It has been a while, but we have been hard at work creating our collaborative paintings focused on Yoruba aesthetics and philosophy. As a group we decided to key in on three core concepts of Yoruba thought. The three subjects we chose are Ashe, Itutu and Iwa L’ewa. Ashe (literally “ so be it” or “may it happen”) is the primordial energy that emanates from the creator and permeates all existence. It is the creative and destructive force that makes things happen. This essential energy is crucial for all actions. Itutu or coolness is a state of being that allows the individual to be clear headed and mentally astute in even the most stressful situations. This concept is at the core of Yoruba visual and performing arts and has greatly informed African-American Afro-Latino and Afro-Caribbean cultures. Iwa L’Ewa literally translates to character is beauty. This concept has a dual meaning as it can both allude to importance of good character in Yoruba culture and the importance of the artist capturing the essential nature and character of a subject, whether it is beautiful or ugly, figurative or abstract. The paintings are drawn from the sketches our youth collaborators have been compiling since the first weeks of the program. As we begin to wrap up our journey I will be continuing to post updates of these pieces . Stay tuned for more Artwork!