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

 

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.

The Caribbean Fine Art Fair Goes Virtual!

This month I am pleased to exhibit in this year’s Caribbean Fine Art Fair (CaFA Fair) The organizers of the Caribbean Fine Art Fair (CaFA Fair) are ensuring the current pandemic does not bring the annual arts showcase to a halt.

From March 10 to 24, the work of over 70 prolific visual artists from the Caribbean and the Diaspora will be on display in a virtual gallery at Caribbean.global for the first time ever.

During the same period, seven emerging Barbadian artists will take centre stage at the Central Bank of Barbados’ Exchange Interactive Centre in an exhibit titled “Non-Traditional”. Members of the public can view by appointment the works of John Alleyne, Brandon K. Best, Alex Gibson, Housing Area, Sydney McConney, Chris Rocket, and Akilah Watts. The art in this exhibit will also be highlighted on the Caribbean.global website.

Simultaneously, the New York-based Calabar Gallery, Ebony Art Gallery and nine individual Diaspora artists will be showcased in “Diaspora Dialogue VIII”, an exhibit featuring artists from Brazil, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Ghana, the USA and Zambia.

The countries represented by participants in the 11th Annual CaFA Fair include Barbados, the Bahamas, Dominica, Guyana, Haiti, Jamaica, Puerto Rico, Suriname, Trinidad and Tobago, and the US Virgin Islands.

“This year, patrons will have full online access to artwork in a range of media. We will engage everyone with video content and enhance the exhibitions with virtual panels and presentations,” says Anderson Pilgrim, Executive Director of the CaFA Fair.

The events kick off on March 12 at 8:00 p.m. with the digital launch of the “Non-Traditional” exhibit, which is curated by Zoe Osbourne of Mahogany Culture. This will be followed by live discussions on March 13 and 14 at 2:00 p.m. with Osbourne and the participating artists.

The live discussions don’t end there. On March 20 at 2:00 p.m. I join interdisciplinary artist and anthropologist Alexis Alleyne-Caputo to lead a discussion with invited guests on the topic “Art in a Post-Digital COVID World”.

On March 24 at 5:00 p.m., CaFA Fair 2021 comes to a close with a live event.

All the events can be accessed free of cost, online at www.cafafair.com and www.caribbean.global.

The itinerary for this year’s Bridgetown International Arts Festival, which is slated for March 19 to 21, can also be found at www.cafafair.com.

CaFA Fair is one of the largest annual art exhibitions in the Caribbean and this year’s virtual fair is crafted to satisfy the needs of artists and art lovers alike.

For more information, please email info@cafafair.com.