Category Archives: African American

Black Madonna – Donated to Bulkeley High in Hartford Connecticut, but HATED by them, apparently…

BLACK MADONNA, In Her Hands. Donated, 2014, to Bulkeley High School in Hartford, Connecticut (but never a word of thanks or even acknowledgment)


Although I added a coat of protective varnish to this at the last minute, I don’t think this  ruined it or justified Bulkeley high school in Hartford, Connecticut  hating the piece so much that they would have refused to acknowledge receiving it…But indeed,  that school, located on Wethersfield Avenue in Hartford, CT took this beautiful piece, but decided I did not deserve either a word of thanks or even notification of  receipt that the piece arrived.

I cannot tell you how much this hurt me, but what do they care? I imagine the probably hated it, but why take it if they were only going to store it in the basement? I would’ve gladly kept it and NOT given it to those ungrateful wretches…I LOVE the piece and even with the shiny varnish I loved her…And I hate to think that the so and so’s at Bulkley high school just threw her in a hole so no one would ever see this lovely Black Madonna, and they never even told me they did not want her!

How dare they? I mean, if someone offers you, an organization, a piece of art and You do NOT want it, please do not take it, for it is an insult beyond insults not to display it. Furthermore, to not even thank the artist who likely spent many hours  on the piece, is really an abhorrent act. But what do you expect from administrators of a high school? Apparently no more than boorishness just like this…

Screw them…But it makes me want not to donate art anywhere ever again if their response is typical.

Varnished version, in a bad photo…but you can see she is much more realistic, even though the photo is bad…(taken by a teacher at the school while the piece was in transit, or in storage)


I Miss Obama, that Gentleman, and his wonderful First Lady, Michelle

My portrait of Barack Obama, OBAMA BRIGHT,  which i gave to the White House a few years back…but alas never heard back about except a form card…

“Obama Bright” a portrait of Barack Obama in acrylics and graphite with Swarovski crystals….




Jason DeRulo: New portrait

Jason DeRulo, painted with fantastic CARAN D’ACHE Lumiere pencils, among the most expensive yet worth every penny. smooth and incredibly buttery color that just swipes on…Yet  hard enough to keep a point and not crumble under pressure.

Just make sure you sharpen each pencil by hand as you don’t want to waste a smidgen of these valuable tools!

Jason Derulo
Jason DeRulo = my art photo isn’t the best but it gives you an goodish idea of the portrait..(colorized from B&W and reversed so the left is right etc.)

I have loaded a DeRulo music vide (lyrics) to go with my portrait, but who knows how long it will remain playable. ANy opinions on portrait welcome. I had to imagine the colors from a B&W photo, then imagine Derulo again, having reversed the orientation horizontally so his left becomes his right  etc.

(Now it might not look like him at all, taken from the mirror reversal of the photo.) Enjoy song for as long as I can keep it here. (since embed buttons exist, I have to assume it is okay to “borrow” these vids.

Would love your opinion.



PS am very very sleepy so not entirely sure I am uploading anything that makes sense. If not, forgive me. I will do better after a nap!

RIP ERIC GARNER: Man Killed By NYPD for breaking up a fight…


This video is pretty sickening and difficult to watch. However it is brief and necessary, if you care about what the police are doing tp everyday citizens in this country… (Need I mention that Eric happens to be African American, which I believe was significant in his treatment, just as a mental illness would have been or other supposedly extraneous factors…

New Portraits of African Americans by Pamwagg


Alice Walker - from PBS interview
  Alice Walker – from PBS interview


Eddy Joe LLoyd -- Innocent
Eddy Joe LLoyd — Innocent


Vincent Moto - Innocent, but still trying to expunge his record
Vincent Moto – Innocent, but still trying to expunge his record


Bob Moses - Interviewed by Julian Bond
Bob Moses – Interviewed by Julian Bond

Monet or Moi?

Monet or me? Well, okay, I am no Monet and this time I didn’t copy him… I painted this, with oil pastels, my second imagined seascape. mostly from memory. © Pamela Spiro Wagner All Rights Reserved

Better version of the above photo of my art piece is below this post (I managed to capture the entire picture finally and didn’t cut off most of the sky…)

I have just given a speech that I want either to record for putting up here, once I upgrade to Pro, or if it gets published as an Op-ed somewhere I will point you to it. But for now, let it only be a hint of things to come…

Otherwise, exhausted, I don’t have a great deal to say today except to point people to an article that I found in Science Daily, an article that I found both obvious in the extreme, and yet which I believe most people desperately need to read. If it isn’t time now to stop incarcerating people of color, for NO reason other than the color of their skin, then I dunno what time will be right for it.

Systematic Incarceration of African American Males Is a Wrong, Costly Path

ScienceDaily (Nov. 11, 2012) — Mental health experts from Meharry Medical College School of Medicine have released the first comprehensive report on the correlation between the incarceration of African American males and substance abuse and other health problems in the United States. Published in Frontiers in Psychology on the 12th of November, the report looks at decades of data concerning the African American population rates of incarceration and subsequent health issues. The authors conclude that the moral and economic costs of current racial disparities in the judicial system are fundamentally avoidable, especially if more resources are spent on education and treatment.

“Instead of getting health care and education from civil society, African American males are being funneled into the prison system. Much of this costly practice could be avoided in the long-term by transferring funds away from prisons and into education,” says Dr. William D Richie, assistant professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at Meharry Medical College, lead author of the paper.

Money would be better spent on treatment than on incarceration

The study highlights the fact that with regard to African American males in the prison system, individual States are paying more to lock up non-violent offenders than they are for education, since 60% of incarcerations are due to non-violent, illicit drug-related crimes. The authors also point to a previous study from 2,000 showing that the total cost of substance abuse–be it incarceration, crime or treatment–is over $500 billion per year for the US.

These and other statistics have led the authors–scientific experts often called upon to testify in court–to conclude in the paper that: “Spending money on prevention and intervention of substance abuse treatment programs will yield better results than spending on correctional facilities.”

Need more teachers of color

Even though crime rates have dropped across the country over the past two decades, incarceration rates have continued to skyrocket–with black people accounting for a largely disproportionate 38% of inmates. More alarmingly, incarceration rates for African American males jumped 500% between 1986 and 2004. And while substance abuse increases the chances of individuals’ ending up in prison, those without any previous history of substance abuse have a higher risk of substance abuse once they leave the prison system, and could more easily fall back into the judicial system instead of getting a solid job or education.

According to Richie, much of this disparity is due to a fundamental problem of perception on both sides. For example, negative reinforcement of disruptive behavior is prevalent already in preschool–young children of color are often treated more harshly for behavior similar to their white peers.

“One step in the right direction, would be to have more black teachers during the early stages of development” says Dr. Richie. “From a behavioral scientific perspective, having teachers that look like the students and the parents of students from an early age could go a long way in changing perceptions of authority for black youth.”

Getting more African American teachers means increasing the number of African Americans in the higher education system and getting them out of the incarceration system. In the end, the authors conclude, effective treatment of substance use disorders and alternatives to prison would cost the United States much less and improve the lives of African American males, their families, and the entire country.


The Original Science Daily article can be accessed here:

And PDF of the original paper (fairly short) can be found at this site:


New Artwork on Display Soon

This piece and many others will be on exhibit at the Wethersfield, Connecticut public library from May 1- June 30, 2012. Another new small sculpture below will be in the display case, along with The African Queen of Paranoia, which may be seen if you do a search for it on this blog site or go to my photobucket artwork site, and small jewelry or pill boxes I made with reproductions of my artwork on the tops.

I made this bird because I wanted simply to make a hummingbird. But after I did so, it reminded me of the poem “Of Mere Being” by Wallace Stevens.

Of Mere Being

by Wallace Stevens

The palm at the end of the mind,
Beyond the last thought, rises
In the bronze decor.

A gold-feathered bird
Sings in the palm, without human meaning,
Without human feeling, a foreign song.

You know then that it is not the reason
That makes us happy or unhappy.
The bird sings. Its feathers shine.

The palm stands on the edge of space.
The wind moves slowly in the branches.
The bird’s fire-fangled feathers dangle down.

Speaking of Wallace Stevens, here is a poem I wrote that one of  Stevens’ lines inspired. It will be in my next book, LEARNING TO SEE IN THREE DIMENSIONS (saison d’enfers means “season of hell”)


by Pamela Spiro Wagner

“For the listener, who listens in the snow…”
Wallace Stevens

In those days I was always cold
as I had been a long time, mindful of winter
even at the solstice of my high summer days

always, always the crumb and crust of loss
and near-loss of everything held dear
before the saison d’enfers and the ice to come

But there was the wind
There was still the wind making music,
and I, at one with the quirky stir of air

bowing the suppliant trees
bowing the branches of those trees for the sound
of songs held long in their wood

Changes change us: rings of birth, death, another season
and we hold on for nothing and no reason
but to sing.