Originally Published @ Harvest Open Mic

The Harvest - June 2015

When you visit The Harvest Open Mic, you expect a sensory experience. You will hear exemplary musicians. You will feel your heart jump after a performer reads something that forces you to poetry-snap in excitement. You will even smell great food. However, at The Harvest will you also see visual art that is created and influenced by the various performers on stage. At the latest Harvest, on June 3, that artist was Lavett Ballard.

A born artist, Ballard graduated from Rutgers University with a degree in Studio Art Painting and Art History. In 2014, she was a part of the Bombay Sapphire National Emerging artists’ competition and her work was shown at the Rush Art Gallery in Chelsea. Her art has been shown throughout the United States and can currently be viewed at Astah’s Art Gallery, Indigo Bleu Design Concepts Gallery and Gallery Guichard. Find out more about her philosophy and work at lavettbeart.com.

What first encouraged you to paint?

I have always painted ever since I was a little girl. My mother used to say that I painted with my baby food and used to mix colors.

How important is artistic collaboration when it comes to creating art?

It is extremely important. There are so many ways to get inspired when you collaborate, and that communication among artists is necessary. One major thing that I learned from school was how to brainstorm and create with other people. I think it is important because you need that criticism from people who won’t just tell you what you want to hear.

What would you encourage young creatives to do if they want to grow as artists?

I would highly recommend that they put themselves out there. Also, to step outside their comfort zone. A large part of growth is risk. It allows you to create new things that you never would have created before. Also, this is huge: networking as an artist is so important. It is pivotal to growing as an artist and becoming your best.

How do you use Philadelphia as an artist?

I am close to Philadelphia, and I guess you can say that they adopted me. I originally started by painting pictures of iconic artists and even Philly-based poets like Lyrispect. I really get inspired by the poetry and music scene in Philadelphia and they are big influences in my work.

Lastly, at the Harvest their motto is: get open, get free, and get fed. Which verb are you out of the three?

I am “get free” because here at The Harvest is one place where I can be influenced by the music vibes. The live music is great, and creating while hearing it is a very freeing experience.

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