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George Jackson University            

Long Live The Dragon

I was born Jason Mostella of Hastings, Nebraska.  My parents were in the service so I was moved around quite frequently as a youngster.  I believe I started school in Warner Robins Air Force.  I was an artist from jump I'm assuming.  I really don't remember not seeing things in a creative light.  I've always been a thinker, quietly questioning everything, "let's see how this works out" type of cat.  I was this way until the mischief began to seem more interesting, but that's when I also began to learn how fierce and relentless a black mother can be, trying to prepare a man child to be introduced to society.  The majority of house-holds I've lived in aside from my mothers' were just that, majority female.  I'm sure that it altered my opinion on what's empowering concerning my creativity.  I wore the ass whoopings when I thought or did different too.  So at the same time my artistic wills were being cared for and nurtured in a decent direction, I found ways to embed them in rebellion. 

 

I was never one of those closet artists.  I've always been outwardly proud and modest, and completely indecisive and sensitive in the development process of my work.  By age 10 my parents felt as strongly as I did.  I started classes on the weekend at some predominately white train of thought, privileged individuals’ art school in Knoxville, TN.  Don't really remember what good it done.  I remember being better than a lot of the other kids, but being black, and I do believe the only black child didn't get me much praise or learned technique from my teachers.  I think I got more out of stealing the examples the teacher drew for us to learn from, yea I learned from it alright - I take the examples home and duplicate them several times apiece.  I also wasn't being properly educated in black art for the longest.  My ability was always exercised on Caucasian ideas, day in and day out at the table working through my problems, my headaches, my demos, and staying focused, staying down, digging in, and making it work at whatever obstacle I'm faced with; be it drawing, writing, drafting structuring, whatever, just so long as it’s understood that perseverance doesn't get awarded to bystanders, all they get is regrets of what would've happened.  I build my validations for being able to sit there comfortable and approved. 

 

As it stands for now, allegedly, I am the best they've seen yet a lot of them have been nowhere.  Allegedly, I have two letters of recommendation from professors at the Art Institute of Atlanta, from an unfinished drawing I sent in through an associate’s wife to see whether or not I was just a penitentiary artist claiming the title of society approved.  The prison I was at  in turn sent me a box of books and enrollment package as soon as they saw opportunity had shown up for somebody.  Allegedly, I've attained the level of sovereignty as a tattoo artist since 2007, after having picked up my first machine in '96.  Yet, in 2013, I came across Bates who had a mere 27 years in the field and awesome technique, too bad he didn't have what I was born with, no matter the medium.  Allegedly, a Queen piece I've become terrible sensitive about, became the reason opportunity was presented to go to Brenau University this past summer, and dare I say allegedly I've been chosen to be among the ranks and scholars of George Jackson University, as an artist elected to an institution of true African individuality and empowerment, and to exemplify the culture, it's struggles and progressions.  If this is my seat to cultivate into a position of honors and noble proficiency, then, humbly I accept so long as we all exhibit the same strength in our crafts and abilities every day.  I'm grateful.

 

Respectfully Mwenyezi Probanga