July 20, 2018

Noel Jefferson

While working toward my Sociology and Political Science B.A. Degree, at Herbert H. Lehman College, in NYC, I studied photography, with Jerry Uelsmann at the School of Visual Arts. For an independent study project, “How Europe Underdeveloped East African Airlines, I traveled to Dar-es-Salaam, Tanzania to conduct interviews. Shortly after graduation, Columbia University’s Professor Howard Unger saw my photography; and recruited me into Teachers College where I earned my “Spatial Design,” Masters Degree.

Later, while traveling through continents: Africa, Asia and Europe, I was drawn to the economic, social and political diversities among the peoples within these Nations. While standing on the Ethiopian Highlands, gazing down at the Blue Nile Gorge, a woman, holding an enfant, with two toddlers snuggled next to her, sitting on a rock, all draped in rags, smiled at my lens with as much aplomb, as did an opulently attired Senegalese woman, posing for me in Dakar!

As my visual art focus grew, I began designing and earning patents: 3… almost 4! While visiting Paris, France, several ad agencies suggested, but I didn’t remain as a freelance photojournalist. However, Zoom Magazine subsequently commissioned me, on behalf of Afrique Magazine, to interview Vanessa Williams, the Former Miss America.

One night, lost, driving along the French Riviera, I imagined myself staring in a movie. My movie that, years later, placed among the top 10, of 5,000 Sundance Writers’ Contest submissions. Years later, its trailer screened in the Independent Film Project’s annual Festival, at the Tribeca Film Center, before NYC’s Late Film Producer, Richard Brick, met with me at the Cannes Film Festival, to discuss a possible deal.

Before a dozen of my black and white photos, documenting the September 11th Attacks, were housed at the New York Public Library Main Branch’s Permanent Collection they exhibited throughout the USA, including the Museum of Modern Art, National Women’s Military Museum; and then throughout Europe. Years after the WTC redevelopment phase had begun, there was a sudden “work stoppage,” leaving a big hole in the center of our community, physically and emotionally! On “As-of-Right,” my weekly socio-political television program, I interviewed Senator Daniel Squadron, who within 2 weeks, implemented each of my the 7 issues we discussed, including a “return to work order” for the WTC Redevelopment. Newspapers began publishing my articles.

Activism became second nature as “As-of-Right,” gained traction with debatable issues between economists, engineers, environmental and anti-fracking activists, i.e., David Braun (President and co-founder of “United for Action”); whom I protested and interviewed numerous times alone, and with other environmentalists; Angela Monti Fox, Founder of the “Mother’s Project,” and whose son, Josh Fox, film director (“Gasland”), with whom I also traveled to document the protests. Moreover, I traveled alone to Williston, North Dakota and to an anti-fracking conference in Paris, France as a supporter, and to conduct interviews. Wherever I feel injustice, I direct my talents toward tipping the scales towards the Left! What’s happening on our borders is shameful and un-American!

As a Board Member of the Arts Council of Henderson County, where; as well as in Asheville (Buncombe County) my 2016, “Nasty Woman” paintings have sold at exhibits! Further, my socio-political encaustic wax-photographic assemblages have raised consciousness in Hendersonville, Buncombe, Transylvania and Polk Counties!

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