Multimedia and crochet artist Patrice Jackson is The 912's featured artist

·7 min read

This week's edition of The 912 features The 912's new featured artist, Patrice Jackson.

I have a confession: I miss The Oprah Winfrey Show.

Growing up, I initially hated the show: I wasn’t her demographic and I only cared to watch if a celebrity or dignitary was on there. When I went off to college, I watched it more as a way to feel a connection to my mom from afar. She LOVED Oprah and even subscribed to O, The Magazine.

Yesterday evening, when I was pursuing Instagram (which has now become a shell of itself), I saw a clip of The Oprah Winfrey Show.

It was part two of Oprah’s Favorite Things episode, which aired during her 25th and final season. And there were so many gif-able moments: There was homegirl who had an orgasmic reaction to being on the episode; strangers hugging in the audience and jumping in a circle; and a white man who repeatedly lost all sanity when Oprah announced a new gif.

Daytime talk show hostess Oprah Winfrey gestures to the crowd at the Southwestern High School in Baltimore on Nov. 29, 1988, for quiet during the taping of her show on school violence.
Daytime talk show hostess Oprah Winfrey gestures to the crowd at the Southwestern High School in Baltimore on Nov. 29, 1988, for quiet during the taping of her show on school violence.

And if you’ve seen that episode or Oprah: Behind the Scenes, she got them good, too!

All the memories of that show, especially the final season, came flooding back when I saw that clip: Diana Ross and her children appearing on the show; her fighting and reuniting with Iyanla over two episodes was iconic; her inviting Terry McMillan and her ex-husband back on the show were just a few of the season 25 highlights.

I remember when she had the grand divas on her show, Whitney Houston and Mariah Carey. In an earlier episode, she had Tina Turner…In my Oprah voice: TINA TURNER!!! I also enjoyed her road trips with her BFF Gayle King, an accomplished journalist in her own right.

But then, there are the deeper conversations about race that resonated across America, specifically when she came to Forsyth County, Georgia — then the whitest county in the state.

Talk show host Oprah Winfrey gives the thumbs-up sign as she arrives at the Ed Sullivan Theater for the taping of Donohue: The 25th Anniversary, Saturday, Oct. 17, 1992, New York.
Talk show host Oprah Winfrey gives the thumbs-up sign as she arrives at the Ed Sullivan Theater for the taping of Donohue: The 25th Anniversary, Saturday, Oct. 17, 1992, New York.

It’s been more than 10 years since Oprah’s show has been off the air, but her reporting and television show hosting is what’s missing in the television and entertainment climate. Her interview with Harry and Meghan showed that. Oprah could give you talk show host, journalist, and homegirl you grew up with at a moment’s notice in one interview.

To this day, I'm mad we don't see reruns and that my local ABC affiliate didn't air reruns over the summer, instead opting for a third news hour beginning at 4 p.m.

Y’all, when I say we were indeed a proper country when Oprah was on our TV sets, I mean that.

— Raisa Habersham, watchdog and investigative reporter at the Savannah Morning News

Follow her on Twitter at @newsworthy17 or email me at rhabersham@gannett.com

Pulse of the 912

If there's one word to describe our new featured artist, it's rooted. Patrice Jackson uses her art as a vehicle of healing and connection, using the world around her to express herself. I chat with Patrice about the evolution of her art, her crochet pieces and embracing community.

Patrice Jackson is The 912's featured artist for August and September 2022.
Patrice Jackson is The 912's featured artist for August and September 2022.

Laura Nwogu: If someone asked you to pinpoint when and where your love for art began, where would that story begin?

Patrice Jackson: “The vision that comes to me is sunlight and green grass, trees all around as more and more appear, and I feel more and more of those roots connecting around me. I can't pinpoint an age. I feel that the present moment is the most precious gift; it is what gives us everything and connection. Now is the truth that we are always everywhere, so in a lot of my work you see branches and you see roots. You see hands holding one another. You see circles and cycles. They can really take you places. That's why I say that this art that comes through is all of us.”

LN: Your art connects themes of healing, connecting with nature and ourselves – rooting ourselves. Can you talk about connecting with these themes personally and how you express those themes in your art?

PJ: “At an early age, I've always been outside as much as I could be, touching the earth and with family, siblings in solitude or with pets. And I was so blessed to have a peaceful space of backyard to go to and to connect with the energy that we can commune with to be energized and renewed.”

Patrice Jackson is The 912's featured artist for August and September 2022.
Patrice Jackson is The 912's featured artist for August and September 2022.

LN: Your art is constantly evolving in response to the world around us. What has that evolution looked like in the past few years?

PJ: “Thank you for asking. I have learned a lot about my own family and the ways in which conditioning and limitation has affected the relationships that I experience around me. And I engaged with them, and I'm just honored to witness transformation and to be alive today to carry the dreams of my ancestors. To be in community. To see. To feel free to share vulnerable space which is being present, really. That's where creativity comes from.”

LN: I love that sentiment. What was it like opening that door to vulnerability and kind of having this sense about yourself? 

PJ: “It's realizing that ego has no place in community and life and positive change and transformation. I had to learn to let go because there's so much that we must unlearn. And we're always learning and setting layers; they're just falling off. So, the transformation that's necessary, the acceptance of change that we must carry in order to be changed. In order to be alive and receptive and listening so that our roots really do come together, and that we're conscious of it so we can co-create the world that we can all thrive in.”

Patrice Jackson is The 912's featured artist for August and September 2022.
Patrice Jackson is The 912's featured artist for August and September 2022.

LN: You also crochet. Is your artistic process for creating crochet pieces different from how you go into it with your multi-media pieces?

PJ: “I love that. I say it is, in a way. They're very similar. The way I approach it is always freeform. That's what I invite; that's what I welcome. I do still put thought into the design and the overall look, so sometimes I'll do sketches so I can get an idea and plot down the color map, but I love to be guided by it. Oftentimes, I'll have a sketch or I have an idea of something and it just evolves on its own. Like the pattern that I thought I might want turns out to be just something of the past which guided me. I definitely have fun with the crochet.”

LN: When somebody approaches your art, what's the biggest thing that you want them to take away from it?

PJ: “I want everyone to feel clean, water, fluidity, peace and home. I hope it can remind people, or give people a chance, to slow down,  to feel their own breath, hear their own breath and fulfill their beautiful uniqueness. I hope it can be of encouragement to all my family."

Patrice Jackson is The 912's featured artist for August and September 2022.
Patrice Jackson is The 912's featured artist for August and September 2022.

LN: Has living in Savannah influenced your art in any way?

PJ: “It definitely has. The connection to the land, my ancestors, the pain that has been felt on this land and the strength of people who come before me definitely is part of me. The beauty of the trees and the ocean, that's in my work. And the fight for justice, for human rights, the earth, for truth to be told and protected and honored. There's such deep creativity here in Savannah. Creativity that words can't touch, so I'm inspired by the deep desire to see freedom, fluidity, creativity, cooperation and healing to be shared and honored. And creating is the way.”

LN: That was beautifully said. 

Why do you love the 912 

PJ: “I'm grateful for drum, grateful for rhythm, dance, movement, song. Being able to weave all of those things, I see that there's so much passion and talent in Savannah.  Being able to weave those pieces is really the dream.”

This interview was edited for length and clarity. 

Patrice Jackson is The 912's featured artist for August and September 2022.
Patrice Jackson is The 912's featured artist for August and September 2022.

Art of The 912

The 912 newsletter will highlight a local Black artist every two months as the header image for the weekly issue. This month's artist is Patrice Jackson.

Follow Jackson on her website and Instagram:

Website: patricejacksonart.wordpress.com

Instagram: @rooted_art.by_patrice

This article originally appeared on Savannah Morning News: Multimedia, crochet artist Patrice Jackson is The 912's featured artist