Capital Canvases for a Cause is a monthly event in Washington, D.C., organized by Long & Foster on Capitol Hill, that supports local artists and community-based organizations with wine, hors d’oeuvres and networking. Art sales are split evenly between the featured artists and the nonprofit.
The monthly "Capital Canvases" event, held on Friday, February 17, featured the work of Greg Slade, with proceeds from the sales of his paintings to benefit the Loving Me Girls' Conference, created by DC Metro Chapter of the National Alumnae of Association of Spelman College.
Slade, a D.C. native, displayed paintings ranging from surreal seascapes like “Water Nymphs,” in which a giant red octopus occupies most of the canvas, to more abstract pieces like “Acidic Fishing Trip,” which features an impressionistic fish.
Slade says he identifies strongly with his astrological sign of Pisces and draws inspiration from the ocean. In “Live from Neptune,” for example, he juxtaposes the mysteriousness of the deep sea with outer space in a painting featuring Jimi Hendrix and the 8th planet from the sun, Neptune, named after the Roman god of the sea.
Slade describes his pieces as “dream windows” that create new perspectives through swarms of color and rich detail, but Slade says he started out as an artist with graphite drawings in strictly black and white. It wasn't until he discovered painting as a freshman at Shepherd University that his work really opened up. Ten years later he decided to make it his life's work and now paints mostly on commission but says he “would still paint even if it didn't make [him] money.”
With the broad scope and appeal of his work, Slade hopes to dispel social stereotypes and disperse racial barriers, noting, “when it comes to art, you can't be segregated.” He says he wants his work to be "universal." This idea extends to getting rid of prejudices against women. Slade says the feminine form inspires a lot of his work. His love of women is apparent not only in his paintings but also through his support of the Loving Me Girls' Conference.
“Women are timeless, they are the beginning and the ending. They are the earth, they are life,” Slade says. These sentiments fit in perfectly with the motivating factors of Spelman Alumae's 3rd annual Loving Me Girls' Conference, a one-day event that seeks to empower girls in grades 8 to 11. The conference focuses on the values of "B.E.S.T.":
- Recognize and appreciate their unique beauty
- Use positive forms of expression
- Build sisterhood
- Strengthen team work skills
The schedule for the day will include interactive workshops about financial literacy, health, and promoting women in the fields of math and sciences. Notable speakers this year will include Amina Carter, with her speech, “I Am Possible,” that focuses on the importance of empowering women early on in life, instilling a love of self, creating foundations, and releasing misconceptions in order to surmount the obstacles of life. The conference is free for girls to attend and spots are still available.
For more information about future Capital Canvases events, contact Maceo Thomas at MaceoThomas [at] gmail [dot] com.
For more information about the Loving Me Girls' Conference, contact Atiya Hoye at anhoye [at] gmail [dot] com.
For more information on the artist, Greg Slade, visit gregslade.com.