This summer, many looked forward to witnessing the live creation of Atlanta-based multimedia artist Jerri B’s latest mural. Unfortunately, due to a last-minute executive order from the mayor’s office, the 2020 Taliah Waajid CKC: Party in the Park event was cancelled. However, as a lover and supporter of Black art, the Taliah Waajid brand found a way to make this collaboration happen. Curls Kinks and Culture caught up with Jerri B to discuss her newest mural and how she lives each day to make an impact.
Jerri B first collaborated with the black haircare brand for its 2019 World Hair Show. The ’70s and ’80s themed artwork would have been her third mural commissioned by the Taliah Waajid brand. To comply with COVID-19 safety measures, the live mural painting was rescheduled to happen at a private location where selected fans could practice social distancing while watching Jerri B create.
While in conversation with the Missouri-born mother of six, she revealed that her work is mostly narrative and features intergenerational imagery. “There was a time where a lot of my pieces were familial and had to do with these Kodak moments that were happening with me as a mother and engaging with my children.”
This mural, while different from anything she’s created before, promises to visualize the essence of Black Beauty and Power while holding true to her artistic style. The piece will feature bold and contrasting colors, organic and geometric shapes, and lots of movement.
“There will be lime green somewhere in anything that I do. The color meaning and the energy from the color for me is both spiritually emotional and in my creative realm very therapeutic. And so, lime green is something that carries throughout all of my work,” said Jerri B.
Like many artists, Jerri B loved expressing herself and exercising her ability to create. As a young child, she and her cousin Kendra Otey often found themselves pulling away from group gatherings to color and draw. At one point, Jerri B recounts being completely obsessed with mastering Snoopy, the cartoon beagle from the comic strip Peanuts by Charles M. Schulz. However, it wasn’t until after graduating from Savannah College of Art and Design that she discovered she was more than an artist—she was a creative.
“What I realized in going to school for art and everything is that I am a creative and in all aspects how I can create. I’m not just a painter. I’m not just one who works in ceramics. I don’t fit in any one discipline because I enjoy creating in all media.”
Jerri B uses her art and influence to live an impactful life. To her that means being intentional about her day and keeping her purpose in mind with the ventures she gets involved in.
As a woman who lets her faith leads her, Jerri B says she prays to “be a blessing to whomever I encounter throughout the day. That’s impactful. I want to be able to engage people, so when I leave, they are feeling different. They’re feeling lighter. Or they’re feeling loved. Or they’re feeling like they needed a good laugh and they got it. So, whatever that looks like just making sure that my words encourage uplift motivates every opportunity that I receive.”
And it’s clear that Jerri B has been living her mission. The veteran creative and published author runs two successful artists programs (‘Peace of Paint’ and ‘Little Artist’s Program’) where she shows children and adults how to use art as therapy. These one-off creative sessions are available all year round and can be customized to fit group needs.
After over twenty-five years of making art, Jerri B says she loves seeing how nurturing artistic talents have had a positive influence on the youths in her life. For example, a past participant of her Little Artist Program earns a living as a photographer and her twenty-two-year-old son, Torre Daniels, Jr recently opened a tattoo parlour in Atlanta.
Jerri B is very thankful to Taliah Waajid and Tina Fears for the work they are doing in the community. “I think artists and creatives really speak to the culture within the Black community as well as a community overall. The idea of collaboration and infusing artists and creative into community events, I think, it just makes sense. I look forward to seeing more of it moving forward. I would hope that what the Taliah Waajid brand has done is something that will continue to expand and broaden and reach other industries.”