Douglas R. Ewart
The purpose of my work is to connect and engage members of the community in dialogue regarding love, happiness, fear, hate, compassion, humor, satire and power, etc. The process is realized through art making activities. I have utilized painting, interviewing, costume construction, instrument construction, performances, and exhibitions to foster my connection to communities.
My work is a means of self-expression, self-interrogation, evaluation and development. I want to link children, adults in basic yet complex manners. I want to magnify the links and the overlaps of play and work, laughter and seriousness, mythology and pragmatism, imagination and realism. In my life and work, I don’t see anything in this universe that I am not directly connected to in the most fundamental and substantive manners.
My work has been encouraged and supported by the various communities in which I have lived, and I am compelled to reciprocate by being uncompromising a musician/composer and visual artist as possible—giving only my conscience a veto over my ideas—and by working as an educator and advocate for others. I feel that it is incumbent upon me to aspire to be a beacon and drum major for spiritual, cultural, social, and political change.
Artists must be unwavering in their faith in these ideas, even if the community is sometimes unsupportive. Yet an artist must never forget that the artistic work begins in the community—whether it is local or global.
My work is interdisciplinary as it integrates music, instrument and costume making, visual and performance influenced by the cultures of Africa, the United States, Australia, India, China, Caribbean, Indonesia, Japan and more. I feel this is only natural, since artistic activity is inevitably an exploration of one’s own and other’s cultures. Throughout my career, I have endeavored to surmount boundaries between all art forms.