This month I am featuring one of our own very special artists, Zanaib Nia Green. First of all, EVERYBODY loves Zanaib. She is warm, witty, and so very talented. I think she came out of the womb with knitting needles in her hands, but more later. This is how she tells her story.
I was born and raised in Northern California and I was interested in crafts from as far back as I can remember. Mama Dorothy and Mama Frankie sewed clothes and made jewelry out of whatever they had. Both grandmothers were great influences in making and remaking (now called re-purposing) clothes. Mama Dorothy would take clothes, cut them up and turn them into beautiful wearables.
I loved to sew clothes, so when I found that socks were missing, I would use the lone sock and fabric to create dresses for my Barbies. Barbies were not play things for me, they were models for my clothes.
While in elementary school, I learned to knit in a class offered by the Parks and Recreation Department. Later on in high school, a classmate taught me to crochet during lunch breaks. I was so taken by it that I crocheted my senior prom dress, as well as my dates cummerbund and bow tie.
Sorry for the cropped picture but I didn’t have permission to show my date. It’s a shame because he was VERY handsome.
This is me in high school in my fabric dress with crocheted collar and sleeves. I was hot…I mean I was HOT!
Later, as a young mother, I knitted for my boys. Here is my son wearing a sweater and necktie that I knitted for him.
My aunt, TJ Robinson, opened the Gingerbread House in Oakland, California in 1972. I worked for her as a hostess and she sparked my interest in different art forms. She taught me that I could take one image, like she did, and then expand it. Aunt TJ took the gingerbread man’s story and made gingerbread, and gingerbread cookies, gingerbread dolls, and a gingerbread painted gazebo for her restaurant. I used this same concept as I developed the “Apple Valley Girls”, also known as “The Women”. I started with the original painting, and then I made other forms of wall art, two-dimensional works on paper, and various dolls.
These are my fabric paintings.
These are my two-dimensional wall art pieces.
These are my art dolls.
These are my greeting cards.
These are my sweatshirts.
These are my knitted shawls.
These are my felted knitted pieces.
My full venture into the delicious world of art began during a 1999 road trip to the Southern California high desert. I sketched in my journal and when I returned I made space in my life for my call to be an artist. My first piece, “Apple Valley Girls” commemorated the trip and was my first entry into The Art Of Living Black art show. I participated with this group for 10 years.
I wanted to move from 2 dimensional work to 3 dimensional work so that I could learn how to get “The Women” off canvas and into doll form. That led me to the Flying Phoebe Art Doll Club.
Where am I going next? At this point, everything is an embellishment. I would like to learn about glass and put “The Women” on glass. Art is an ever-evolving medium which has no ceiling. I want to explore all it has to offer.
OPEN STUDIOS IS COMING JUNE 4TH/5TH, AND JUNE 11TH/12TH.
FOLLOWING IS SOME OF THE WORK THAT WILL BE SHOWN BY OUR TWELVE ARTISTS.
DONNA PERRY-MIXED MEDIA JEWELRY
DAISY KIEHN- ART DOLLS
PEGGY ANSTRAND – VINTAGE BUTTONS
ROSIE DENNIS-ART DOLLS AND JEWELRY
BONNIE HOOVER-ART DOLLS AND GIFT CARDS
VICKI NEWCOMER-POTTERY AND PLANTERS
WANDA FUDGE-TOTEMS AND MOSAICS
I am so busy with my totems and mosaics that I have lost interest in making purses and small bags for now.
All my current stock of purses and jewelry ( almost 100 items) will be on sale for 30% off.
DON’T FORGET TO CHECK OUR EVENT PAGE FOR INFORMATION REGARDING OPEN STUDIOS.