Visual Artist/Painter Mr. James Dupree has finally won the battle against Eminent Domain Abuse by reclaiming the deed that was once taken and seized by the City of Philadelphia back in 2012. Dupree Studios in the Mantua section of West Philadelphia celebrated a victory on Saturday April 25, 2015 with live entertainment, great food, arts and crafts for the children and a tour of what this man has built for the community with his own hands.
Giadelphia – “Lean Back With Ya Retrospect” – (FREESTYLE)
The City of Philadelphia tried to seize and take owned property from the Mantua community by force but the man who couldn’t back down without a good fight WON! Sadly! 50 other residents and home owners lost their battle because they chose not to take advantage of their rights like Mr. Dupree and fight the system. Gia! the daughter of Mr. Dupree created a Change.org campaign to raise awareness and help her father take back what she has watched him build over the years. Thanks to the help of The Institute for Justice, Art Above Reality and many others for spreading awareness and fighting the good fight all for the love of the Arts.
Previously! On March 1, 2014 I had the honor of interviewing Artist, James Dupree a world-renowned artist known by some and admired by many for his expressive art work at his Stolen Dreams In The Promised Zone opening reception. Over the weekend I stumbled upon some never before seen footage of Mr. Dupree and I’s very first interview. Just recently Mr. Dupree and a few of his “Artistic” friends visited Miami, Florida to showcase his works at Art Basel an art exhibit where artists from all across the globe come to showcase their many works. Mr. Dupree is relentless in keeping his dream and his love for art alive so much so that he plans a Mantua museum to keep the visual arts alive in the City of Philadelphia. Take a look at Artist, James Dupree has he fights to save the “ARTS”.
The Dupree Dream Open Studio Event, On April 26th, 2014, Dupree Studios opened its doors to show the public what the City of Philadelphia plans to tear down in the name of “revitalization”. Dupree wants to inform fellow citizens about the unconstitutional seizure of his inspiring and unique property. He also wanted to share this creative space with others, while the opportunity still stands. The event had guest speakers throughout the day, eminent domain and art discussions, musical acts, DJs, live art, spin art for kids, a book signing, and… live interview! On this day Mr. Dupree released his self titled book ‘ Stolen Dreams In The Promised Zone: Dupree Studios’ curated by James Dupree himself with layout and design done by one of my dear friends Badir McCleary of ‘Art Above Reality’. The book entails Mr. Dupree’s life’s journey of becoming an entrepreneur all while giving back to the community, the building of his art gallery and studio and his expressive artwork of eminent domain.
Unfortunately I couldn’t make it to enjoy the all the event had to offer on that day but I did however manage to make it in time to see some of my favorite men who I consider family ‘Hazie Blu’ to perform and take my own little mini tour of Dupree Studios. It was an honor and pleasure to not only meet Mr. Dupree but to work with him as well. I know very little about the art world but I as always I’m interested in all forms of artistic expression be it music, dance and even art in its many forms. Yours truly was given the opportunity to not only support Mr. Dupree in his efforts to ‘ Save Dupree Studios’ he also gave me the opportunity to be featured and published as well.
I didn’t know how to feel but I was filled with the joy of accomplishment when I opened the book to see my name in the ‘Table of Contents’ . Not only did I get to share my writings but I also got the chance to be apart of something bigger than myself. I got the chance to meet a man who had so much audacity and faith in his craft that he’s willing to fight for it. And just to think that all I did was share my opinion on the matter, I didn’t know that I would actually become apart of the fight for The Dupree Dream.
“Artist. James Dupree has been fighting with the City of Philadelphia against the ‘Eminent Domain Law’ A law that allows the government to ‘SEIZE’ private property for public use. To seize is to take by force with or without the owner’s knowledge and/or approval” ~~ Tiffany Livingston (Stolen Dreams In The Promised Zone Pg. 7-8)