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“GOTTA BELIEVE” From Counsel to Artist Princeton Lawyer Takes a Leap of Faith to Focus On Art Exhibit on August 6th

Gotta Believe

Gotta Believe

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



Second Art Love-Away
You can own one of the above works by artist Rhinold Lamar Ponder by submitting an entry to the “Great Art Love-Away” per the rules below.


1. Your entry must consist of a picture and a statement, 50 words or less, showing where you will display the work and describing how you will show it love.  (The previous winner sent a picture of an empty living room wall right above a sofa. That contest was so close I had to bring in judges.)

2. You must submit your entry on Twitter or Facebook or the comment section of this blog post AND via e-mail to   .  The submission must include the hashtag  #PonderArt or #PonderLove-Away.  The Facebook submission can be made on the Ponder Art Facebook page or as a COMMENT in the post of this contest on the Facebook Beyond Black and White Discussion Page. DO NOT post your entry as a separate post on Beyond Black And White. 

3. The post must be submitted within by 11:59pm on May 15, 2016.

4.  You can submit only one entry for each print or painting you are interested in.   For the second “Great Art Love-Away” we are offering the following works. 

a. Limited Edition Giclee Print entitled “Hero Clemente” (28 1/2″ x  22″)by Rhinold Ponder;

b. Limited Edition Giclee Print entitled “Ascension II” (33″ x 22″) by Rhinold Ponder;

c. ORIGINAL painting entitled “Hands Up,” (10″ x 8″)  by Rhinold Ponder;

5. There will be only one winner per household

6. We reserve the right to increase the number of winners if the love gets overwhelming.

It’s that simple.  If you want to know more about this event — the passion behind it,  why we are doing it —  please read the “Infrequently Asked Questions” below.

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“Hands Up” Series: The first eight paintings

I’ve just completed the first eight small paintings for the “Hands Up” series. I’m considering painting at least one every time the police kill an unarmed person in 2016. Perhaps, I will name each painting after the victim. This is not about the guilt or innocence of the victim, but the police behavior which unjustly threatens lives, especially those of people of color.

"Hands Up" series: the first eight paintings

“Hands Up” series: the first eight paintings

Ponder At Work: Lexicon Series – Hands Up, Don’t Shoot

Rise Up, Hands Free

Rise Up, Hands Free: Collage on canvas

Hands Up, Body Down

Hands Up, Body Down

Hands Up 013

Hands Up, Shot Damn



Today I am sharing a couple of works from the “Hands Up” collection of my new Lexicon series.  I suspect the series will take years to complete.  I am looking to create a whole host of very simple, but aesthetically impactful images to address race and racism in America.  I hope the simple “Hands Up icon” series  conveys the need to pay attention to the unjust abuse of power by law enforcement, especially against people of color.

The Hands Up pieces shown are acrylic on small canvases.  I intend to enlarge some of my favorite ones after I complete more of them.  The piece “Hands Up, Shot Damn” made its debut at my last show with Kelly Burke — “Artistic Conversations on Race and Humanity in Lawrenceville.  “Hands Up, Shot Damn” and “Hands Up, Body Down” were both done in acrylic on canvas.  I intend to move on to other services shortly with the icons.

Enjoy and be provoked.

Artist Rhinold Ponder To Tackle Controversial Subject Matter in Upcoming Art Show “The Rise and Fail of the N-Word: Beyond Black and White” at Princeton University


Artist Rhinold Lamar Ponder will display his latest work in a two-day exhibition, entitled “The Rise and Fail of the N-Word: Beyond Black and White” at the Carl Field Center at Princeton University on May 23rd-24th.  There will be and wine and cheese artist’s reception on May 23rd from 6 to 9 and an artist discussion on May 24th from 2 to 4.

 Mr. Ponder is an accomplished local artist whose work has been exhibited in public and private shows in New York, Chicago and throughout New Jersey. Mr. Ponder’s latest works focus on the challenge we face in efforts to discuss racial issues in public. According to the artist, at the heart of our collective dysfunction is the word “Nigger,” the phrase “the N-word” and the fictional concept of race, all of which embody our struggle to agree on a common public language to foster better communication.

 “Our inability to discuss race honestly and productively in this country is reflected in the lack of a public language or vocabulary. The prime example of our communication dysfunction is reflected in our behavior, attitudes and emotions around the “N-word,” the actual “unprintable” word not the substitute phrase,” said Mr. Ponder. “This show is designed to provide a visual prompt to create a safe place for difficult and honest discussions about race. Here, it begins with challenging our vocabulary and our need to accept the varied cultural perspectives brought to what must become an emotionally mature dialogue.”

 “The Rise and Fail of The N-Word,” includes poetry written specifically for the show by a variety of poets, including an American Book Award winner, a popular female rap artist and an emerging British poet; a film collaboration with Princeton graduate Steve Williams and his son Drew Williams; a data visualization experiment; and a topical mix tape by former Princeton DJ Gary Jenkins, who once testified in court in favor of dropping a racial bias charge against a white man who beat a black man while using the N-word, a slang that was commonly used in his mostly black friend group.

 In addition to 12 new works by Mr. Ponder, the exhibit includes art pieces by 15 graphic artists from around the world.  According to Mr. Ponder, these works reflect the different attitudes about race and the N-Word worldwide.

 “I am thrilled to include some of my very talented friends in this project.  They were more than willing to take the challenge, in part because the arts are such a healing and bonding force and we all know that we cannot move forward on any issue if we are all speaking different unshared languages and allowing our pain to cause us to reject  understanding different perspectives,” said  Mr. Ponder 

 The Carl Field Center is located at 58 Prospect Avenue on the Princeton University campus.  The show hours are 5 – 9:30 on Friday, May 23rd and 12 to 6 on Saturday, May 24th.  For more information, call (609) 651-6250 or



From Now Until December 7th @ 7pm, 50% Of All Ponder Art Print Sale Proceeds Will Go To Girl’s High In Philadelphia

50% of Ponder Art  Print Sale Proceeds To be  Donated To Girls High In Philadelphia.

Ponder Art Donates 50% of Print Sale Proceeds To Girls High In Philadelphia.

Double Dutch is a IRIS giclee print using fine art ink on archival fine art paper.  It is one of my favorite pieces (the original sold at a non-profit auction years ago). 50% of the proceeds of Ponder Art print sales from now until Saturday, December 7th at 7:00 pm, will go to Girls High In Philly to promote higher quality education at this historic institution. (Purchase at our holiday art party on Friday or Saturday or purchase at 

Double Dutch was one of my mother’s favorite games; it was a very popular past time in Chi-town especially after-school in front of who eve’s house had the rope or folded over clothesline. It seems I could never beat her in Double Dutch or races down the block. I’m pretty sure she quit by the time I could beat her. 

I recently (probably a year ago) saw my former Chi-town neighbor and fellow undergrad schoolmate Michele (Robinson) Obama jump double dutch on a television show with some Champions. She did us proud as she does in everything else. If I had known I would have held the original and gifted it to her and the girls to make sure they had some more color on those presidential children walls. LOL!!!. . . .Double Dutch, whatever its origins, was definitely important to us.

If my back didn’t hurt I am pretty sure I would beat most of you. So I’ll just have to live the game through this print.


Fancy Dancy

Enter Round Two of the “Great Art Love-Away” to win the original “Fancy Dancer II”, 40″x30″, acrylic on canvas by artist Rhinold Lamar Ponder. The deadline is Monday, September 9, 2013 @ 5pm


* Email
* First Name
 Last Name
 Comment. Let Us know where to find your entry.
  * = Required Field

You can own the above work by artist Rhinold Lamar Ponder by submitting an entry to the “Great Art Love-Away” per the rules below.


1. Your entry must consist of a picture and a statement, 50 words or less, depicting and describing where and how you would show the prized work your affection.

2. You must submit your entry on Twitter or Facebook.  The Twitter submission must include the hashtag  #PonderArt or #Love-Away.  The Facebook submission can be made on the Ponder Art Facebook page or under our post of the Great Art Love-Away prize.  You can post it on the original post or one of the posts shared by a friend.

3. The post must be submitted within the time limit specified for each prize.  The deadline for “Fancy Dancer II” a original acrylic on canvas painting, is 5pm, Monday, September 9, 2013.

4. Only one entry per person, per painting/print.  You can submit one entry for each print or painting you are interested in.

Start your application by submitting your name and contact information in the form on this post.  Then submit your entry.  

Please be aware that the sign-up form submits the name to our mailing list which may be used to send out more information about new Ponder Art work and events.  If you do not want to be on the mailing list you can unsubscribe from the mailing list when you receive something from us.

It’s that simple.  If you want to know more about this event — the passion behind it,  why we are doing it and the work “Fancy Dancer II” — please read the “Infrequently Asked Questions” below.

Read More…