Written by G Streat
“I had no choice but to have a come to Jesus meeting with myself,” said artist Cathy Foreman in answer to the question about experiences in her life that may surprise those who really don’t know her.
In a face swept by an ear to ear smile, she shared that somewhere along the way she developed a tough exterior that probably ticked off those who really didn’t understand her. Where Cathy could once just walk away from a job if others did not like her tough demeanor and style and get another rather easily, the impact of 9/11 changed all that and led to a rude awakening.
“I quickly understood that I could no longer just flip people off if they had an issue with me and my style.” For her the two week interval between leaving one job and landing another grew to an alarming interval of two years.
“As a single mom, it was extremely difficult making ends meet while being unemployed for over two years. I can’t tell you how humbling it was to have to swallow my pride and move back home with my mother.” However, falling back on the inspiration she got from her go getting aunt and support from her family, her trailblazer instinct kicked in, one that was soon reflected in her approaches to her art and artistic style.
“My choice to allow my photography to transform into my art did not fit into a clearly defined genre,” she shared. “In fact many people were taken back and maybe even turned off by my style, but I had to follow my own path and do what I felt was right for Cathy Foreman.”
A game changing breakthrough occurred when she received an invitation to participate in an international art festival in Milan, Italy. “I was like wow! I knew right then that my decision to stick with being the real Cathy was indeed the right one. That was the validation I needed. “
Does Cathy Forman self-identify as an artist first or an African-American artist first?
“I’m a trailblazing black female artist.”
Her message to upcoming young artists?
“Don’t be afraid to go against the grain and stick to the essence of who you really are. Because if you don’t you will not reach your full potential.”
As for what’s next for Cathy Foreman, “I will continue to roam across the state of North Carolina taking interesting photos and transforming them into interesting art. That’s it!”
To view more of Cathy's work, visit her website www.reflectionsbycathyforeman.com