Thursday, April 21, 2011

Jihmye Collins ... The Man Behind the Smile

Jihmye Collins (1939 - 2011)
Photograph, copyright 2011 of Mithaq Kazimi

Hello Everyone,

I dedicate this blog to commemorate Jihmye Collins, Artist, Activist, Poet and Friend. A tribute to the "man behind the smile"... To an "Athlete Dying Young". Please join Spanish Village Art Center in honoring and commemorating Jihmye on April 5, 2011 at Gallery 21 from 2:00 - 7:00 p.m. The gallery is located in the heart of Spanish Village Art Center at 1770 Village Place, San Diego, California 92101.

We are hosting a potluck dinner, poetry reading and viewing of Jihmye's artwork in remembrance and love. We hope you will bring your fondest memory of Jihmye, and join us in the celebration of the "Life of Jihmye Collins", a man who walked tall among us.

I dedicate this poem by A. E. Housman to Jihmye Collins, because he was an athlete, in his own right, for justice and peace through his art and his Ba'Haai faith. To me, he was a friend and fellow artist, as he was to many of us here at Spanish Village Art Center. But to those of us who really knew him, and knew him well, he was an athlete and champion for the togetherness of mankind, and a vigilant crusader against injustice for all. He reached into the community, and tried to pass on his love and respect for the human race through his work with youths and the underprivileged. Artist, Activist, Poet and Friend, all encompassed within that undeniable presence and radiant smile.

"To an Athlete Dying Young", by A. E. Housman (1859-1936)

"The time you won your town the race,
We chaired you through the market-place.
Man and boy stood cheering by,
And home we brought you shoulder high...
Smart lad, to slip betimes away
From fields where Glory does not stay.
And early though the laurel grows,
It withers quicker than the rose...
Now you will not swell the rout,
Of lads who wore their honours out.
Runners whom renown outran
And the name died before the man...
And round that early-laurelled head
Will flock to gaze the strengthless dead,
And find unwithered on its curls
The garland briefer than a girl's".

"We will all love and miss you Jihmye, but, our lives are better for your being."

 I know you loved "all things Africa", and delighted in reconnecting with your heritage and the Motherland.  So, this poem is just for you, from me:

From "Out of Africa" by Isaak Dinesen, (1885 - 1962)

"If I know a song of Africa, of the giraffe and the African new moon lying on her back, of the plows in the fields and the sweaty faces of the coffee pickers, does Africa know a song of me? Will the air over the plain quiver with a color that I have had on, or the children invent a game in which my name is, or the full moon throw a shadow over the gravel of the drive that was like me, or will the eagles of the Ngong Hills look out for me?"

I believe the answer is, "Yes, and the color will be purple."
Thank you, Cassandra

Photograph courtesy of Alane Gray, copyright 2011

Who is Jihmye Collins?
Watch video compliments of Community Faces Project: Jihmye Collins (c) MACSD

"In Loving Memory...",  from all of us at Spanish Village Art Center

Written and posted by Cassandra Shepard, Studio 32
text and content copyrighted, 2011, all rights reserved

1 comment:

  1. Here is a post on him:


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