LandEscape Art Review Special Issue - Page 113

Nora Maccoby

LandE scape

Trouble Funk now and then . The kids on my block were all into acid and riding the edge . One of the CIA dad ’ s who always packed used to help his sons make small bombs and shoot birds . They were all skateboarders and our street was the best hill . Except for one suicide , everyone came out ok and is either a doctor or doing solar energy installation . world , which not all do . But my generation in DC was the streets were ours , there were a quarter of the amount of actual people around , the whole Minor Threat movement was my neighborhood and there was a stage where bands played and it was political punk straight edge mostly with some
I went to public elementary school and developed a deep patriotism and sense of citizenship . Then I went to Sidwell Friends and discovered Quakerism and the importance of privilege to be used to serve the common good - the necessity of activism / art / theater for justice via the use of peaceful creative means . I always was drawing faces . Pencil detailed faces and the bodies in color . I thought about a career as a cartoonist but for me , art was a way to be with myself and think things through and it was personal , like my own diary . I studied violin from the age of 5 with Sheila Johnson who was simultaneously creating BET with her husband Robert Johnson . I witnessed them build an empire with incredible odds against them and it took them 15 years but she became the first female Black Billionaire . She taught me so much , about straddling worlds and dealing with different cultures and classes and races . I learned to play any kind of music by ear . So this was great later on when i got into improv . She led us in a small orchestra called Young Strings in Action and we played monthly concerts at the Children ’ s Hospital for the sick kids and we toured England and the East Coast and Jordan , when Queen Noor invited us to the ancient city of Jerash . We played under the temple of Artemis . I was 15 . Around this time I got a super 8 camera and editing equipment . I began making films that merged documentary realism with fiction . I spent many weekends on the mall , in front of the White House , shooting super 8 of protestors on different sides of the issue . It was mostly Iran-Contra , pro and against , or abortion or Act Up , etc . My mom painted portraits of us a lot so I experienced being a subject as well as an author . In retrospect I really appreciate that it forced me to learn to sit still and be silent . Everyone in my family is an artist . My oldest sister Annie used to do etchings of villages , beautiful stuff . My brother Max