Afro American News

Black Restaurant Week returns for a tasty, third bite

By Ameera Steward

By day, Erika Mixon of Fairfield, Ala., trains physicians and sometimes hospital staff on how to use electronic medical record software for the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB). By night, she is an artist.

“My day life is drastically different from art,” said Mixon, 37. “I think there are layers to every person: part of me is fascinated and in love with the human body, science, anatomy, medicine—that’s the avenue I took with my education. Art was more just a hobby.”

Mixon has been a functional analyst with UAB Medicine in the Health Systems Information Services (HSIS) department since 2016, but art allows her to breathe.

“I feel like I’m having a therapy session every time I do another piece,” she said. … “It continuously allows me to grow, to challenge myself.”

Her two occupations complement one another in other ways, too. She volunteers with an organization called Art and Medicine, and this week she traveled to Arusha, Tanzania, where she will teach students in an orphanage for which a new clinic has been opened.

By Faith

Art also helped Mixon when her father began dealing with serious health issues in 2013.

“I was traveling for quite some time, then my father got sick and I chose to quit my job,” she said. “I like to plan things out, but at the time I just actually went off of faith.”

Mixon had been traveling across the U.S. and back to Fairfield to take care of her dad, who had coronary artery disease that led to a kidney infection; she was an only child and his primary caretaker. After prayer and a promotion, she left her job.

“Something said, ‘You have to go home,’” she said. “It actually turned out that I only had two or three weeks left with him.”

After her father passed away in 2013, Mixon said she found some paintings she had done when she was younger and felt encouraged.

“When I found them, I was like, ‘Maybe I can do that again. It kind of helped me boost myself,” she said. “It was just real therapeutic. I fell back in love with the brush after 15 years of not painting.”

Click to view slideshow.

Artistic Healing

Mixon said she wasn’t prepared for her father’s death, and she went to therapy after her mother told her, “I don’t know what it’s going to take for you, but you’re not doing good.”

Mixon said, “I didn’t realize how disconnected I was in the process [of caring for my father]. … I was trying to do what I needed to do to get him to his doctor’s appointments. … I don’t think my heart was connected to ‘I think he’s about to go.’ I was going through the motions of just waking up doing what I had to do, but I was totally disconnected from people emotionally.”

Painting enabled Mixon to say, “‘I don’t have to think about why I’m sad today,’” she said. “Eventually, the painting began to speak to me.”

Another painting she found in her mother’s home was the product of a spiritual fast she did in 2009, at which time Mixon saw a vision.

“During a prayer, I felt like God was saying, ‘Paint this vision,’” she said. “I was reluctant because I was like, ‘I don’t even know how to start.’ … I started anyway.”

“Faith, Hope, and Love”

In 2014, the painting from Mixon’s vision was part of a three-piece work she named “Faith, Hope, and Love.” One image was from a self point of view, about going through life. The second piece was a linear view of life, with its ups and downs. The third piece was from a higher perspective. For Mixon, finishing the painting was “God just saying, ‘I’m about to push you back into something you didn’t think you were going to do or need,’” she said.

Mixon has found that art can be healing.

“I didn’t realize until later that the same … painting was healing me,” she said. “Whether it’s singing, whether it’s someone who dances, whether your art is speaking, [I believe] we all have a divine, creative spirit that is necessary for someone else. There’s something we’re supposed to be sharing with other people to [help them] get whatever they need at whatever point they are in their life.”

As for a process, Mixon doesn’t try to develop particular images; they just come to her.

“When I say stuff hits me, [I mean] I’ll grab whatever is close,” she said. “[For instance], I’ll get a napkin and sketch out [an image]. Very plainly, just an outline because I need to do it at that time, so I won’t forget it. I’ll maybe post it on my wall until I ask myself, … ‘How can I flesh that out? How can I make it make sense?’”

Another key component of Mixon’s artistic process is her support system, which includes her mother, her family, and three of her friends: Jasmin Taylor, Josselyn Thompson, and Debra Butler.

“These three ladies have been a solid rock for me,” said Mixon, adding that she and her friends call themselves “The Quad.”

Becoming Present

Around the age of eight or nine, Mixon remembers “doodling [and] drawing.” At the time, she just enjoyed painting: “There was no connection. There was no purpose behind it.”

Mixon graduated from Fairfield High School in 2000 and enrolled in Talladega College. In 2005, she completed her studies at UAB, earning a degree in radiological sciences. She traveled as a catherization technologist until 2011, and she now serves as an implementation specialist and functional analyst.

When it comes to her art, Mixon is now more conscious and intentional.

“At this point my biggest struggle is selling art because I’m not doing it for the money,” she said. “I truly want someone to have a piece because … they’re connected to it for whatever reason. I want [each piece] to be with its rightful owner.”

Her paintings are very personal: “I pray over my pieces,” Mixon said.

“I sing, I speak to them. People might say that’s crazy, [but] people talk to plants. I’m really putting my heart and soul on this canvas. It’s the way I express [myself], talk to other people, connect with people soul to soul.”

After her father’s passing, Mixon has become more connected to her art and, as a result, has developed more ideas and visions.

“Before that, I was the type of person that [thought], ‘I’m here, but I’m probably thinking about [something else].’ [Now] I’ve become more present and more aware of how important that is,” she said, adding that she wasn’t a present type of person because of her lifestyle at the time.

“I was always focused on the task at hand,” she said.

Inspiration

Mixon wants to leave a legacy and have an impact.

“Art gives me that,” she said. “It makes me feel like, ‘I’m going to leave, but I’ll still be here. There’ll be someone else who will be impacted or encouraged in some way, [and it] will spark them to do the same thing.’ The goal is to keep it going. The goal is to think about other people as much as you think about yourself.”

She has many different inspirations.

“I’m still finding my way. … It just depends on what hits me,” she said. “I will say, however, that what you will find cohesive in my work is … black culture. I really believe representation matters, seeing us in a positive way or even reflecting our own issues within our culture. … I usually try to convey some sort of message.

“Art is subjective, [so people will get] whatever, however from it. I can have [an idea of] what I was trying to interpret or convey, but I usually am quiet about that. I just like to hear another person’s perspective because then it opens me up to something I may not even have thought about. I love that part.”

This article originally appeared in The Birmingham Times.




Source link

health news headlines provided courtesy of Medical News Today.

Advertisement

Advertisement Small

Follow Me

Collaboratively harness market-driven processes whereas resource-leveling internal or "organic" sources. Competently formulate.

View More Job Search Results

Calendar

September 2019
M T W T F S S
« Aug    
 1
2345678
9101112131415
16171819202122
23242526272829
30  

Pages

Recent Comments

    RSS Meks Blog

    • 13 best headline & blog title generator tools to easily boost your SEO September 12, 2019
      Ready to increase traffic to your website today? Use these headline generator tools and improve your click-through-rates! The post 13 best headline & blog title generator tools to easily boost your SEO appeared first on Meks.
      Ivana Cirkovic
    • How to create a Facebook Page for your blog (plus PRO tips) September 4, 2019
      Wondering how to create a Facebook Page for your blog knowing that you really do need one? Follow our in depth guide and learn how to create and manage attractive and successful Facebook Page! The post How to create a Facebook Page for your blog (plus PRO tips) appeared first on Meks.
      Ivana Cirkovic
    • Beginners guide on how to redirect a page in WordPress August 29, 2019
      Whether you’re trying to redirect a page in WordPress or just want to discover and understand why it’s important, use this guide to help you get ahead of it and learn all there is to it. The post Beginners guide on how to redirect a page in WordPress appeared first on Meks.
      Ivana Cirkovic
    • The best Facebook Groups for SEO to improve your knowledge and rankings August 21, 2019
      Are you tired of searching for the best Facebook groups for SEO to improve your knowledge and learn about the tricks from the trade? The post The best Facebook Groups for SEO to improve your knowledge and rankings appeared first on Meks.
      Ivana Cirkovic
    • Useful rank tracking plugin and tools recommendation to improve your WordPress website SEO August 15, 2019
      Are you looking for a reliable rank tracking plugin to track your rankings on search engines and improve SEO strategy? Here is our top recommendation! The post Useful rank tracking plugin and tools recommendation to improve your WordPress website SEO appeared first on Meks.
      Ivana Cirkovic
    • 6 reasons why you should never use WordPress nulled themes August 7, 2019
      What are WordPress nulled themes and should you use them, are they really that bad as people say or it’s just to scare you away from using the good stuff for free? In this article, we’re explaining in details why you should never ever use these kinds of themes. The post 6 reasons why you […]
      Ivana Cirkovic
    • Top 6 WordPress Portfolio plugins (hand-picked by designers) July 31, 2019
      Wondering what type of WordPress Portfolio plugins to use to showcase your work? Read our recommendation and choose between these top eight I present to you today. The post Top 6 WordPress Portfolio plugins (hand-picked by designers) appeared first on Meks.
      Ivana Cirkovic
    • Definitive guide to adding Facebook Pixel in WordPress July 24, 2019
      Having problems setting up Facebook Pixel in WordPress? If you want to improve your Facebook ads conversion, use this guide and learn how to properly ad Facebook Pixel in any WordPress site or blog. The post Definitive guide to adding Facebook Pixel in WordPress appeared first on Meks.
      Ivana Cirkovic
    • How to easily create WordPress dropdown menu (without coding) July 17, 2019
      Interested to create WordPress dropdown menu all by yourself and don’t know how? Just follow our guide and learn in no time! The post How to easily create WordPress dropdown menu (without coding) appeared first on Meks.
      Ivana Cirkovic
    • 12 must join Facebook groups for photographers July 11, 2019
      Whether it’s for constructive feedback or new learnings, these Facebook groups for photographers are a great networking place to be in! The post 12 must join Facebook groups for photographers appeared first on Meks.
      Ivana Cirkovic

    Text

    Distinctively utilize long-term high-impact total linkage whereas high-payoff experiences. Appropriately communicate 24/365.

    Archives