So Now You Know

Thursday, July 23, 2020

2020/07/23 - The Service Behind Black Lives Matter

[NEW EPISODE] The Service Behind Black Lives Matter

Across the country we are seeing beautiful artwork being created on downtown streets.

Listen in to hear from a few artist that created the art and what it means to them. 

Watch the Facebook Livestream by clicking here.

Segment 1

Antonia greets her guest, Alicia Cobb, and discusses a recent mural that she completed in her home town of Stamford and Bridgeport, CT. She discusses the subject matter of the mural and its connection to the Black lives Matter movement. 

Segment 2

Alicia discusses the beginning of her art career, mentioning that she never had a formal art education. She says that using art as a therapeutic output is crucial during hard times. She says that originally she didn’t want to share her paintings until she realized that art is meant to be seen. She says that during the Covid-19 pandemic, she has been teaching art classes over Facebook live. 

Segment 3

Antonia pulls out some of Alicia's artwork and discusses them. Alicia talks about the deep meanings behind some of her politically and personally charged artwork. Antonia asks about Alicia’s array of body painting work, and the inspiration behind it. 


Segment 4

Alicia discusses painting a Black Lives Matter mural with a team of volunteers. Antonia pulls up the mural to discuss the meanings in the painting. Antonia plugs Alicia’s website;, and thanks her guest.


00:00:43.200 --> 00:00:58.110 Antonia Thompson: Good afternoon, everyone. It's Thursday. So you are tuned in to another episode of. So now you know. I hope that you had a great week. As you know, last week we were talking about little miss everything which is a children's book written by author Ivana hill.

00:00:59.160 --> 00:01:06.900 Antonia Thompson: That was pretty exciting to see as you know the the age of covert as we've been talking about it last couple of weeks. A lot of people are

00:01:07.200 --> 00:01:20.130 Antonia Thompson: Learning about different platforms or polishing up on new skills that they or dreams that they've always had. And now's the time to make them a reality. Right. We have a lot of time on our hands. We're all working virtually from home.

00:01:21.660 --> 00:01:27.660 Antonia Thompson: And it's the summer. So I hope you're taking advantage of all this time to self reflect and staying healthy

00:01:28.230 --> 00:01:38.880 Antonia Thompson: And Wearing that Mask and as always with your social distance thing. We know there's a lot of conversation happening about schools opening, which brings a little anxiety or maybe perhaps going back into our offices.

00:01:39.750 --> 00:01:47.100 Antonia Thompson: But it is what it is. And we're living in the world of covert that's, that's how I sum it all up. We're living in the world of coven

00:01:47.640 --> 00:01:51.840 Antonia Thompson: So this week. As you can see on your screen. We're talking about Black Lives Matter.

00:01:52.260 --> 00:02:04.140 Antonia Thompson: And as you know, across the country. There's been a lot of discussions, a lot of platforms being created for us to talk about systemic racism by police brutality, violence and so forth. And it's just been fantastic.

00:02:04.980 --> 00:02:12.870 Antonia Thompson: And this past week here in Stanford, we did our black lives matter. And if you're looking on your screen you can see what it looks like.

00:02:13.230 --> 00:02:19.530 Antonia Thompson: If you're listening to us via audio. You can always Google at Stanford, Connecticut. Black Lives Matter mural.

00:02:20.190 --> 00:02:30.480 Antonia Thompson: That we paid a downtown and I'm so excited for today because we're going to be talking to one of the artists and I'm always curious as you look across the country at all these beautiful murals.

00:02:30.930 --> 00:02:40.350 Antonia Thompson: The thought that goes into them and we were very fortunate here in Stanford, because as you can. If you can see the image of all the letters in the Black Lives Matter each one had a theme.

00:02:40.830 --> 00:02:51.960 Antonia Thompson: And had a design that was created by local artists. So today we have Alicia Cobb, who's one of the artists who paint health painting murals, we're going to talk to her a little bit about what went into that.

00:02:52.740 --> 00:02:56.580 Antonia Thompson: And it was just phenomenal energy, the whole day the whole community came together.

00:02:56.910 --> 00:03:02.310 Antonia Thompson: You know, you always had your distractors you had your people that were in there, you know, all lives matter or whatever, which was fine.

00:03:02.610 --> 00:03:06.600 Antonia Thompson: But then the day just turned out to be beautiful and the final product was just gorgeous.

00:03:06.990 --> 00:03:18.000 Antonia Thompson: And if you look, I mean, I've seen a couple like my own town in Massachusetts fan what Fenway Park has a really beautiful one there's just some really interesting ways that the community is coming together.

00:03:18.390 --> 00:03:27.780 Antonia Thompson: And doing these projects. So I'm very excited. And we're going to get her to join us right now. And so I welcome. Hello, Alicia.

00:03:31.530 --> 00:03:32.280 Alicia Cobb: Can you hear me.

00:03:33.630 --> 00:03:36.450 Alicia Cobb: I can. I'm just trying to get my camera rates.

00:03:37.980 --> 00:03:47.670 Antonia Thompson: And no worries. Listen, we are in the world of zoom and there are many times that you got to coordinate, make sure it's all set up but there we are. How are you doing today.

00:03:48.030 --> 00:03:48.990 Alicia Cobb: Good, how are you

00:03:49.680 --> 00:03:59.490 Antonia Thompson: Good. So I was just sharing with our audience today the topic of our, our Black Lives murals that have been going around the country.

00:03:59.940 --> 00:04:12.600 Antonia Thompson: And I was a little bit about our show my show. And so now you know is that I just meet people and friends and family and just really interested in the work that they do. So I don't know if you remember me, but I actually painted your letter.

00:04:13.680 --> 00:04:15.090 Antonia Thompson: this past Sunday and Stanford.

00:04:15.180 --> 00:04:16.620 Alicia Cobb: Oh, I do actually look

00:04:18.090 --> 00:04:19.020 Alicia Cobb: Familiar

00:04:19.980 --> 00:04:28.050 Antonia Thompson: I did, I did it with my daughter, and we were very excited to do it. And I will admit, like I don't have an artistic bone in my body.

00:04:28.740 --> 00:04:39.390 Antonia Thompson: But to see the beauty of all the work was just amazing to me. And I don't know if you remember the way that they had it, you know, volunteers would come up and take some time and paint.

00:04:40.170 --> 00:04:47.310 Antonia Thompson: And so my daughter went first, and then I was watching her, like, wait, wait, wait. It's my turn. Oh, I don't even care if I have to paint like six inches. I just wanted to do it.

00:04:47.520 --> 00:04:57.240 Antonia Thompson: But yes, phenomenal. It was just so beautiful, so I that's why I wanted to reach out to the various authors that did work. But then I was like, you know what

00:04:57.690 --> 00:05:08.880 Antonia Thompson: A for Antonia a is my letter. And then we painted our so I was very, I was very excited. So please share with us in our audience a little bit about Alicia from Stanford.

00:05:09.810 --> 00:05:18.930 Alicia Cobb: Right, yeah. I'm originally. I'm actually born and raised in Stanford I my I came up to Bridgeport, a little more than 20 years ago when my daughter was a baby.

00:05:19.620 --> 00:05:24.630 Alicia Cobb: So I've been in Bridgeport for over 20 years but born and raised in Stanford, so I'm native to Stanford.

00:05:25.050 --> 00:05:38.190 Alicia Cobb: Um, and when I heard that this was happening. I just got really excited. I was part of the one that happened in Bridgeport, which was a completely different experience. But just, you know, being a part of

00:05:39.540 --> 00:05:47.460 Alicia Cobb: Something that's so important. I don't see it as a trend. I don't see you know this is not a trend and a lot of people are seeing it that way, you know,

00:05:47.910 --> 00:06:02.580 Alicia Cobb: And even as an organization, because there's an organization that's called Black Lives Matter. But to me, this is an everyday reality for black people. And so I'm at I've gotten some mixed reactions. I've heard some very mixed

00:06:02.580 --> 00:06:08.880 Alicia Cobb: Reactions about the murals and the artwork and some people love it. Some people think it's dumb and

00:06:10.110 --> 00:06:21.450 Alicia Cobb: For me, just really trying to do my part. So I'm originally from Stanford came up here over 20 years ago and I have two kids who are actually growing up. So I have a 22 year old daughter and a 19 year old son.

00:06:21.990 --> 00:06:27.690 Alicia Cobb: Um, and I've been a full time artist for five and a half years. So it's pretty exciting stuff.

00:06:28.470 --> 00:06:41.280 Antonia Thompson: So talk to me a little bit about how the conversation came to even get to the mural. Because I've heard a couple of different ways of at least how it started in Stanford. So was it part of the art collective group that's here in Stanford, like how do you

00:06:41.790 --> 00:06:42.870 Alicia Cobb: Know, I was actually

00:06:42.870 --> 00:06:57.150 Alicia Cobb: contacted by Valerie Cooper, who is the owner of picture that LLC. She was curating the event. Um, and she basically had reached out to, like, maybe two or three core artists and ask them, Who else they know

00:06:58.020 --> 00:07:07.200 Alicia Cobb: artists of color who might be interested in being a part of this event was very important to her that it was, you know, artists of color. And so she reached out to me and said, hey,

00:07:07.770 --> 00:07:12.900 Alicia Cobb: You know, we have a couple people that have mentioned your name and said, you might be interested you have some experience with

00:07:13.380 --> 00:07:22.260 Alicia Cobb: A public art and street murals. And so we want to know if you would be interested in joining us. So I was actually approached directly by Valerie Cooper curated the event.

00:07:23.220 --> 00:07:34.740 Antonia Thompson: And so what goes into the creation, because I'm each artist correct had a had a letter, yes. What was the ask to to you as an artist for that particular you have the letter A.

00:07:35.670 --> 00:07:36.720 Alicia Cobb: Letter. A Yeah.

00:07:37.080 --> 00:07:45.330 Alicia Cobb: And actually that was that was something like, I didn't say, hey, I want the letter, he was kind enough to kind of think, Okay, you know what if the artist name starts with the letter.

00:07:45.570 --> 00:07:47.370 Alicia Cobb: Maybe that's what they want to do. So she

00:07:47.370 --> 00:07:50.700 Alicia Cobb: came to me and asked me if I wanted to, A, I was like, absolutely. I

00:07:50.700 --> 00:07:57.480 Alicia Cobb: Love that. Yeah. Um, and we have meetings every week. Sometimes twice a week for about a month.

00:07:58.080 --> 00:08:06.840 Alicia Cobb: Just talking about the ins and outs what streets. It was going to be what the scale of the letters were going to be on what the font of the letters was going to be

00:08:07.230 --> 00:08:17.820 Alicia Cobb: What the color palette was going to be. And then we kind of had free reign. So each artist was a put on each artists was appointed a letter M and as long as it was within

00:08:18.630 --> 00:08:27.600 Alicia Cobb: The meaning for us of black lives and our own style, then it was appropriate. There was no like you can't do this. You can't do

00:08:27.600 --> 00:08:40.830 Alicia Cobb: That she gave us pretty much free, you know, free reign when it came to create a creative freedom with the design of our letters of mind, specifically ended up being in an African elephant.

00:08:42.450 --> 00:08:46.920 Alicia Cobb: That I painted yellow just because the yellow pop so well off of the ground.

00:08:47.370 --> 00:08:53.520 Alicia Cobb: So I painted yellow. And then I had, you know, like African patterns and stuff around it because for myself.

00:08:53.880 --> 00:09:00.690 Alicia Cobb: As an artist and as a human being I'm finding that very much of my purpose and journey has to do with my ancestors.

00:09:01.140 --> 00:09:08.730 Alicia Cobb: Um, almost everything that I do is in honor of my ancestors specifically my ancestors who were enslaved

00:09:09.480 --> 00:09:19.680 Alicia Cobb: And the royal ancestors prior to them, but really the the the ancestors who were not allowed to be artists or lawyers or doctors or writers

00:09:20.100 --> 00:09:28.440 Alicia Cobb: Because they were enslaved right and I am here. Now, in a world where I have the ability to do things that they might not have been able to, and so

00:09:29.130 --> 00:09:39.720 Alicia Cobb: It's an elephant with lots of color, lots of pattern around it. And on the right leg right leg of a it actually says I am my ancestors wildest dream, so I'm

00:09:39.930 --> 00:09:40.320 Antonia Thompson: Trying to

00:09:40.950 --> 00:09:44.100 Antonia Thompson: I'm going to try to do the zoom thing and bring it up.

00:09:44.460 --> 00:09:45.420 Alicia Cobb: Oh, we're

00:09:45.450 --> 00:09:50.730 Antonia Thompson: Green. Was it similar. Was it a similar process when you did it in Bridgeport

00:09:51.060 --> 00:09:55.620 Alicia Cobb: No, not at all. It was actually completely different in Bridgeport so Bridgeport was very much

00:09:55.950 --> 00:10:10.320 Alicia Cobb: A community event. There were a couple of Zoom's leading up to the event, but that event was put together in two weeks, versus a month and change. Um, and it wasn't one artists appointed to a letter. It was a few organizers.

00:10:11.550 --> 00:10:25.710 Alicia Cobb: To the words. And so we mapped out the words on our own. There was not a company that came out in, you know, Stanford Stanford was organized very differently. It was nice to have the letters ready ahead of time. We didn't have to map them out. They were there for us.

00:10:27.240 --> 00:10:42.900 Alicia Cobb: But it was a very different process Bridgeport was, was it wasn't artists appointed was community. So once that paint started happening. It was the community jumping in with rollers and brushes and doing whatever it is they want it to do basically

00:10:44.250 --> 00:10:47.280 Antonia Thompson: And what would you say was the vibe between the two different projects.

00:10:48.990 --> 00:10:58.560 Alicia Cobb: The vibe in Bridgeport was. It was very community. Lot of people. They both were very community. I think Stanford was a little more organized

00:10:59.190 --> 00:11:08.400 Alicia Cobb: And it like there was a plan. You know what I mean, there was a plan in place and Stanford, so each of us went in with a design knowing exactly what we're going to do. We were very

00:11:08.760 --> 00:11:14.010 Alicia Cobb: Intentional whereas in Bridgeport. The plan was this is a community event.

00:11:14.520 --> 00:11:24.750 Alicia Cobb: The community is going to come and help us and whatever happens, happens. And that's exactly what it was and it ended up being amazing and we had a ton of people that showed up and showed out for it.

00:11:25.320 --> 00:11:36.570 Alicia Cobb: Same thing in Sanford, it was really nice to have so many people show up to volunteer. Um, and just want to be a part of the entire project. It was just a very cool experience.

00:11:36.690 --> 00:11:41.940 Antonia Thompson: Yeah, I think a lot of times when you watch it on TV and you might go to a couple of protest.

00:11:42.240 --> 00:11:51.030 Antonia Thompson: It was just a different thing to see the community come together. Yeah. And everyone had a point like there was a reason why you were there, there was a job to get done.

00:11:51.390 --> 00:11:57.060 Antonia Thompson: Yeah, everybody. Everybody was around that. So I just thought the vibe of it was just amazing how did you feel though.

00:11:57.360 --> 00:12:07.080 Antonia Thompson: Born and raised Stanford artists coming back and being part of this. Is this some. Have you done other artwork here in town that has been that rewarding to you or any other projects.

00:12:07.410 --> 00:12:10.080 Alicia Cobb: Know, so I've done other projects in Stanford.

00:12:10.140 --> 00:12:22.980 Alicia Cobb: Not any public art, other than the I do the sculptures, you know, in downtown Stanford does the sculpture. So I did those a couple years. I did the dinosaurs. You know, I did stuff like that, as far as public art is concerned. I've also been a part of

00:12:23.400 --> 00:12:33.930 Alicia Cobb: A few art shows on Bedford street which is cool to be able to come back with my canvas work and even do live body painting there, but this was particularly rewarding to me.

00:12:34.890 --> 00:12:45.660 Alicia Cobb: Just because it felt really purposeful. It felt very intentional. It felt very community oriented. I love art in general, it's what I chose this career. It's my everyday reality.

00:12:46.500 --> 00:12:53.460 Alicia Cobb: But I'm very intentional and everything that I do and everything that I do has to have meaning and purpose behind it. And this for me.

00:12:53.970 --> 00:12:59.220 Alicia Cobb: Was again just very important because of what's happening right now. You know, I have a 19 year old son.

00:12:59.610 --> 00:13:13.800 Alicia Cobb: Who stands six feet tall. He's sports a huge afro and you know is very into urban fashion and people are, you know, because of stereotypes. People are afraid of him, and it's it's frustrating and so

00:13:15.030 --> 00:13:29.850 Alicia Cobb: He's got a heart of gold and he's a beautiful human being and I want people to see him for the person he is not because of the way he looks and his skin is beautiful brown skin black skin all skin is beautiful. I'm actually a body painter.

00:13:30.480 --> 00:13:39.540 Antonia Thompson: And now we're gonna get into that because I think it's, it's very cool and it's something I'm like, Oh, I think I could do that, but then I'm like, man, I don't know if I could, but it looks beautiful like well yeah I

00:13:39.600 --> 00:13:40.110 Know,

00:13:41.400 --> 00:13:42.750 Antonia Thompson: I can look at tattoos and be like,

00:13:42.750 --> 00:13:45.240 Antonia Thompson: Wow, I could rock that and then I'm like, Yeah, I don't know if I could say

00:13:45.300 --> 00:13:47.100 Alicia Cobb: Well, this is not quite tattoo. So body.

00:13:47.520 --> 00:13:57.240 Alicia Cobb: Very different than just washes off in the shower but you know as a body painter skin is my canvas. A lot of the time, and I paint all kinds of skin.

00:13:57.660 --> 00:14:06.960 Alicia Cobb: More often than not round and round and tan and black skin and I I love having that ability to do that so

00:14:07.680 --> 00:14:19.440 Alicia Cobb: You know it's frustrating that the world sees that first. And when we get into body painting. I'll actually tell you a very interesting story about my brother being body painted pretty regularly.

00:14:20.490 --> 00:14:33.120 Alicia Cobb: Because he had a really interesting story about it. So, um, but, you know, I think that Stanford I was proud that they did this. I was proud to be a part of it. Um,

00:14:33.930 --> 00:14:44.220 Alicia Cobb: Again, a lot of mixed feedback. I don't really pay too much attention to what you know people have to say whether positive or negative, everybody has the right to feel what they feel.

00:14:45.240 --> 00:14:47.100 Alicia Cobb: I felt pretty honored to be a part of it.

00:14:48.120 --> 00:14:59.400 Antonia Thompson: You know i i felt that, you know, there's like you said, there's always people going to have negativity. But then when you think about it, and with art. It's like I'm not sure what your neck. What the negativity is because

00:14:59.400 --> 00:15:03.870 Antonia Thompson: Yeah, it is in the eye of the beholder. You either like it or you don't. But you just keep it moving.

00:15:04.500 --> 00:15:10.350 Antonia Thompson: Yeah, so I so then I think you have to peel it back and try to look at, well, what's the real problem that you're happy with this, right.

00:15:10.410 --> 00:15:11.400 Alicia Cobb: Yeah, it's not the art.

00:15:11.700 --> 00:15:13.410 Antonia Thompson: Art, it's not, you know,

00:15:13.470 --> 00:15:19.080 Antonia Thompson: Yeah. And a lot of people. I'm just like, I think it's the, you know, people just have this profound

00:15:19.500 --> 00:15:35.940 Antonia Thompson: Issue, which is saying the words I think when everyone says, What about all lives, man. It's like they just have a profit out of the words black lives matter I feel is painful to some people, like, yeah, it's like, I don't want it. I just don't want to be part of that.

00:15:36.450 --> 00:15:36.870 Alicia Cobb: I agree.

00:15:37.380 --> 00:15:43.710 Antonia Thompson: It's. It is a deeper conversation to have. But I do feel when I, you know, you read the newspaper articles or you see comments.

00:15:44.100 --> 00:15:53.220 Antonia Thompson: And people would say stuff like, Oh, that's so beautiful. But yet, I'm not sure. You know that little sub know my question. Right. Yeah.

00:15:54.000 --> 00:16:00.060 Antonia Thompson: But I do think it was a wonderful thing to do for the city. I think it was a really great thing to do for the community, especially

00:16:00.960 --> 00:16:14.970 Antonia Thompson: For our young kids to see that there are so many ways to be active. Right. There's so many ways to be in protest. Yeah, and to speak, but so at your say your son's age. Did you know really young, that this was the work that she wanted to do that. This was the passion that yeah I

00:16:15.000 --> 00:16:21.480 Alicia Cobb: Know, since I was a known pretty much since I was a little bitty girl that art was the thing that I wanted to do.

00:16:22.740 --> 00:16:29.520 Antonia Thompson: Yes, I, you know, do some work in in Stanford and do some community work and it's sad to say over the time there's just not that outlet

00:16:30.060 --> 00:16:38.370 Antonia Thompson: Of art here in town. At least I feel I think Bridgeport some other communities and much more active and that the platform so far that they think gives the kids.

00:16:38.700 --> 00:16:48.270 Antonia Thompson: I don't see it as much as Stanford I think it's in pockets. So yeah, I hope that this is inspirational, especially in a, you know, you saw little kids out there painting and doing stuff.

00:16:49.650 --> 00:17:00.930 Antonia Thompson: So I hope it is inspiring the little artists that are out there that want to do this. So we're going to take a quick break and then we're gonna come back and I'm going to put up some of the words that we can talk about some of the amazing art that you do.

00:17:01.380 --> 00:17:01.740 Alicia Cobb: Okay.

00:17:02.220 --> 00:17:06.330 Antonia Thompson: So, listening to Antonia and so now you know. And we're talking with Alicia cop. We'll be right back.

00:19:14.310 --> 00:19:20.070 Antonia Thompson: So we are back here. Listen to Antonia and so now you know and we are talking to Alicia Cobb

00:19:21.090 --> 00:19:27.480 Antonia Thompson: So, Alicia. We're just getting into your passion for the work that you're doing. Can you talk to us a little bit about

00:19:29.370 --> 00:19:35.310 Antonia Thompson: What after high school did you go on to an art school, like how, what have you been doing for the last several years to work on your passion.

00:19:35.760 --> 00:19:45.030 Alicia Cobb: It. No, actually I had a baby right out of high school, I was a young mom. So I basically graduated high school and the following year.

00:19:45.480 --> 00:19:59.430 Alicia Cobb: I became pregnant with my daughter. So I started working immediately just so that I could provide and I've pretty much, you know, like I said, My daughter's 22 she'll be 23 this year and pretty much been working ever since.

00:20:00.480 --> 00:20:11.580 Alicia Cobb: I've taken some college courses not art. Actually, I've taken business courses and all kinds of other stuff, but I do not have a formal education and art.

00:20:12.420 --> 00:20:24.150 Alicia Cobb: I just kind of was born with a natural ability to create um and I honed into it and I started to sharpen my skills by taking workshops and classes and all kinds of

00:20:24.180 --> 00:20:25.170 Antonia Thompson: Other stuff to

00:20:25.200 --> 00:20:29.220 Alicia Cobb: Get better at it and I'm constantly learning and always a work in progress.

00:20:30.240 --> 00:20:43.890 Alicia Cobb: So I worked for the majority of my early adulthood as a mom and a wife and kind of had let go of art for the first maybe I'd say 1213 years of my daughter's life and then

00:20:45.870 --> 00:20:54.600 Alicia Cobb: Around the time I got divorced. That's when I rediscovered art. I started to paint again and kind of just create again as a therapeutic outlet

00:20:54.990 --> 00:21:13.890 Alicia Cobb: And it's stuck. And I pretty much have been doing it ever since. So the, the catalyst to bring me back to it. The beginning of me knowing art was really a thing for me was when my parents got divorced. And then, ironically, I found it again in my own divorce, so

00:21:14.730 --> 00:21:16.410 Antonia Thompson: What did you feel was therapeutic about

00:21:17.880 --> 00:21:18.450 Alicia Cobb: Everything.

00:21:18.990 --> 00:21:23.220 Alicia Cobb: The painting, I guess. So painting, you know, it's

00:21:23.250 --> 00:21:26.790 Antonia Thompson: Not painting, but your art because it's I think it's right. It comes in various forms.

00:21:27.270 --> 00:21:28.920 Alicia Cobb: Yeah, I do a little bit of everything.

00:21:28.920 --> 00:21:41.340 Alicia Cobb: Creating in general for me. I feel like you know when you're creating something, whether it's painting writing, whatever it is, it gives you the opportunity to express things that maybe you don't know how to say out loud.

00:21:42.000 --> 00:21:48.930 Alicia Cobb: Um, it's kind of bringing your insides out and it can be intimidating.

00:21:49.410 --> 00:21:56.790 Alicia Cobb: As well, especially if it's something you want to put out into the world. But when I originally started creating it wasn't to put anything out into the world. It was really just

00:21:57.180 --> 00:22:13.020 Alicia Cobb: Therapy for me. It helped me to feel better. It was, you know, maybe I didn't have somebody to talk to. At the moment where I didn't know the right things to say. And so instead of trying to speak it. I would paint it or write it in a poem. And that's always worked out for me really well.

00:22:13.950 --> 00:22:19.110 Antonia Thompson: Did you ever have a fear of the acceptance of your work of sharing that work.

00:22:19.170 --> 00:22:29.490 Alicia Cobb: Was that absolutely absolutely when i when i first kind of revealed. I was an artist. It was here in Bridgeport. And a friend of mine had a poetry.

00:22:30.150 --> 00:22:42.750 Alicia Cobb: Venue that she ran weekly and she encouraged me to bring some of my paintings and I was like, No, I don't pre pre paintings to show anybody else. No, I like these are my babies and their private and I don't want to share them.

00:22:43.320 --> 00:22:50.580 Alicia Cobb: And her words stuck with me and stick with me, to this day, she said, God doesn't give you a gift like that to keep to yourself.

00:22:51.780 --> 00:23:03.210 Alicia Cobb: And so, you know, I had to really ponder on that, like, She's right. You know, our gifts are meant to be put out into the world and so I brought my art to the show. And it was well received.

00:23:03.990 --> 00:23:14.580 Alicia Cobb: For the people that actually gave me feedback and it wasn't so much about how beautiful the art was, you know, the feedback that I was getting was

00:23:15.090 --> 00:23:31.380 Alicia Cobb: I can relate to that. That's really familiar to me. So it was more that people related to it, then the way that it looked. It wasn't so much about how perfect. It was and what skills. I had it was more like it made them feel something it resonated with people.

00:23:33.000 --> 00:23:34.350 Antonia Thompson: And you do some teaching now.

00:23:35.340 --> 00:23:40.650 Alicia Cobb: I do, actually, I've been teaching for about 10 years. A lot of people don't know that I've been teaching that long, because I don't

00:23:41.130 --> 00:23:50.430 Alicia Cobb: I don't teach in the public schools. I only teach in extracurricular in summer programs and I've started my own program. Actually, I started a virtual program would

00:23:50.550 --> 00:23:51.360 Alicia Cobb: Hope it hit

00:23:51.390 --> 00:23:56.160 Alicia Cobb: Yes. Um, I started offering free virtual art classes because I swap parents like

00:23:56.850 --> 00:23:58.440 Alicia Cobb: Oh my God, yeah.

00:23:58.710 --> 00:24:09.390 Alicia Cobb: They like what am I supposed to do. I don't know how to homeschool my kids. I don't know how to homeschool my kids I if my kids were small right now. I don't even know how I would handle it. So, you know,

00:24:09.720 --> 00:24:11.700 Antonia Thompson: My invite someone like you to come pay

00:24:11.820 --> 00:24:13.020 Alicia Cobb: Or right well my

00:24:13.380 --> 00:24:22.980 Alicia Cobb: Home my income dead stopped like coven hit and I got email after email all my gigs got canceled and I didn't panic.

00:24:23.820 --> 00:24:35.040 Alicia Cobb: Um, I had been out of work for three months in 2019 right at the end of 2019 I was out of work for three months because of medical issues and I had no income and I survived it

00:24:35.520 --> 00:24:50.100 Alicia Cobb: And so when coven hit and it was like no income for you again. I was like, like, Okay, I've done this, I could do this. And so immediately I'm a very spiritual person and immediately my spirit was like, what can you do to help

00:24:51.120 --> 00:24:55.500 Alicia Cobb: You know, you see people struggling right now. Art is therapeutic for you.

00:24:56.400 --> 00:25:06.570 Alicia Cobb: Maybe you can help other people that way. And so I started offering free virtual art class on Facebook Live had no idea what I was doing. Let me just tell you, I had never done virtual art classes before

00:25:07.050 --> 00:25:20.040 Alicia Cobb: Zoom was so foreign to me, just like so many other people, but I was like, I gotta figure out how to do this, you know, and so on Facebook Live the kids could see me, but I couldn't see them, but I will communicate with them through Chat.

00:25:20.760 --> 00:25:21.780 Alicia Cobb: And walk them through

00:25:21.780 --> 00:25:26.580 Alicia Cobb: art assignments and my audience grew and I got kids from Russia and

00:25:27.660 --> 00:25:38.520 Alicia Cobb: Amsterdam and India like mind blowing. And now I have a student that's in my summer program from Turkey, like they're from all over the place. And it's amazing.

00:25:38.940 --> 00:25:51.600 Antonia Thompson: So this as bad as coven is it did. And I was saying this at the beginning. The show it just opened up so many different platforms and and just space for people to to realize that they can do more than what they were doing. Right, but

00:25:52.740 --> 00:26:01.710 Antonia Thompson: Because of necessity, you had to go out and learn zoom you had to go out there and figure out how are you going to, how are you gonna make money and I know as far as

00:26:02.640 --> 00:26:13.560 Antonia Thompson: You know, doing art on zoom, even with the schools all of these like places that were, you know, pinos pot palette and all these other places that would, you know, have people come in and do painting parties and so forth.

00:26:14.220 --> 00:26:26.310 Antonia Thompson: Left and right people were looking for that because you did you have to entertain. Yeah, but at the same time, the kids are tied to the screen for virtual learning for school. How do you create something that's new and different and engaging. Right.

00:26:26.340 --> 00:26:27.390 Alicia Cobb: Yeah, and that's going to make their

00:26:27.390 --> 00:26:36.000 Antonia Thompson: Mind work and bring out some creativity. Yeah, in them. So I absolutely could see that chess, and it's just so wonderful that you could like go around the world.

00:26:36.000 --> 00:26:41.610 Alicia Cobb: Yeah, and I so I've been teaching kids. I also teach adults. I do virtual seven paints as well so

00:26:42.480 --> 00:26:52.950 Alicia Cobb: I've been, you know, it's kind of like, you know, as things change. You have to create a lane. You know, if you're a full time artist or an entrepreneur of any sort. You have to move with the time and

00:26:53.970 --> 00:27:00.330 Alicia Cobb: The. That's it. You got to go with the flow and as change happens, you gotta change with it, or you're going to sink and

00:27:01.320 --> 00:27:09.690 Alicia Cobb: I'm not trying to do that. So for me it was, what can you do to help. And right away. It was offer classes and initially it was

00:27:10.080 --> 00:27:18.840 Alicia Cobb: You know, I was going to charge a small fee for them. And no, it was like no do them for free people need help. Right now, you know, people don't have an income. And I was like, I don't have an income but

00:27:19.410 --> 00:27:26.460 Alicia Cobb: I believe that when you do what's right and when you do what you love the money comes, it's

00:27:26.460 --> 00:27:28.740 Antonia Thompson: Not the generosity behind all of it.

00:27:28.830 --> 00:27:30.270 Antonia Thompson: Yeah yeah

00:27:30.360 --> 00:27:37.140 Alicia Cobb: So I did it for free. I just did them for free. And it was pretty awesome. So I love teaching that is definitely one of my one of my love's as well.

00:27:38.400 --> 00:27:55.230 Antonia Thompson: And so do you feel. Do you ever have students where you can see like a twinkle in your eye, like, oh, that was me at that age, like you see that, and I know even with kids. Some kids that I work with in the community. I'm just, you know, trying to convince them how talented, they are

00:27:55.560 --> 00:27:58.170 Antonia Thompson: Like the fact that they could draw, you know, they could

00:27:58.230 --> 00:28:03.750 Antonia Thompson: I could say to them, Hey, I'm trying to this is what I'm thinking in my head that should look like. And then I turn around and they're like, You mean this

00:28:04.860 --> 00:28:09.090 Antonia Thompson: is amazing. So, do you find that at times when you're working with your like, absolutely.

00:28:09.570 --> 00:28:14.970 Alicia Cobb: Absolutely. I can I see so much of myself in a lot of my students, whether it be

00:28:15.210 --> 00:28:24.420 Alicia Cobb: You know, the need for perfection. Some of them are super analytical and when I was younger, I was very much that way, not so much. Now I've learned to let it go because if I was still that way. I wouldn't enjoy my career.

00:28:24.780 --> 00:28:30.090 Alicia Cobb: Right. Um, so I've had to let perfection go but you know that and just really passionate

00:28:30.840 --> 00:28:38.850 Alicia Cobb: And always showing me like look, miss. Look what I did. And, you know, they get really excited and they just really want to create um

00:28:39.360 --> 00:28:53.790 Alicia Cobb: And like I said, it was if you put me in a room with crayons and paper when I was a kid, I could have been there all day and you would not hear a peep out of me. And I see that in so many of my students how passionate they are about creating this art and and they just love it.

00:28:54.750 --> 00:29:06.180 Antonia Thompson: So what would you say as far as the different communities. I mean I between Bridgeport, and in Stamford, I saw a lot of artists of color, which I loved. On Sunday.

00:29:06.690 --> 00:29:17.310 Antonia Thompson: And I've loved that. You know, I was there with my my 15 year old daughter and she could see that. But I don't see it overall in other spaces like within our school definitely in Stanford public schools. I don't think I've ever seen.

00:29:18.870 --> 00:29:24.330 Antonia Thompson: An art teacher of color are you seeing that growing in our area this lower Fairfield County area.

00:29:25.290 --> 00:29:33.030 Alicia Cobb: I'm not seeing it grow. Actually, most of most of the time, like I've taught in Stanford, but it was in the after school program so

00:29:33.360 --> 00:29:39.480 Alicia Cobb: I went back to my elementary school Westover and I taught after school. This was probably about two years ago.

00:29:39.870 --> 00:29:48.660 Alicia Cobb: Um, I don't see an influx of artists of color. I would love to. Yeah, I feel like it's necessary, and there's organizations that I work with.

00:29:49.020 --> 00:29:54.000 Alicia Cobb: That literally are contacting me like you know me and the other artists of color, saying, hey,

00:29:54.540 --> 00:29:58.740 Alicia Cobb: The school wants you know they want some more culture in the school you want it. You know, so there is

00:29:59.280 --> 00:30:13.530 Alicia Cobb: There is a need for it and there is kind of a demand for it as well. Um, but I'm not seeing it grow in the actual schools. As a matter of fact, I feel like arts are being still being read from this school. Yeah.

00:30:13.650 --> 00:30:24.510 Antonia Thompson: As we look at all these budget constraints and other reasons. It is one of the first you know things to go. We're going to take our second break and then we're gonna get I'm gonna get your website up and get some of the pictures of that.

00:30:24.690 --> 00:30:25.050 Alicia Cobb: Okay.

00:30:25.290 --> 00:30:30.720 Antonia Thompson: And we're going to get into that, but we're going to take a break at San Antonio. And so now you know and we are talking with Alicia car will be right back.

00:30:31.200 --> 00:30:31.530 Okay.

00:32:48.540 --> 00:32:57.900 Antonia Thompson: So we are back. I have tried to share my screen and then I guess we're talking about zoom and us older folks trying to fit.

00:32:58.500 --> 00:33:04.170 Antonia Thompson: This platform. It's always something new, a different me so I have up here, your website. But those of you who are just listening.

00:33:04.800 --> 00:33:15.030 Antonia Thompson: You can visit our arts implicated calm and you can look, check out Alicia's artwork and we will share, you know, we'll get everyone her contact information to everybody.

00:33:16.470 --> 00:33:22.710 Antonia Thompson: But I want to bring up some of the photos that you sent to me and talk about them. Do you see this Alicia.

00:33:23.610 --> 00:33:32.580 Antonia Thompson: Yeah, I can see the screen. Okay, so I'm going to try to bring up some of the pictures and I want you to not pictures, your artwork. I keep saying pictures, but I want

00:33:33.900 --> 00:33:46.140 Antonia Thompson: And I, and I you know I always deal with a lot of folks with trauma and so forth, right. So when I saw this. It did. It did gripped me in a way and it will tell you, I want you to describe it to those that can't see.

00:33:46.620 --> 00:33:50.940 Antonia Thompson: Okay, what what is depicted in this picture and just tell it. Tell me about this. What is this about

00:33:51.840 --> 00:34:00.660 Alicia Cobb: Um, so there's actually three different pictures that are showing right now on my website and it's just the different galleries. I'm the first one is body art.

00:34:00.780 --> 00:34:03.270 Antonia Thompson: So, so you don't you don't see this picture.

00:34:04.860 --> 00:34:06.060 Antonia Thompson: You just seeing your website.

00:34:07.230 --> 00:34:09.090 Alicia Cobb: Seeing my website right now. I'm seeing

00:34:09.090 --> 00:34:13.770 Alicia Cobb: The 3D. So then menus. All right, hold on a second.

00:34:14.460 --> 00:34:15.990 Antonia Thompson: Let me see. I did this wrong.

00:34:18.840 --> 00:34:22.500 Antonia Thompson: Let's do it this way. See what's gonna learn this. That's the beauty of us.

00:34:23.250 --> 00:34:24.120 Alicia Cobb: Oh, okay.

00:34:24.180 --> 00:34:25.260 Antonia Thompson: Yeah, I

00:34:25.440 --> 00:34:25.920 Alicia Cobb: Did yeah

00:34:26.280 --> 00:34:26.700 Yeah, it's

00:34:27.780 --> 00:34:39.300 Alicia Cobb: So okay, so this painting actually is pretty jarring and when I saw it in my mind. It was very jarring. This is an image that came to me in November of 2018

00:34:40.020 --> 00:34:50.970 Alicia Cobb: Through a dream. There was, I actually did a journal entry to go along with this painting. It is a painting of me holding a gun to my head with the American flag as my backing.

00:34:52.080 --> 00:35:09.930 Alicia Cobb: The. It's kind of a long story, but to make it very short. This was a vision I had when I woke up from a dream. And initially, I didn't know what it meant. And I refused to paint it, I was like, I'm not going to paint that it's scary. And it's dark and i don't i create pretty things.

00:35:11.190 --> 00:35:15.990 Alicia Cobb: And I went into a depression actually for four full days. I could not

00:35:16.980 --> 00:35:23.610 Alicia Cobb: Sleep. I couldn't eat. I couldn't function. And I didn't know what was going on. There was nothing that happened that

00:35:23.910 --> 00:35:32.490 Alicia Cobb: Would you know a reason to throw me into this depression and then something said go to the studio and sketch the piece, you need to get it out.

00:35:33.060 --> 00:35:42.840 Alicia Cobb: And so I went to the studio and I sketched the piece. And I didn't figure out until I started to create it, what it meant. Um, so it has a political and personal story.

00:35:43.260 --> 00:36:01.950 Alicia Cobb: The political story is, and the stars that are falling from the sky from the box are actually they're black. They're great. They're white bright white they represent the people of this country. Some burn brighter than than others. According to our society.

00:36:03.750 --> 00:36:14.400 Alicia Cobb: And some of our falling you know beneath the box the stripes in the background, instead of 13 there are 12 and that basically represents the incomplete history of this country.

00:36:14.940 --> 00:36:27.750 Alicia Cobb: Um, there are there are 13 butterflies 13 black butterflies coming from the exit wound of my head which which represent the 13th amendment.

00:36:29.130 --> 00:36:36.630 Alicia Cobb: Which is, you know, I like, I can't even tell you this thing goes on and on and on. And if nobody's ever seen the 13th.

00:36:36.660 --> 00:36:46.800 Alicia Cobb: On Netflix, please watch it. So you can learn more about it because it's supposed to be the abolishment of slavery, but it is actually mass incarceration of black and brown people and

00:36:48.000 --> 00:37:04.080 Alicia Cobb: The gun is a 45 our president current president is the 45th. Um, it is a self inflicted wound. Um, there's so much more to it politically, but personally I am biracial, so I'm half black, half white

00:37:04.800 --> 00:37:20.370 Alicia Cobb: I have always identified as by ratio, but in society. I'm black, and so I painted myself grey to represent the black and white, you know, that has kind of been a challenge for me I you know I went through a period of identity crisis.

00:37:21.870 --> 00:37:32.910 Alicia Cobb: The dripping in the background is obviously blood from the explosion and the little particles around the butterflies. You can't tell from the picture, but the little particles around the butterflies are actually broken glass.

00:37:33.300 --> 00:37:43.200 Alicia Cobb: From my car window that was actively shot. I'm in a drive by I beg God was not in the car, but there is actual car glass from a bullet

00:37:44.250 --> 00:38:01.860 Alicia Cobb: From a bullet in my in the painting. So if you see it in person. It's got layers to it, but it's for personally. It was about the death of my ego or the silencing of my ego living more from my spirit versus, you know, human beings, we are really messed up.

00:38:03.030 --> 00:38:03.360 Alicia Cobb: Like

00:38:03.750 --> 00:38:11.610 Alicia Cobb: I can't even begin to tell you how our minds, kind of just take over. And so this was this was a representation of me.

00:38:12.300 --> 00:38:27.810 Alicia Cobb: You know, really living in spirit and silencing my mind, if you will. So finding some kind of balance or peace. It's about duality, so it's it's a very multifaceted piece and very jarring to look at. But when people know the story behind it. They're like, oh my gosh.

00:38:28.620 --> 00:38:41.040 Antonia Thompson: Yes, because when I when I looked at it. I said, Okay, this is pretty deep. Yeah. And this is saying something to me. But as you're saying as you're now explained to me that to you. I'm looking, but to me it was the softness of the face.

00:38:41.580 --> 00:38:41.910 Alicia Cobb: Yeah.

00:38:42.060 --> 00:38:46.560 Antonia Thompson: And when I looked at it, I was like, Okay, this is what I got the political the political feeling

00:38:46.560 --> 00:38:46.920 Alicia Cobb: Yeah.

00:38:47.010 --> 00:38:51.960 Antonia Thompson: Because of the American flag, but then I took away. I started thing about the femininity of her

00:38:52.320 --> 00:38:52.770 Alicia Cobb: Yeah.

00:38:53.040 --> 00:38:55.110 Antonia Thompson: I looked at the butterflies as life.

00:38:55.680 --> 00:38:56.070 Alicia Cobb: Yeah.

00:38:56.160 --> 00:39:01.380 Antonia Thompson: So on one side, it was any so it's just amazing how a painting can have so many different

00:39:02.940 --> 00:39:09.780 Antonia Thompson: I mean you know clearly yours weren't. Is it because that that sure the meaning behind it but interpretation is someone who's looking at

00:39:09.810 --> 00:39:21.420 Alicia Cobb: No, but that's what I love. And, and when I hung it up in my studio I had actually put a journal entry up, but I like when people interpret it for themselves. I like for people to look at it and kind of make their own definition because that's

00:39:21.420 --> 00:39:22.740 Alicia Cobb: What it's all about. Yeah.

00:39:23.070 --> 00:39:32.340 Antonia Thompson: And when you talk about 13th makes total sense makes complete sense. And then, you know, again, it's those layers and it just says so much

00:39:32.580 --> 00:39:33.120 Antonia Thompson: I love it.

00:39:33.180 --> 00:39:34.080 Antonia Thompson: I just think it's

00:39:34.200 --> 00:39:35.880 Alicia Cobb: Thank you. Thank you. And

00:39:36.720 --> 00:39:42.360 Antonia Thompson: But I also felt the pain in it. So I'm sorry that you know you weren't you were in it, you were going through it.

00:39:42.660 --> 00:39:43.170 Alicia Cobb: Yeah, and

00:39:43.260 --> 00:39:47.790 Antonia Thompson: Created this just beautiful. I just, I just think it's completely fantastic

00:39:48.060 --> 00:39:49.590 Alicia Cobb: Thank you. Thank you.

00:39:50.610 --> 00:39:53.460 Antonia Thompson: And so let me see. Let's see if I can bring up

00:39:55.380 --> 00:39:55.800 Okay.

00:39:56.880 --> 00:39:57.570 Antonia Thompson: Can you see her.

00:39:58.530 --> 00:39:58.860 Alicia Cobb: Nope.

00:39:58.890 --> 00:40:00.420 Alicia Cobb: I'm still seeing the CPA.

00:40:01.140 --> 00:40:04.020 Antonia Thompson: I know, I know. I'm gonna have to change to to go to this.

00:40:05.640 --> 00:40:05.910 Antonia Thompson: Let me

00:40:05.970 --> 00:40:08.580 Alicia Cobb: Yeah, you have to go back to share screen each time.

00:40:09.840 --> 00:40:12.090 Antonia Thompson: I had it a different way. But, um,

00:40:12.660 --> 00:40:15.660 Alicia Cobb: Yeah, I've been learning. I'm like a zoom master now.

00:40:17.940 --> 00:40:22.860 Antonia Thompson: And so Sam who's on there too, he's explaining a couple of things to me too.

00:40:22.980 --> 00:40:24.450 Alicia Cobb: Yeah, I think.

00:40:24.510 --> 00:40:25.770 Antonia Thompson: So you see that one now. Right.

00:40:25.800 --> 00:40:26.670 Alicia Cobb: Yes, yes.

00:40:27.270 --> 00:40:28.230 Antonia Thompson: Oh, where'd it go

00:40:29.280 --> 00:40:33.900 Antonia Thompson: Oh, cheese, Lord, have mercy. Okay, you know what is this on your website is it on your website page.

00:40:34.740 --> 00:40:42.780 Alicia Cobb: No. The Eye of Horus is not on my website that's actually a painting that I did years ago. And believe it or not, that's a body painting that's actually somebody space.

00:40:44.130 --> 00:40:44.670 Alicia Cobb: Okay, yeah.

00:40:44.730 --> 00:40:46.050 Alicia Cobb: That was somebody's face.

00:40:46.560 --> 00:40:51.060 Antonia Thompson: I'm going to go back and find that one and you see this one right

00:40:52.650 --> 00:40:53.820 Alicia Cobb: Yeah, I can see that one.

00:40:54.030 --> 00:40:54.330 Antonia Thompson: Okay.

00:40:54.360 --> 00:40:56.070 Alicia Cobb: Do you want me to do you want to talk about that one.

00:40:56.370 --> 00:41:00.960 Alicia Cobb: Yes. Okay. So as a body painter, I have

00:41:01.980 --> 00:41:02.820 Alicia Cobb: A really

00:41:02.880 --> 00:41:03.810 Antonia Thompson: resent someone's body.

00:41:04.650 --> 00:41:14.970 Alicia Cobb: That is, if you look at it, it's the silhouette of the back of somebody's body so you could see the back of the head, the top of the back of the shoulder, and then it goes down to the curves of their

00:41:15.030 --> 00:41:15.330 Alicia Cobb: Way.

00:41:16.200 --> 00:41:17.340 Alicia Cobb: Can you see it now. Yeah.

00:41:17.760 --> 00:41:17.940 Alicia Cobb: I

00:41:18.180 --> 00:41:20.670 Antonia Thompson: Don't see it, but is that like on a person, you just drew

00:41:20.700 --> 00:41:22.530 Alicia Cobb: No, no, that's absolutely on canvas.

00:41:22.560 --> 00:41:24.480 Antonia Thompson: That's a painting on Canada. Okay. Okay.

00:41:24.690 --> 00:41:25.830 Alicia Cobb: That's a painting on canvas.

00:41:25.830 --> 00:41:27.540 Alicia Cobb: OK, so my

00:41:28.740 --> 00:41:38.250 Alicia Cobb: Fascination and respect for the human body, not only is in body painting, but I started to actually do silhouettes of bodies on canvas.

00:41:38.850 --> 00:41:44.670 Alicia Cobb: Just because I love the human body. I think what our bodies do on a daily basis are fascinating.

00:41:45.660 --> 00:41:56.970 Alicia Cobb: I think it's amazing that every single day where, you know, for those of us who are able to wake up and walk and talk and do everything that we do. It's just amazing to me. And so I love to honor

00:41:58.140 --> 00:42:08.340 Alicia Cobb: The, the ins and outs of the human body. This is just a piece of the human body. So I oftentimes when I do silhouettes. I'll pick a section of it or

00:42:08.610 --> 00:42:20.370 Alicia Cobb: You know, a part of it. Usually there's curves involved. I almost always paint women I myself am a very curvaceous woman and I feel like curves should be celebrated.

00:42:20.880 --> 00:42:32.940 Alicia Cobb: So very often. I am painting the feminine. I am painting curves and the celebration of women in our bodies all shapes and sizes. Because I think our bodies are amazing.

00:42:33.480 --> 00:42:41.370 Antonia Thompson: Yes. Now, do you ever have Canvas like live canvases when you're doing the body paint better. I'm insecure about their bodies are you are

00:42:41.460 --> 00:42:52.530 Alicia Cobb: Oh, absolutely. Absolutely. Most people will get painted are really vulnerable and somewhat insecure at times. Um, and I would love to talk about my brother.

00:42:53.280 --> 00:43:05.430 Alicia Cobb: Really quickly, so my brother, Brian, who is one of my veteran canvases this view, if you will, um, my brother Brian was in a terrible car accident when he was 12. It was actually on my eighth birthday.

00:43:06.360 --> 00:43:18.660 Alicia Cobb: He was in the hospital for somewhere between five and six months, almost died. So he's got scars everywhere from surgeries and injuries and for the longest time he was actually really ashamed of them.

00:43:19.320 --> 00:43:26.010 Alicia Cobb: He also happens to be gay and black. And so he lives in a world that just is not crazy about him.

00:43:26.550 --> 00:43:36.000 Alicia Cobb: And so a few years ago at the bridge for arts fest. Somebody asked him, Why do you like getting painted so much like every time I see your body painted. People don't know what he looks like about me.

00:43:36.690 --> 00:43:50.880 Alicia Cobb: And the answer he gave was. It was really profound FOR HIM ME AND EVERYBODY WHO HEARD IT IS THE ANSWER WAS WHEN HE'S painted, people don't see his skin color, they don't see his sexuality.

00:43:51.450 --> 00:43:56.730 Alicia Cobb: They don't see, they don't judge him based on who is this person. They just see him as art.

00:43:57.420 --> 00:44:15.150 Alicia Cobb: And he loves time of being able to wear that mask, if you will, and just be art for people to admire instead of somebody for people to bash. You know, and so it's very, it's been very therapeutic for him as well. But yeah, so

00:44:15.630 --> 00:44:16.080 Antonia Thompson: I

00:44:16.470 --> 00:44:17.550 Alicia Cobb: Was super cute.

00:44:18.510 --> 00:44:23.460 Antonia Thompson: Tell me, though, how, like, I'm gonna I'm gonna put this picture up to this. I'm amazed.

00:44:23.820 --> 00:44:24.690 Alicia Cobb: That's my brother.

00:44:25.020 --> 00:44:25.590 Antonia Thompson: I was like,

00:44:26.070 --> 00:44:36.360 Antonia Thompson: Okay. And, you know, for those that can't see the picture he has this painting from his head. I'm assuming to his toe or it's

00:44:36.420 --> 00:44:38.040 Alicia Cobb: No, no, it's only says waistline.

00:44:38.070 --> 00:44:38.460 Antonia Thompson: And this was

00:44:38.520 --> 00:44:44.040 Alicia Cobb: Our project I did about a month ago, specifically for Black Lives Matter. Actually, I did this project.

00:44:44.670 --> 00:44:59.370 Alicia Cobb: This is a snapshot from a video that I did called skin and it's a written. It's a spoken word video of both myself and my brother doing a poem, and it's basically you know inside. We're all the same. We all have both.

00:44:59.400 --> 00:44:59.880 Antonia Thompson: We have the same

00:45:00.510 --> 00:45:13.080 Alicia Cobb: Muscle and heart and and so I painted his outsides is insides out I'm wrong. His attendance and his muscles and his skull and his heart and his veins.

00:45:13.470 --> 00:45:22.410 Alicia Cobb: Outside of his skin so people could know and understand the outside of that beautiful brown skin, you know, inside. We're all the same and

00:45:23.100 --> 00:45:32.640 Alicia Cobb: I'm specifically. That's what the poem is about. But that's what this image is I brought his insights out to kind of display. You know how human we all are.

00:45:33.480 --> 00:45:40.590 Antonia Thompson: So talk to me about this and I don't want to sound night so he hangs out with us for a little bit for a while.

00:45:40.650 --> 00:45:41.730 Alicia Cobb: Because it's yeah well

00:45:41.940 --> 00:45:44.790 Antonia Thompson: A lot of work. Like how long did it take you to do.

00:45:44.970 --> 00:45:46.500 Alicia Cobb: This, this particular one.

00:45:47.070 --> 00:45:47.910 Antonia Thompson: Has been since

00:45:47.970 --> 00:45:48.510 Alicia Cobb: And yeah.

00:45:49.230 --> 00:45:56.730 Alicia Cobb: So this particular one took me about three and a half hours because also on his back. I painted a quote Martin Luther King Jr quote

00:45:57.600 --> 00:46:07.950 Alicia Cobb: But this one took about three and a half hours. So typically, he'll wear it for a few hours for whatever the purposes. The documentation video, whatever it is. And then he goes home any showers at all.

00:46:09.180 --> 00:46:11.400 Antonia Thompson: Okay, but I would think that there's some people just want to rock.

00:46:12.330 --> 00:46:12.900 Alicia Cobb: Oh, he loves

00:46:13.530 --> 00:46:13.800 Alicia Cobb: It.

00:46:13.860 --> 00:46:14.370 Antonia Thompson: He loves

00:46:14.970 --> 00:46:18.180 Alicia Cobb: You right always rocks it as long as possible, but usually by

00:46:18.180 --> 00:46:21.450 Alicia Cobb: The end of the night, he's got to get the shower and wash it off so

00:46:22.230 --> 00:46:31.140 Antonia Thompson: Oh my gosh, this is awesome. We're going to get ready to just take our last break and then we'll come back and we're gonna go back to your website and look at some more of your, your artwork here, but this is

00:46:31.320 --> 00:46:34.860 Antonia Thompson: This is amazing. I might. I might end up trying it out because that is so

00:46:37.290 --> 00:46:40.470 Antonia Thompson: So now you know with Antonia we're talking totally Chicago. We'll be right back.

00:48:34.350 --> 00:48:39.930 Antonia Thompson: So we're back on. So now you know with Antonio and we're talking to Alicia cop. She was one of our

00:48:41.160 --> 00:48:52.710 Antonia Thompson: Painters this past weekend here in Stanford Connecticut part of the street mural of Black Lives Matter. She was the letter A. So I hope you see now if you're listening on Facebook. If you're watching on Facebook.

00:48:53.670 --> 00:49:08.790 Antonia Thompson: Your letter A. Yeah. And you were saying earlier that you know you're a for your ancestors. And so the finished product is beautiful. I think when I was there with my daughter. We were she was doing the left side of the white chalk.

00:49:10.050 --> 00:49:19.800 Antonia Thompson: And the elephant's trunk is is coming out. So what did you think was this a living up to what your, your image of before you started this

00:49:19.950 --> 00:49:28.380 Alicia Cobb: was so funny because we were able to sketch our images ahead of time and we had to guess what the font was like, I didn't know what the fun of my letter was going to be ahead of time.

00:49:28.680 --> 00:49:47.430 Alicia Cobb: So I'm the design that I created on paper was a little different than this one. And afterwards, I was like, Oh, I should have bought the leg down in the center of the a and I, you know, but at the end of the day, I am happy with the results. It was a super hot day. Oh yeah, I'm

00:49:47.940 --> 00:49:48.360 Alicia Cobb: In

00:49:48.420 --> 00:49:57.570 Alicia Cobb: between painting and trying to hydrate and trying to leave volunteers. It was it was a day, you know, and it was a really good day and I felt like

00:49:57.930 --> 00:50:11.220 Alicia Cobb: In the end, I was pretty happy with what the way mine turned out I was one of the more intricate designs. So when even when we were in the zoom meetings they said guys, be realistic. With your designs. We only

00:50:11.220 --> 00:50:21.360 Alicia Cobb: Have for this time to this time, and I was really ambitious and I was like, I really want this to be colorful and beautiful and so I'm pretty happy with the way that it turned out.

00:50:22.320 --> 00:50:23.820 Antonia Thompson: It looks absolutely fantastic. And I'm sure

00:50:24.000 --> 00:50:36.150 Antonia Thompson: One of the things I think there was one point when I was like a little drop of white paint got on the blue. And I was like, oh my gosh. Can I erase this, like, and you're like, yeah, no, but then I'm like, in her head. She's probably like, no. Seriously, lady.

00:50:36.960 --> 00:50:47.700 Alicia Cobb: No, actually go. It's so funny because there were a few people that came and my assistant was like going around correcting things. I was like, girl. Relax. Like, it's okay.

00:50:49.020 --> 00:50:50.910 Antonia Thompson: Like it looks amazing, and I think

00:50:50.910 --> 00:51:02.430 Antonia Thompson: Why so do any. Did you guys ever have like your sketches all together to see what it would eventually look like because if you look at it just seems so cohesive

00:51:02.940 --> 00:51:16.110 Alicia Cobb: Yeah, well actually we did, but none of us knew what the other was going to do. Like we nobody was bouncing off of anybody else's idea at all. We all worked independently on our designs, creating what we wanted.

00:51:16.920 --> 00:51:23.550 Alicia Cobb: And then when they came together. They just came together. Um, so you can actually go to if you

00:51:24.150 --> 00:51:31.320 Alicia Cobb: Not right now. But eventually picture that picture that's website has specifically a page for the BLM

00:51:31.980 --> 00:51:38.580 Alicia Cobb: Mural and it has all the artists names. It has all of our contact information, our websites and then it actually has

00:51:39.300 --> 00:51:49.260 Alicia Cobb: You can see the letters ahead of time or renderings all pushed together where they could show you our renderings and how they looked ahead of time and then how they turned out on the street. So, yeah.

00:51:49.440 --> 00:52:00.150 Antonia Thompson: We will definitely put that all together when, after the show because I do. It's amazing and i and i like i said i think people see it on the news we capture in the newspaper.

00:52:00.510 --> 00:52:07.500 Antonia Thompson: Yeah, and people I think people can appreciate the work that goes into it, but I don't think you get it to you see it till you feel it and so

00:52:07.530 --> 00:52:07.860 Antonia Thompson: Yeah.

00:52:07.890 --> 00:52:11.880 Antonia Thompson: Not everybody has that opportunity. So I know this is a body.

00:52:12.300 --> 00:52:12.720 Alicia Cobb: Yes.

00:52:12.780 --> 00:52:14.520 Antonia Thompson: See her breasts. Yeah.

00:52:14.580 --> 00:52:19.470 Antonia Thompson: So talk to me about, because this is carnage for for the woman who did this.

00:52:19.590 --> 00:52:20.040 Yes.

00:52:21.690 --> 00:52:25.830 Antonia Thompson: Talk to me about this because this is another amazing, amazing painting.

00:52:26.160 --> 00:52:42.210 Alicia Cobb: So this is actually from New York City body painting dates 2015. It was my second year being involved in this event. And it was an event, literally, where we had somewhere between 100 and 150 models who all volunteered to get naked and get painted

00:52:42.600 --> 00:52:43.860 Alicia Cobb: And then artists.

00:52:44.340 --> 00:52:45.240 Antonia Thompson: I'm not gonna say that. Oh.

00:52:45.450 --> 00:52:46.860 Alicia Cobb: Yeah, only in New York because

00:52:48.480 --> 00:53:02.430 Alicia Cobb: This was a definitely New York. This would not go down in Connecticut. This was in New York. And so the theme for the year. The theme for that specific year was what the world needs now. Um, and the first thing I thought of when I heard that theme was

00:53:02.460 --> 00:53:04.380 Alicia Cobb: john lennon song imagine

00:53:04.980 --> 00:53:12.360 Alicia Cobb: Right, I heard the song, imagine. And so I decided to paint john lennon space on the front of her.

00:53:12.540 --> 00:53:12.900 Antonia Thompson: Yes.

00:53:12.990 --> 00:53:24.510 Alicia Cobb: Oh, you said anyone. Yeah, so that was the first thing that came to my mind was imagined because that's always that's a song that I love because the meaning behind it. The lyrics behind it, or just so powerful.

00:53:24.900 --> 00:53:34.200 Alicia Cobb: Um, and john lennon himself, you know, as an artist was just somebody that I really admired and so that song was the first thing that came to my mind. And so I decided

00:53:34.560 --> 00:53:41.430 Alicia Cobb: I'm going to paint lending space on the front of this girl's body and this was our first time ever meeting. She didn't know me. I didn't know her.

00:53:43.050 --> 00:53:57.240 Alicia Cobb: And she volunteered her body. And this actually ended up being like the face of the event that year, which I was not expecting, but it showed up on like the front line of every advertisement and everything was like the front running. And I was like, What is happening.

00:53:57.930 --> 00:54:05.010 Antonia Thompson: Is perfect like if she if if this was crap in her arms would take it away. You. I don't think you'd know that that was a body.

00:54:05.040 --> 00:54:06.510 Alicia Cobb: No, no, you would

00:54:06.600 --> 00:54:12.060 Antonia Thompson: Not know that and if for those you who can't see it, you would not know like his eyes or her boobs.

00:54:12.270 --> 00:54:16.410 Antonia Thompson: Yeah, it's just her stomach his nose is like the bottom of her navel.

00:54:16.560 --> 00:54:19.260 Alicia Cobb: Yeah. And even though I have very cliche and body.

00:54:19.260 --> 00:54:28.230 Alicia Cobb: Painting eyes on on breasts. It's like a no no. And I was like, You know what, this is what I'm feeling I'm going to do it. And I went, I went forward with it and actually just ended up working out.

00:54:28.800 --> 00:54:31.440 Antonia Thompson: Why is it. Why is it a no no, because you're looking at her nipples.

00:54:31.470 --> 00:54:32.880 Alicia Cobb: It was very cliche.

00:54:32.910 --> 00:54:35.370 Antonia Thompson: Like it's expected I got and it's

00:54:35.370 --> 00:54:36.570 Alicia Cobb: frowned upon in the

00:54:36.900 --> 00:54:39.600 Alicia Cobb: body paint. Paint world. It's like, you know, do something different.

00:54:39.810 --> 00:54:40.770 Antonia Thompson: Challenge yourself.

00:54:40.920 --> 00:54:42.690 Alicia Cobb: Right. Exactly. Exactly.

00:54:43.560 --> 00:54:52.920 Antonia Thompson: So, but that is well congratulations on that because you shouldn't do those because that that is truly amazing. And so before we get off here. I want to go to your

00:54:54.030 --> 00:55:00.420 Antonia Thompson: Website. And so, Alicia, Alicia website is it's art since implicated. Right.

00:55:00.480 --> 00:55:01.260 Alicia Cobb: And that's how about

00:55:01.800 --> 00:55:02.910 Antonia Thompson: How'd you come up with that name.

00:55:03.720 --> 00:55:23.250 Alicia Cobb: So arts implicated. Well, art is pretty much everything that I do. I pretty much breathe sleep and eat art. Um, and I my ex actually years ago. He told me that I'm like so simple and so complicated at the same time.

00:55:23.490 --> 00:55:23.850 Alicia Cobb: Okay.

00:55:24.510 --> 00:55:25.680 Antonia Thompson: Do one good things.

00:55:25.740 --> 00:55:34.140 Alicia Cobb: Right. He was like, you know, you're so simple. When it comes to material things, but you're so complicated when it comes to emotions. And I was like, I guess I'm simple

00:55:35.040 --> 00:55:47.070 Alicia Cobb: And kind of the word kind of stuck. And so when I was trying to figure out my business name I do a little bit of everything. You know, I teach I paint bodies I paint canvas. I do public art I create

00:55:47.460 --> 00:55:58.110 Alicia Cobb: And so for me, you know, art, simply stated made sense. And so that's kind of where the name came from and it defines me and everything that I do perfectly

00:55:58.590 --> 00:56:14.010 Alicia Cobb: Um, so that's how businesses came up and I've had it now for about 11 years. Um, and yes, so if you Google Arts implicated. I'm pretty much you'll find something with me involved in it because nobody else has that name so

00:56:14.400 --> 00:56:16.920 Antonia Thompson: I think, I think it's perfect. Because, yeah.

00:56:16.950 --> 00:56:17.550 Alicia Cobb: Thank you.

00:56:17.670 --> 00:56:22.830 Antonia Thompson: It also goes to sometimes we make things a lot more complicated than they need to be. And yes,

00:56:24.480 --> 00:56:25.080 Alicia Cobb: That's right.

00:56:25.140 --> 00:56:35.040 Antonia Thompson: That's right. And I know even with art, you know, we always want like you were saying before, we want to be perfect, but sometimes it's the imperfection that actually makes it really, really good. So I

00:56:35.520 --> 00:56:45.840 Antonia Thompson: I am so excited that you agreed to come on share your information. So we have here on the screen. And if you're listening. You can go to art simplification com

00:56:46.140 --> 00:56:55.110 Antonia Thompson: To get information about Alicia, you can look at her website to get information about her work if people want to get information about your art classes.

00:56:56.280 --> 00:57:02.100 Antonia Thompson: It's can they just call this number 203998505540 to get in touch with

00:57:02.100 --> 00:57:05.040 Alicia Cobb: Yep 5040 I still have a summer.

00:57:06.240 --> 00:57:14.250 Alicia Cobb: through August 21 so I'm doing a virtual summer camp Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. If you go to the front page of my website arcs implicated com

00:57:14.640 --> 00:57:22.320 Alicia Cobb: The link to sign up for those classes is there. You can call me. You can email me at Art Center you can

00:57:22.740 --> 00:57:34.320 Alicia Cobb: Look on Facebook arts implicated Google Arts implicated. Pretty much anything you look at art syndicated you can actually reach me there's a contact page on my website as well so people can email me from there too.

00:57:35.400 --> 00:57:38.550 Antonia Thompson: Awesome. And thank you so much. Alicia, and I

00:57:38.760 --> 00:57:47.010 Antonia Thompson: Knew that I was, I went to that event, and I just fell in love with your work. I love that. I'm going to go to your gallery, because I love that one. That picture and I that painting.

00:57:47.280 --> 00:57:56.520 Antonia Thompson: And I know that there's some beautiful work. So I encourage everybody to go out, check out Alicia's work because it is just absolutely fantastic. And again, thanks so much for spending time with us.

00:57:56.850 --> 00:58:02.250 Antonia Thompson: We will be back next week on. So now you know. And this is Antonia have a great and blessed week Alicia.

00:58:02.820 --> 00:58:03.810 Alicia Cobb: Thank you, you too.