Local artist Judy Bowman rekindled her passion for the arts and creates pieces that speak to, and about, the Black community.
Photo courtesy of Judy Bowman
She turned 78 when she recently released her new EP, “Let There Be Love,” this past April.
Detroit native Freda Payne’s five-song EP features jazz, sass and a whole lot of love and soul as she delivers her songs to those whose ears are itching to hear something new with a touch of classic old-school vibes.
In 1970, the singer’s hit song, “Band of Gold,” came out – now over 50 years later, her new album is something worth celebrating, too.
Her new album includes a 30-piece orchestra, duets and arranged jazz standards from the American Songbook.
“Jazz is in my soul,” Payne said on abc7.com. “I can say it’s in my soul and in my bones. I can do R&B. I can do pop. I don’t know about the rap.”
Payne is a classic example of it’s never too late to get back at it – whatever “it” is.
“It” for Ava DuVernay was entering into the film industry and directing her first film, “Selma,” in 2014 at the age of 42.
For famed author Toni Morrison, a professor Emeritus at Princeton University, “it” was publishing her first novel when she turned 39. She also won a Nobel Prize and Pulitzer for her book “Beloved” when she was in her 50s.
And for Judy Bowman, 69, of Romulus, mother of 10, “it” was restarting her art career after she put it on hold to raise her family.
“When I retired from education I said, ‘Let me go back to my art,’” she said, adding that six years prior she lost contact with the art world, but that all changed when she started doing different shows and reconnecting with her creative peers.
“Here I am six years later, and I won a lot of national awards — gotten a lot of recognition,” Bowman said, adding that her journey back to the familiar happened “really fast.”
Bowman added that art is something she has always loved doing and if anyone has a gift or talent or desire to work their craft, they should pursue it no matter the obstacle.
“It is never too late,” Bowman said. “You can always go back to it because I believe it is a gift from God. He wouldn’t give you a gift for you to waste.”
Her talent speaks for itself with her paintings peering into the depths of the Black community, daily life and culture.
Bowman calls herself a “visual grio” and takes it as a personal responsibility to tell the stories of how she sees the community.
“How I see Black people,” she said, adding that so many times they’ve been marginalized and demonized.
Bowman, who grew up on the eastside, said that she was raised in a society that looked a lot different than today.
“Everybody was there … everybody was home,” she said. “The father went to work and the mother stayed home and took care of kids. We always had food, was always clean — education was pushed,” she said, adding that when people graduated from high school they went to college. “It was nothing like the way it seems like the mainstream people want to see Black people. We had pride.”
Bowman said that she captures that essence and more in her work which she says is relatable to everyone, even white people.
“It’s revealing — we do the same thing — we’re the same. We’re all humans,” Bowman said, adding that finding her footing in the art world helped her rekindling journey. “I’m just feeling so blessed that I got a chance to use it and do good with it and make people come together. Find some people … who are going to help you fulfill your visions, your dream, your passion.”
For more information visit https://www.judybowman.com/.