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THE BLACK AUGUST ARTIST: DONALD “C-NOTE” HOOKER - A VOICE FOR LIBERATION AND CHANGE

Artwork featuring a map of the United States with artwork inside all the states.

Paula Picassa representing the State of California in Art for Redemption's map of the United States featuring art pieces by prison artists.

Prison Artist C-Note, Black August - Los Angeles (2016)

Image depicts image of Paula Picassa, an Artwork by Donald C-Note Hooker

Paula Picassa, 2021, American prison artist C-Note

"LOOK UP!" 2, HOPE & BEAUTY, a billboard art exhibition featuring "Color Girl Warholed," an artwork by C-Note. Photo by Dan powers.

"LOOK UP!" 2, HOPE & BEAUTY, a billboard art exhibition featuring "Color Girl Warholed," an artwork by C-Note. Photo by Dan powers.

Image depicts self portrait of prison artist C-Note

Self portrait of prison artist C-Note

From Orphaned Beginnings to Black Liberation: C-Note's Artistic Journey

SILICON VALLEY , CA, UNITED STATES, August 25, 2023/EINPresswire.com/ -- In honor of Black August, Anna D. Smith Fine Art and Real Estate Broker in conjunction with The Black August Movement, proudly presents Donald “C-Note” Hooker, an influential figure who has earned the title of the “Black August Artist.” His profound contributions to the movement through his art, poetry, and activism have made a significant impact on the fight for Black liberation.

Donald “C-Note” Hooker's journey, from being orphaned at birth in Los Angeles to becoming synonymous with Black History, Black Art, and the fight for Black Liberation, is a testament to his resilience and dedication. As a prison artist, C-Note has channeled his experiences and observations into powerful works of art that shed light on systemic racism, mass incarceration, police brutality, and the legacy of slavery.

Drawing inspiration from iconic Black artists like Nina Simone and James Baldwin, C-Note has developed a unique artistic style that seamlessly blends hip-hop, spoken word, and visual art. His works, such as the Paintoem (painting + poem) "Today We Are Sisters" and the poem "Can’t Black Lives Matter Too???", have resonated deeply with audiences, igniting conversations about the challenges faced by African Americans in the United States.

The Black August Movement, initiated in 1979, serves as a platform to commemorate Black political prisoners and highlight the continuous Black resistance against racial oppression. Donald “C-Note” Hooker stands at the forefront as the next generation of this movement, using his art to amplify marginalized voices and challenge societal norms.

As the Black August Artist, C-Note's artistry is not just a reflection of his personal experiences but also a call to action. He firmly believes in the transformative power of art to inspire change, ignite conversations, and lead to collective healing.

ABOUT BLACK AUGUST

Black August is the Black History Month alternative for freedom fighters. It is a month-long memoriam of reflection, study, and action. Participants may fast from food and drink, engage in physical exercise and political study, and participate in political struggle. The principles of Black August are: “study, fast, train, fight.”

In the winter of 2020, during the Omicron phase of the Covid-19 pandemic, Anna D. Smith Fine Art and Real Estate Broker brought Hope & Beauty to Silicon Valley by exhibiting an Artist's Billboard of C-Note's, Colored Girl Warholed.

Colored Girl Warholed is a 2015 digital work featuring C-Note's, 2009, Wax on paper, Colored Girl. Colored Girl Warholed, so named after the 1962 artwork "Four Marilyns" by Andy Warhol. Four Marilyns was the inspiration for C-Note's spring of 2015, Colored Girl Warholed. In the fall of 2015, the auction house Christie's sold Warhol's Four Marilyns for $36M.

In the summer of 2021, during the Covid-19 pandemic, Art for Redemption held a mural exhibition in Denver’s RiNo Art District. The mural was a massive collage of art in cast vinyl and eco-solvent ink. It featured hundreds of tiny colorful works of art assembled in a mosaic style to fill a silhouette of the Statue of Liberty at the center of the mural. To the left of the Statue of Liberty was a large painted fist rising in the air and holding a paintbrush. At the top, in bold black letters, were the words “Art for Redemption.”

Each tiny work seen in the Statue of Liberty outline was created by an incarcerated artist. One such tiny artwork in the arm holding the Statue of Liberty's torch, was C-Note's 2021, Ink on paper, Paula Picassa.

Paula Picassa is also on the cover of a prison art coffee table book published by Art for Redemption. Paula Picassa can also be seen representing the State of California in Art for Redemption's map of the United States featuring art pieces by prison artists.

Art for Redemption was founded by Buck Adams, a formerly incarcerated Denver artist and entrepreneur with the support of Defy Ventures, Colorado. Defy Ventures is a national nonprofit that helps incarcerated and formerly incarcerated people develop new business ventures.

Art for Redemption is a business venture to connect incarcerated artists with paid work opportunities to help set them up for success upon release, and to help highlight the humanity of the people impacted by the U.S. prison system.

One such paid opportunity came from the Marshall Project. The Marshall Project paid Art for Redemption for the licensing rights to use seven works of art by prisoners in their newsletter, "The Closing Argument." The Closing Argument breaks down a complex criminal justice issue.

C-Note's Paula Picassa was featured in The Closing Argument's reporting on legislative bills in Congress and in State capitals that sought to strip authority from locally-elected, reform-minded prosecutors, by usurping their power to state officials.

The Marshall Project is a nonprofit, online journalism organization focusing on issues related to criminal justice in the United States. It was founded by former hedge fund manager Neil Barsky with former New York Times executive editor Bill Keller as its first editor-in-chief.

Other important Works, are the paintoem "Strange Fruit (2018)," and the drawing "Black August - Los Angeles (2016)." C-Note's Strange Fruit features an African American woman who has hung herself inside of her prison cell.

Strange Fruit was created to draw attention to a report that C-Note read in the October 2016, edition of the San Quentin News. It stated, "During an 18-month period in 2014-15, the suicide rate at the California Institution for Women (C.I.W.) was eight times the national average for women prisoners and five times the rate for the entire California prison system."

Black August - Los Angeles was C-Note's first political artwork. It was inspired by the month-long Black August celebrations that were taking place in Los Angeles in 2016. C-Note first heard of these celebrations on "Think Outside the Cage," a local Saturday program on Los Angeles public radio station KPFK 90.7, FM. The drawing makes reference to Beyonce’s Formation; the death of prisoners, and prison reform activists, George Jackson, and Hugo “Yogi” Pinell. Both men were murdered in prison. Police shooting death victims, Michael Brown, and Ezell Ford, as these kind of deaths had reawakened America’s consciousness on its criminal justice system, thus prison reform.

Black August - Los Angeles also featured the California Coalition for Women Prisoners (CCWP), so that the public doesn’t forget we also imprison women. It featured the Los Angeles Women’s Center. The purpose was to bring public consciousness, and hopefully funding, to a place that provides services and refuge to women, most likely from the same environmental milieu as those who have been, or will become imprisoned.

Black August - Los Angeles featured the Raised Fist, a symbol of Black Power during the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960’s. Now a symbol of empowerment during any struggle. And “Mundo Sin Jaulas (A World Without Cages)," in recognition of the Brown People’s Movement.

In August of 2022, Dr. Asantewa Fulani Sunni-Ali, used Black August - Los Angeles as the cover image for her article "Black August: Radical Black History and the Persistence of Black Resistance," that was published digitally in Word In Black.

Black August - Los Angeles is featured in the Wikipedia article, "Black August (Commemoration)," and is listed in Wikimedia Commons's extensive Library as one of only 12 artworks in it's Black Cultural Archives.

In 2017, C-Note, who has been incarcerated for over a quarter-century, personally handed over Black August - Los Angeles to the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Los Angeles, as a gift to Sister Mary Hodges founder of the Partnership of Reentry Program (PREP), for a joint art show with Homeboy Industries, founded by Father Gregory Boyle. PREP and Homeboy Industries are restorative justice ministries of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles.

In conclusion, Donald "C-Note" Hooker's artistic journey from orphaned beginnings to becoming the "Black August Artist" is a powerful testament to his resilience and commitment to the fight for Black liberation. C-Note's work is a testament to the transformative power of art to inspire change, ignite conversations, and lead to collective healing.

We are honored to present C-Note's work in conjunction with The Black August Movement. We believe that his art is an important reminder of the importance of fighting for justice and equality for all people.

We welcome others to join in celebrating the work of Donald “C-Note” Hooker by getting involved in the fight for Black liberation. There are many ways to get involved, including:

* Contacting elected officials and demanding an end to mass incarceration and police brutality.
* Volunteering with an organization that is working to improve the lives of Black people.
* Through education about the history of Black resistance and the current state of the Black liberation movement.

For more information, interviews, or media inquiries, please visit [black-august.com], or contact the media team of a local grassroots organization involved in the Black August Movement.

Exploring Prison Artist C-Note’s Role in the Black August Movement | Black August
https://black-august.com/exploring-prison-artist-c-notes-role-in-the-black-august-movement/

The Marshall Project Closing Argument. – Anna D. Smith Fine Art and Real Estate Broker
https://adsmith.broker/2023/03/14/the-marshall-project-closing-argument/

Black August: Radical Black History and the Persistence of Black Resistance | Word In Black
https://wordinblack.com/2022/08/black-august-radical-black-history-and-the-persistence-of-black-resistance-/

ABOUT ANNA D. SMITH FINE ART AND REAL ESTATE BROKER:

Anna D. Smith Fine Art and Real Estate Broker in Silicon Valley, whose trademarked motto is “Fine Art needs a Home and a Home needs Fine Art®" is a leading art advisory and brokerage firm, specializing in contemporary Underground art. In addition to its art services, the firm also provides real estate services related to buying and selling commercial or residential properties in Silicon Valley. With a reputation as the "Queen of the Underground Art World," founder Anna D. Smith has built Anna D. Smith Fine Art and Real Estate Broker into an art and real estate brokerage firm known for its expertise, professionalism, and commitment to client satisfaction.

ANNA D SMITH FINE ART AND REAL ESTATE BROKER ONLINE ART GALLERY sells exclusively art prints by Donald "C-Note" Hooker. C-Note is the world's most prolific prison artist.

Anna Smith
Anna D. Smith Fine Art and Real Estate Broker
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