Ace Epps will be among many artists to take part in“Until Name Becomes Prayer,” Monday, Feb. 26, 7 p.m. at Summit Artspace. The event, which will feature Samoan immigrant, poet and arts educator William Alfred Nu’utupu Giles, is free and open to the public and will pay homage to “every indigenous and immigrant mouth that had to become a history book.” The night is sponsored by Summit Artspace, local artists, local organizations, and community members from all over the country.
Your Organization: BMe Community
Your Medium: Visual art, D.J., Poet
How do you describe yourself?
“That’s easy–I’m a guy who makes stuff artistically for people to enjoy. I work for you. My whole thing is that I work for you–it’s for the people. But if I had a mission statement it would be ‘to make artistic stuff for people to enjoy.’ Like for me, my whole space is by design. There is nothing done by mistake.”
What is an object that describes your art and your work?
“A turntable. It goes around and around and doesn’t stop. That’s how I feel like I do in my work. Wait, no–a microphone. I think that would even be more suiting, because most of the work I do falls on my voice–the theology and practice of oral discourse. Being able to host, being able to tell stories, being able to speak, being able to network–all of that. And teach, facilitate. My whole job is based on my mouthpiece. A microphone bought my house. I was doing hip hop and speaking poems, and that’s how I made my money and put in half of that.”
What are some projects you’re working on?
“‘Opposite of What’s Hot Now,’ it’s an album of jazz and hip hop. It’s strictly going to be vinyl. I’m doing that, and doing a collection of acrylic paintings based on mermaids.”
Why did you choose to be a part of ‘Until Name Becomes Prayer?’
“Well, you want the truth or the lie? I liked the organizer’s passion about it, and then when I saw the dude [Will’s] poem, it was over. It had nothing to do with indigenous people, it had nothing to do with the message. But then we had our first artistic meeting and I was really, really in. And then at the group talk, I realized I was going to be instrumental in helping supporting his message while he’s here, and how we continue that beyond Will being here. And I realized that it was important.”
What excites you in your work?
“Being able to tell stories that are not being told–being the author of our own stories. Yeah, being able to be the person that literally tells stories about black guys in the community that are assets that aren’t being looked at–I take pride in that. Even if I didn’t work for BMe, I would be working for people, whether that be BMe, whether that be reentry, whether that be serving in the community. Artistically it’s simple–I just want somebody to say ‘I dig that.’ I think all artists want that at the end of the day. I work a 9 to 5 to get money, but you really want somebody to say ‘I dig that.’”
What are you looking forward to?
“I’m excited to watch Will Giles live. Being able to see how Akron receives his work. It’s been a long time since we’ve had someone that performs like that here. And seeing the people that turn out. We usually have a diverse group of people. And I’m also excited for the authors, the gatekeepers–the team that put this together.”