A discussion with Rae Frasier on her artwork at the Carver Community Center
I sat down recently with Schenectady’s own Rae Frasier. You know, the owner of Art Money? The artist who has been dazzling our timelines with designs that blow our minds? Yeah, that Rae Frasier. the swaggy artist who is one of the brilliant minds behind The Miracle on Craig Street.
A miracle On Craig Street is a Grassroots organization founded in Schenectady with the mission of reopening The Carver Community Center in Schenectady, New york.
“The mission of the Miracle on Craig Street is to root a culturally competent network of resources and opportunities focused on wellness for children and families. We were founded in 2015 as a grassroots collective of neighborhood residents that wanted to create a positive change and impact in our hometown.”
When Sitting With Rae, I was able to have a conscious conversation with her about her recent artwork that she has created on and in the community center. Meeting at Schenectady’s own Newest Pizza we engage in a discussion involving Rae’s passion, Art, and how it contributes to a cause bigger than her.
What was the inspiration behind the art and murals on and in Carver Community Center?
“I felt like it needed some kind of heartbeat. The building has been vacant for sometime. Its become an eyesore in the community. Therefore when we as a board began to pursue the project in 2015, that it needed a mural on the outside. A piece on the outside of the building would get community members excited for the project. “
She also describes art as a connective part to the culture, and adding art would invigorate the community with passion.
Thus, the project with murals began. A flurry of colors and artistic schemes that lit up the building and refreshed its flare for the community.
Describe the murals and their purpose
” The first mural is a big heart with a band aid, it is a sign and representation of perseverance, and symbol of strength and overcoming obstacles. The one thing we all have in common as humans, no matter what race, gender, ethnicity is that we’ve all endured some type of pain. “
The piece in question is on the side of the building on Lincoln ave
“We’ve all been through pain, endured and overcame it. It’s a representation of unity and community with words.”
Rae took a poll on social media to find words from the community that would be impactful for the mural outside the building on the Craig street side. She feels that the murals are for the community, therefore, the community needs a say in what goes on the building. Additionally, these words are uplifting and positive, creating a positive image for the community.
What do you believe the significance of your work on this historical building is?
” a lot of people don’t know that my great, great great aunt was one of the founders of the Carver Community Center. So I’m honored to being a part of keeping the tradition alive”
Rae spoke about the significance of the words such as unity, and community, miracle. ” these words speak to our culture and community, our tribulations and trials.”
” I want to create art that lasts long after I’m here, and that’s the purpose”
Seeing the words that gravitate to a community that has suffered so much loss over the years can become a beacon of light in a dark time.
How will your art impact the community?
” Kids, elderly, women and men have commented on the artwork and it’s role within the community. This is important to me because I’m my own worst critic, so when the community recognizes my work it resonates.”
Rae wishes to continue to do work inside the building. These projects will be a surprise for the community that celebrates our community in a myriad of ways.
” its important to do whatever our art is, and that’s what i want to do in our community.”
What do you think your art does for the community?
” I’d like to think myself as a swaggy ass old lady”
” The delivery is what’s important for our youth, if kids don’t like to read, do something that is fly. Speak their language. I’m a fan of bas-qui-at, He’s an artist that didn’t follow the rules, and sold a piece for 1 million dollars.”
Rae’s belief is to be a vessel to the youth with the message you have. so long as it isn’t self harming and isn’t harming to you then she encourages people to do it. And she delivers this message through her artwork. Rae mentioned that growing up the malls didn’t have the clothing she wanted so she drew on her clothing to make it stand out. Make her clothing unique to her. That’s the message, be you, stand out for you and what you wish to do through positive means.
” I initially thought I was the athlete of the family. I didn’t start doing art till about 4 years ago. As I became an adult, that I felt that my love for art wasn’t going anywhere. Fashion inspired me truly.”
Her style allowed her to get people to commission pieces and from there she took flight.
what do you think art is for kids in impoverished communities?
“Art is essential for kids in impoverished communities. It is the sole source of expression and freedom. It’s important for us to keep in touch with the kid in us. Kids are genius”
What does Carver Mean to you?
” Carver has always been a staple in our community, it is also on the historical registry, therefore it can never be taken down. there are a plethora of events that have happened there, and it feels great to be a part of a legacy.”
It is empowering and a sign of relief to see people in our community that care for our community. Rae Frasier is one such of those people. And she does this through art. Creation is one of the many talents of human beings and Rae creates through dazzling imagery that uplifts and gives life to a community in peril. here is a spotlight on one of the communities brightest stars, helping to make history happen in Schenectady, one brush stroke at a time.