Princeton, NJ – July 25, 2016 – Princeton lawyer and artist Rhinold Ponder marks his transition from full-time attorney to full-time artist in a special one day art show entitled, “Gotta Believe,” on August 6, 2016 from 12 noon to 6 p.m. at the Arts Council Pop-Up Studio in the Princeton Shopping Center, 301 N. Harrison Street, Princeton. A reception begins at 4 p.m.
For nearly 30 years, Ponder has served as an attorney. While practicing law, according to Ponder, he could “feel the pull of art and the need to live his life more creatively” as his primary career focus. Ponder’s artistic journey began as a child in Chicago as a national award winning art student in Chicago before turning his full attention to obtaining advanced degrees in law, journalism and African American Studies, graduating from Princeton, Boston and New York Universities.
Moved by the recent events around social justice and violence, Ponder felt it now was the time to act. He said, “The call from my artistic passion had become so loud and persistent that I could no longer ignore that inner voice encouraging me to get back to writing and painting. The voice kept saying “to change the world, change yourself first.” I am surrendering to, no, I am believing that inner voice as it tells me create, share and prosper. I believe.”
Ponder has been successfully painting and exhibiting his work throughout New Jersey since 2002 when he ended a 25-year hiatus from painting and cartooning. While his works draw on a number of themes and a range of styles, most of his paintings focus on humanity’s faith and will to overcome adversity. Ponder’s work is largely interested in expressions of hope and faith as unifying elements in a diverse society. His most recent exhibit, “The Rise and Fail of the N-Word,” which focused on the language of racism, made its debut at Princeton University and is slated to be expanded for national exhibition with the help of an upcoming Kick Starter project.
Ponder’s future plans also include merging his love for literature and writing with the visual arts. His writings include political commentary and poetry. He moderates a popular virtual discussion on race at the “Beyond Black and White Discussion Group” on Facebook. Ponder who also studied under the tutelage of such greats as poet laureate Stanley Kunitz, Haki Madhubuti, John “Red” Hearne (in Jamaica), Gwendolyn Brooks and author Angela Jackson, expects to complete his first poetry manuscript ”Inheritance of the Disaffected” in December 2016.
“Gotta Believe” will feature most of Ponder’s work which will be for sale as he makes room in his home studio for “all the great new work ready to be born,” he said. The show will also feature hourly raffles of art work and books by local writers. The show is a continuation of his love for having one day shows with at storefronts or the