TUPELO – A Northeast Mississippi transplant is continuing her work in the arts this weekend at Link Centre.

Asia Rainey, who moved to Tupelo last year due to her passion for creative writing and spoken word poetry, will host “Black Blum” on Saturday.

“It is an intimate presentation of my work,” Rainey said. “New spoken word poetry intersecting with a series of visual art work pieces in acrylic. In a bit of a twist from art shows which invite audiences to simply view works, ‘Black Blum’ is an interactive setting in which the spoken word tells a story of each piece, and I communicate the process of the artwork’s creation as a part of the experience.”

Rainey said she started toying with painting five years ago but gave it up, until she and a friend started painting acrylic images on small wooden discs and fashioning them into “funky” earrings.

“As soon as we wore them, other friends began to ask to buy them,” she said. “We often found ourselves in new artistic waters so, of course, we said, ‘Why not?’ Doodled designs became intricate renditions of Frida Kahlo and other images. The process was fun and exploratory. I was discovering how much I missed visual art, how much I wished I knew and wondered what I could do on a canvas bigger than the size of my palm.”

As she began to paint larger works, Rainey discovered her art was beginning to tell a story.

“Within the show, I intend to talk about how these paintings affected my writing and other aspects of my life,” she said. “The ideas always come from the same place that I believe all of my inspiration does: God, where I am standing, where my life is at the time, the perspectives I internalize and my emotions. After finishing the last art piece of the series, I stepped back from them all and finally saw the story I was telling, and realized that the two sides of my artistic coin needed to come together to best tell my story.”

“Black Blum” will serve as a fundraiser for Rainey’s journey to Nigeria in January.

“This is a very special trip to me and has been in the works for a number of years,” she said. “It is important to my growth overall, so I appreciate the community’s support even more in helping me to achieve this goal.”

“Black Blum” starts at 7 p.m. Saturday in Link Centre’s Reception Hall. Tickets are $20 and can be purchased online at asiarainey.com or by calling (662) 690-4011.

derek.russell@journalinc.com Twitter: @wderekrussell

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