family’s construction company. She went on to teach at the acclaimed Azad University of Tehran. From a young age, she fell in love with ancient architecture, specifically the Archimedean era, which has inspired her study into its rich history. She remains committed to uncovering its mysteries and secrets. Using spiritual symbols, and architectural influences, her work provides energy that encapsulates the rich history of Middle Eastern culture with a contemporary perspective on life.  Paying careful attention to the colors used, she provides audiences with a sense of calm and peace.

Pantea Mahrou
Pantea Mahrou

Multidisciplinary Artist Gary Thomas’ creativity and thirst for knowledge has inspired many years of study, growth, and development in the creative arts industry. He also continues to highlight major players, celebrities and document the activities of individuals in the industry, particularly with photo portraits. Gary has an archive of photographs. Over the years he has photographed many household names such as Nile Rodgers, Patti Labelle, Chaka Khan, TLC, Professor Sir Magdi Habib  Yacoub, Lalah Hathaway, Dianne Reeves, Hugh Masekela, and Van Morrison. I was honoured to be included as part of this list this month, featuring the accompanying photo (Above)

Gary Thomas

Despina Symeou is a Painter-Printmaker who lives and works in London. After the study of art forms focusing on fine art, printmaking and photography, Despina specialized in Jewellery Design, gaining a B.A.Hons Degree from Middlesex University. In recent years she has returned to the two-dimensional formats that had originally fired her imagination, predominantly in etching. Her work is currently featured in Occhi Contemporary’s online exhibition ‘ Not Just For The Bedroom’ Please visit the Occhi Contemporary Website for further information on the artists, news, and forthcoming shows.

Despina Symeou

Participation in The Association of African American Museums (AAAM) 2021 Conference

The Association of African American Museums (AAAM) holds its 2021 conference this month. The event is designed to provide networking opportunities for young museum professionals, professional development, and online learning. Speaking about the event, Vedet Coleman-Robinson, Executive Director said, “Last year’s successful launch of the first virtual conference proved that despite our distance, we can still learn, grow, and network together virtually.   Historically, the AAAM conference is a family reunion of sorts for professionals of African and African American-focused museums as well as a wide array of cultural institutions.  Last year, we gathered and connected virtually and we all were safe, protected, and healthy.  We want to have that same outcome this year.”

This year,  I’m privileged to participate in a panel discussion, titled ‘Museum Pedagogy: Informing and Educating through a Parallel Delivery of Arts, Media, and Mentorship’. I’ll be joined by Kishan Munroe- a Bahamian documentarian, researcher, and interdisciplinary artist whose practice comprises painting, drawing, photography, film, installation art, and assemblages, and Alexis Alleyne-Caputo (Afro Diaries™ & Grace and Graffiti™) – anthropologist, researcher, and award-winning interdisciplinary artist. We’ll be exploring the importance of the arts and how artists may contribute to their communities whilst supporting worthwhile objectives of museums and educational institutes.

Registered participants will gain insight on a variety of topics surrounding the museum field from a range of museum professionals throughout the country with the conference and plenary sessions.  Keeping in the tradition of their conferences, AAAM will have special guests for their keynote address and evening receptions. This year’s event will again be virtual allowing registrants to be safe, empowered, and engaged while keeping safe and healthy.

The conference runs from August 4 -6th 2021. For further details, and to register for the event please visit the AAAM’s website.