ART-BAE.com serves as a platform that promotes artistic connectivity and collaboration.  Through the use of promotional and curatorial work, Gloria “Glow” Harding exhibits a strong creative voice.  This is done by crafting stories told through the collaborative efforts of artists. It is her goal to curate thoughtful, thematic works that contributes to the ongoing narratives of her generation.

FRESH CONTENT: Smoke City Season 2

FRESH CONTENT: Smoke City Season 2

 Photographed by  Calvin Tigre

Photographed by Calvin Tigre

Written by Glo(w) 

Imagine it’s your 10th birthday.

You made your list of gifts and remained open to the possibility of surprise splendor. You planned your birthday outfit meticulously. Of course you’re gonna enter your first double digit year fresh asf. This is a special time.  This is a transition into something new, unknown, and longed for.

You receive your gift: one large cardboard box. This is the opposite of your fanciful view of life as a double digit almost pre-teen. Whether or not you vocalized your disappointment is left up to personal interpretation. It’s almost confusing.  Expectation led to disappointment. The invention of time brought tribulation for the first time.

And still, you open the box. 

And inside, there is another box.  Slightly more appealing, this box gives hope.  It creates a game.  An endless game of renewed hope and flourishing excitement, you open box after box. Each box is more extravagant than the last.  Each box is more promising.  Finally, you reach the final box.  It looks like it’s wrapped in sheets gold and adorned with the finest crystals.  Inside? There’s everything you hoped for in the beginning.

This is the gift of St. Louis.

 Photographed by  Calvin Tigre

Photographed by Calvin Tigre

When Cami Thomas first premiered Smoke City on her platform, For The Culture TV, she aimed to highlight the character of each internal organ of St. Louis.  Each communal difference shares a common theme: St. Louis is as fulfilling as opening a maze of fulfilled promises.  Smoke City Season One taught us that transparency is the key to repair.  Like clear scotch tape holding together a patchwork of paper and ribbon, transparency holds together the beauty we aim to create.  Since the tragedy of Michael Brown, a shroud of smoke lay thick in St. Louis.  Contention between residents smelled of smog and uncertainty. In the years that have past, the best and worst aspects of open communication have began to transform the city.  The artist community expanded.  Activism gained positive prominence.  Voters used ballots and changed political leadership.  Through transparency, St. Louis residents began gathering the tools needed to clear the tension filled smoke. 

According to Thomas, "We have to look each other in the eye, and realize that we are all neighbors, no matter which county, or part of the city you live in. Because if you look someone in the eyes, and keep their gaze, you're forced to remember, that this is your neighbor. Whether they're from Chesterfield or Florissant or Ferguson. This is your neighbor. And there are some of your neighbors that need support."

 Photographed by @ tylrsmall  (IG)

Photographed by @tylrsmall (IG)

Cami is prepping to drop Smoke City Season 2 in September, with a premiere in St. Louis. When asked what to expect this time, Cami's answer was unwavering.

"This season is a lot less polite" she laughs. "We're neighbors, and I love to make sure that we're using inclusive and productive language. But still, the stakes are too high to be timid about these types of conversations. We simply don't have time to keep sweeping this conversation under the rug. If we want to see St. Louis reach it's full potential, we have to do it. Not later. Right now."

The same way your ten-year old self (hypothetically) first learned to forge through disappointment, St. Louisians are learning how to fearlessly forge through our cities tragedies. 

And in the end, there is still hope that all our dreams, all our desires for our city will be fulfilled. #314

Follow Cami Thomas on Twitter @CamiCruzThomas for updates on developing content.

Tune into SMOKE CITY SEASON 2 at FTCTVOFFICIAL.COM September 2018!

ART-BAE.com Presents INCLUSIVE: An Artist Collaboration

ART-BAE.com Presents INCLUSIVE: An Artist Collaboration