City Paper is not for tourists
The recently released music video for “Clumsy” is anything but. In fact, the video exudes confidence and precision, making it a treat for the senses. Within just a few seconds, a catchy beat and the soothingly sweet vocals of D.C. artist Cecily welcome listeners, as the video’s minimalist but rich visuals welcome viewers. The singer croons about her “clumsy” fingers, sharing her process of learning to love herself to better love another. Close-up shots accompany the vulnerable lyrics, as the video slowly transitions from frame to frame. Faces. Glossy lips. Fingers gently tracing a tattooed chest. Chemistry shared between couples. Cecily herself stars in the video alongside male lead Dale Deberry, and director Torell Shavone masterfully creates a sequence of intimate scenes between the duo. “Clumsy” debuted last year on Cecily’s EP, Awakening, Pt. I, and almost exactly a year after its release, the artist shared a music video for the lead single. It was worth the wait. Cecily, who’s from D.C., is truly a star. Describing herself as a “woman with a voice and a pen,” the singer and songwriter has racked up accolades, opening for legendary jazz and soul artists and performing on stages at the Kennedy Center and Blues Alley. Count the music video for “Clumsy” as another source of her shine, and take her artwork as a chance to reflect on the health of your own relationships. Are you being clumsy with someone else’s heart? The music video is available on YouTube. Free. —Sarah Smith
Through Our Eyes
The D.C. Commission on the Arts and Humanities’ online exhibition Through Our Eyes couldn’t be timelier—an exploration by artists “who create complex and unconventional work exploring their unique experiences, narratives, and perspectives on the world” and deal with Black history, identity, and experience. The 14 featured artists, many of whom have ties to D.C., include painters Kalila Abdur-Razzaq and Ismael Qedar Oates, illustrator Julian Alexander, photographers Darin Cooper and Lloyd Kofi Foster, and multidisciplinary artists Anthony O. Akinbola, Maya Beverly, Jermaine Carter, Ryan Cosbert, Kenyssa Evans, Monique Muse, Samera Paz, Gala Prudent, and Sydney Vernon. The exhibition will be amplified through several live interviews with participating artists, and if the hour-plus conversation on Sept. 3 between Foster and curator Emmanuel Massillon was any indication, they’ll be worth a look. Foster’s images feature themes from both his American upbringing, such as works based on professional wrestling and its sparse African American representation, as well as his Ghanaian ancestry. Foster’s portraits and street photographs, often but not always in old-school black-and-white, thematically link people and scenes from D.C. to Ghana, Sierra Leone, and other African countries he’s visited. Foster is especially drawn to photographing children—“kids are just very honest,” he said—and more than once during the interview he broke down with emotion while describing the kids he has photographed. Prior to his first visit to Ghana in 2015, “a lot of what I’d seen of Africa myself” through mass media was “negative, like, ‘Help this child for 10 cents a day.’ But that’s not all Africa has to offer. I saw a lot of very pure moments which were very beautiful.” Future conversations will be with Cosbert (Sept. 10), Vernon (Sept. 17), and Massillon (Sept. 24). The exhibition is available at throughoureyesexhibition.com. Free.