May 17, 2023
From Nicole Longnecker Gallery:
“Join us for an evening of performance and discussion centered on the art and experiences of artist Halim Flowers. “Moving the Needle: The Real Impact of Art on the Street”” will be at Nicole Longnecker Gallery on Wednesday, May 17, from 6-8pm. The performance and panel will begin at 6:30pm.
The panel, artist Halim Flowers, Tammie Lang Campbell (Honey Brown Hope Foundation), and Brandon Zech (Glasstire), will be moderated by Nicole Lander (Houston Food Bank).
Our open dialogue will focus on art’s impact on the real world that exists on our city streets. Art has many superpowers: to convey stories, to build connections, to create understanding, to encourage discernment and critical thinking, and to address difficult topics in a non-threatening way. We will explore the topic of art as a means to address prejudice, social injustice, and the flaws in our judicial system.
The programming is produced in partnership with American Leadership Forum Houston/Gull Coast.
Halim Flowers • Artist, Activist, Designer, Poet
Halim A. Flowers (b. 1980, Washington, DC) is an activist working between the visual and performing arts through a wide range of mediums including painting, sound, fashion, and performance. At age 16, he was arrested and sentenced to life in prison. At 41, after 22 years behind bars, he was released after successfully petitioning for resentencing. Art was Halim’s road to resilience and redemption.
While in prison, Halim became a memoirist and poet with an irrepressible drive to make meaning out of darkness. Liberated through self-expression, he wrote and published 11 non-fiction works about the causes and consequences of the American prison system. He mentored incarcerated youths through D.C.’s Young Men Emerging program and took courses at Georgetown University through its Prisons and Justice Initiative. Halim’s experiences were captured in the Emmy award-winning documentary, Thug Life In DC. It’s powerful evidence of the persistence of human creativity in the most inhumane of circumstances. He refused to be rendered invisible.
In the aftermath of his incarceration, Halim became a husband and a father. It was his wife, Lauren McKinney, who encouraged him to pick up a paintbrush. Halim has created a spectrum of colorful, politically charged paintings to reclaim the individuality and agency that gets broken down in carceral spaces. He keeps an aura of kindness and positivity, choosing to send a message of love even when the subject is serious.
Halim’s work has been exhibited at the MoMA PS1 and the National Arts Club in New York City. He is the recipient of numerous honors, including Halcyon Arts Lab and Echoing Green fellowships. He is a sought-after speaker and has been featured on panels at universities and conferences around the country. In 2022 he launched his own streetwear clothing brand, debuted at New York Fashion Week and released his first album of rap music called Ultracrepidarian.
Halim Flowers’ body of work is a visceral, visual embodiment about the ambition of racial justice, prison reform, financial literacy and transcending adversity suggesting a sense of renewal, positivity and hope.
Tammie Lang Campbell • Honey Brown Hope Foundation Founder | Activist | Speaker | Author
Hope Foundation, a non-profit organization that provides resources and support connected to its causes civil rights and environmental stewardship. She has nearly three decades of experience advocating for criminal justice policy reform; addressing disparaging disciplinary policies fueling the school-to-prison pipeline; promoting environmental stewardship; and sharing the untold history of the civil rights era with youth and their families. Campbell is also an author and sought-after speaker who has received numerous national, state and local awards for her work. She is a graduate of Alcorn State University and considers her two adult children, Shar-day and Dennis Jr., as her greatest blessings.
Brandon Zech • Publisher, Glasstire
Brandon joined Glasstire in 2015 as the publication’s Assistant Editor. In 2018 he began overseeing the publication’s news content as Glasstire’s first dedicated News Editor, and he replaced the site’s founding Publisher, Rainey Knudson, in 2019. In addition to speaking at venues across Texas, Brandon also contributes podcasts and articles to the site. He is a graduate of the University of Houston.
Nicole Lander • Chief Impact Officer, Houston Food Bank
Mrs. Lander is a registered dietitian with over ten years managing food service operations and teaching proper health and wholesome nutrition. As Chief Impact Officer, she leads the Transportation and Procurement departments, along with the food bank’s direct programming for children, seniors and nutrition education. In addition, she oversees the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and benefit assistance program through the Community Assistance Program (CAP). Mrs. Lander holds a Bachelor of Science in Dietetics from Michigan State University and is an active member of The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. She previously worked at Aramark Healthcare Foodservice Corporation.”
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