A smooth river stone is etched with the word faith for spiritual affirmation purposes

OPINION: Razzle, Dazzle, Sparkle, and Shine

by Shurvon Haynes

The year of 2020 was the year that I was going to intentionally be in the presence of Black fine art every day. I was inspired by a speech I had recently heard from creative community builder Theaster Gates, and I was ready to exhibit my visionary artwork for the first year of the new decade. In January, I had an art installation at a local Black fine arts gallery in my neighborhood. On Feb. 29 (leap year) I co-hosted an art workshop with my art partner for Black History Month at a museum. We were so excited to start the new year with so much creative momentum toward our artistic collaborative goals.

The first week in March, I reactivated my gym membership and was preparing to get my summer body ready for all the festivals, fairs, art shows, and outdoor BBQs I had planned to attend in my cute summer dresses, sandals, and faux designer sunglasses.

Then, on March 11, 2020, it was announced by the World Health Organization that the entire world was in a pandemic due to the COVID-19 virus, and everyone was required to quarantine indoors and wear a mask outdoors with limited contact with others. Obviously, wearing a face mask was not included in my summer fashionista outfits of the day. 

Yet here we are … two years later, wearing our daily mask as a part of our normal attire to prevent the spread of the fatally contagious coronavirus. I wasn’t surprised by the pandemic, because I had already noticed the air outside was thicker than normal, making it hard to breathe, and it felt different from my seasonal allergy symptoms. However, the chaotic frenzy of social gathering limitations, greedy hoarders of emergency sanitation supplies, overcrowded health care facilities, increasing death tolls, and overwhelming grief was a daily international occurrence, and it was scary. In addition to the persistent pandemic problems, racist police brutality in America escalated beyond our understanding with the visibly devastating death of George Floyd in Minnesota. 

It was at this point my vision for a fun, colorful summer became blurred and perplexed by this worldwide pandemonium. I was also grieving the loss of my own personal friends, family members, and national leaders who were dying suddenly from the coronavirus and other chronic health conditions. The permanence of death and dying was starting to become a factual reality every day. This caused me to quietly pay attention to what was happening in the world around me on a deeper level.

I was not emotionally or mentally able to fully participate in all the wacky social media challenges and instant side-hustle activities without recognizing that the entire universe and all humanity was simultaneously changing extremely fast. The animals were also behaving differently, and there were many reports of sightings of animals outside of their natural habitats as a result of the world shutting down. 

Globally, we are not the same in the year 2022, and now that’s OK! Seasons change, and as a visionary artist, I’m learning how to adapt in a creative way to help me value the process of developing something new. I’ve also decided to continuously live with renewed optimism every day, because I have a purpose to fulfill on planet Earth.

While in midst of this creative metamorphosis, I’m definitely depending upon the power of faith in God to help me understand the challenges of living in this current semi-post-COVID-19 pandemic. Here is a list of things that have helped me to adjust to living as a Black African American Fine Arts Visionary Woman. Implementing these simple lifestyle routines are essential for surviving in the 21st century.

  • Prayer and Meditation
  • Music and Dancing
  • Quiet Time and Reading
  • Writing and Drawing
  • Exercise and Walking
  • Cooking and Eating
  • Social Media and YouTube
  • Safe Adventurous Activities
  • Shopping
  • Friends and Family

We must also remember who we are and why we are here. This is an affirmation that I wrote about the importance of being a creative Person of Color. 

“We as Black African American Visual Artists have many different types of obstacles to conquer while living our best life. We have to continuously rebuild our strength and stand firm in our faith every day in an effort to believe in our creative vision. Therefore, it is important for us to uplift and encourage each other as artists, because we BeDazzle the Whole Fine Arts World!!!!”


The South Seattle Emerald is committed to holding space for a variety of viewpoints within our community, with the understanding that differing perspectives do not negate mutual respect amongst community members.

The opinions, beliefs, and viewpoints expressed by the contributors on this website do not necessarily reflect the opinions, beliefs, and viewpoints of the Emerald or official policies of the Emerald.

Shurvon Haynes is fine art visionary at The Wonderful World of Fine Art. She paints and writes about her adventurous journey as a visual artist from the Pacific Northwest on her blog. She believes that artistic creative development is an essential human necessity to build a healthier society.

📸 Featured Image: Photo by Matt Benoit/Shutterstock.com

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