Local Artist Delivers Artwork to LeBron James’s ‘I Promise’ School


TED SIMONS: ARTWORK WITH PHOENIX ARTIST, KRIS RHYMES IS CURRENTLY ON DISPLAY AT LEBRON JAMES'S "I PROMISE" SCHOOL IN AKRON, OHIO. AND HERE TO TELL US MORE ABOUT HOW THIS CAME ABOUT IS THE ARTIST HIMSELF, KRIS RHYMES. THANKS FOR JOINING US.

KRIS RHYMES: THANK YOU FOR HAVING ME.

TED SIMONS: WHAT IS THE "I PROMISE" SCHOOL IN AKRON, OHIO?

KRIS RHYMES: THE “I PROMISE SCHOOL” IT'S A SCHOOL THAT LEBRON JAMES PUT TOGETHER TO HELP AT-RISK KIDS FROM AKRON, OHIO TO BUILD A BETTER -- EXCUSE ME --

TED SIMONS:BETTER LEARNING ENVIRONMENT?

KRIS RHYMES: RIGHT. BETTER LEARNING ENVIRONMENT.

TED SIMONS: I THINK WE HAVE SOME SHOTS HERE OF YOU REPRESENTING YOUR PIECE OF ART TO THE SCHOOL. HOW DID IT HAPPEN? HOW DID THIS COME ABOUT?

KRIS RHYMES: SO I HAD A REPRESENTATIVE THAT WAS WORKING WITH ME, AND WE WOUND UP GOING IN TO SEE THE -- THE PROCESS GOING ON CNN. AND WHEN IT ALL CAME ABOUT, WE FIGURED LET'S SEE -- YOU KNOW, IF WE'RE ABLE TO PUT THE ARTWORK INTO THE SCHOOL, SO WE MANAGED TO GET AROUND A LOT OF PEOPLE TO GET THE CONNECTIONS TOGETHER, AND THAT'S PRETTY MUCH HOW IT ALL CAME ABOUT.

TED SIMONS: AND THEY LIKED WHAT THEY SAW, DIDN'T THEY?

KRIS RHYMES: YEAH.

TED SIMONS: AND WHAT THEY ARE LOOKING AT THERE –THIS IS INTRESTING-- IT'S A COLLAGE OF ALBUM COVERS? IS THAT WHAT THAT IS?

KRIS RHYMES: YES.

TED SIMONS: EVERY ARTIST IS FROM OHIO. RIGHT? I MEAN WE ARE TALKING LIKE FROM DEAN MARTIN TO BOOTSY COLLINS- THEY’RE ALL UP THERE SOMEWHERE?

KRIS RHYMES: YES. THE OHIO PLAYERS --

TED SIMONS:SURE.

KRIS RHYMES: BONE THUGS AND HARMONY, KID CUDI, ART TATEM A LOT OF MUSICIANS FROM OHIO AND DIFFERENT PARTS OF THE CITY.

TED SIMONS: WHAT MADE YOU THINK OF MAKING A PIECE OF ART FROM ALBUM COVERS.

KRIS RHYMES: I MEAN IT ALL STARTED WITH MY LOVE FOR MUSIC. I LOVE MUSIC FROM ALL GENRES… AND IT WAS SOMETHING I HAVE BEEN WANTING TO PUT TOEGTHER. I JUST LIKE TO THINK OUTSIDE OF THE BOX. AND NORMALLY WHEN I GO TO RECORD SPOTS LIKE RUCKERS OR IN-GROOVE, I'LL NOTICE CERTAIN ALBUMS THAT WILL HAVE, YOU KNOW, A CREATIVE COVER IN THE FRONT, AND SO LOOKING AT THOSE THINGS I WOULD LIKE TO SEE IT AS A COLLAGE… AND SO WHEN YOU SEE THAT TYPE OF COLLECTION, IT'S MORE OF A NOSTALGIA TO THE EYES, AND SO WHEN YOU SEE IT, IT'S ALSO -- I KNOW, LIKE, COLLECTING ALBUMS IS MORE OF A NOSTALGIA AS WELL, SO IS ART, SO THAT'S WHY I WANTED TO PUT TWO AND TWO TOGETHER.

TED SIMONS: BUT YOU COULD HAVE PUT TOW AND TWO TOGETHER IN A VARIETY OF WAYS…WHY LEBRON JAMES, AND WHY EVERYONE FROM OHIO? OBVIOUSLY HE IS FROM OHIO, BUT, AGAIN, WHY THAT DIRECTION?

KRIS RHYMES: THE REASON I WANTED TO GO THAT DIRECTION IS BECAUSE I KNOW LEBRON JAMES HAS PUT SOMETHING TOGETHER THAT IS VERY SPECIAL, AND THE NAME OF THE PIECE IS KING'S MUSIC, AND THE REASON WHY I DID IT IS BECAUSE, YOU KNOW, GROWING UP, I HAD THE PROPER GUIDANCE, SUPPORT AND WISDOM TO BECOME THE ARTIST I AM TODAY. AND WITH LeBRON, HE NEEDED THE SAME AS WELL, AND WHAT I PUT TOGETHER IS SOMETHING THAT I WOULD LIKE TO SHARE TO THE YOUTH, BECAUSE THERE IS A LOT OF POTENTIAL OUT THERE, YOU KNOW, FOR -- FOR, YOU KNOW, YOUNG KIDS TO BECOME ARTISTS AS WELL.

TED SIMONS: RIGHT.

KRIS RHYMES : SO PUTTING THOSE TWO AND TWO TOGETHER, THAT'S SOMETHING I WANTED TO SHOW AND GIVE.

TED SIMONS: THE REACTION FROM THE KIDS, THAT MUST HAVE BEEN NICE, HUH?

KRIS RHYMES : OH, YEAH. IT WAS AMAZING.

TED SIMONS: YEAH. NOW COULD THIS BE PART OF A LEARNING PROCESS WHILE IT HANGS THERE IN THE SCHOOL?

KRIS RHYMES : YES, DEFINITELY. AND TO HAVE MY PIECE THERE -- BECAUSE THEY LOOK TO HAVE THE STUDENTS DISPLAY THEIR WORK AS WELL, SO JUST TO HAVE MY WORK ON THE WALL TO BE A REMINDER TO KNOW THAT, YES, I CAN DO THAT AS WELL, AND I CAN PUSH MYSELF TO BECOME THE BEST I CAN BE, AND IF IT'S IN THE ARTS, YOU KNOW, WHO KNOWS, YOU KNOW, TEN, 20 YEARS DOWN THE LINE, THERE MAY BE A CHILD THAT IS -- HIM OR HER IS, YOU KNOW, ONE OF THE TOP ARTISTS.

TED SIMONS: SURE. AND THEY WILL ALWAYS REMEMBER THAT THING ON THE WALL WITH LEBRON JAMES. THEY MAY NOT BE ABLE TO PLACE IT BUT THEY WILL REMEMBER IT BEING THERE… HOW LONG WILL IT BE THERE?

KRIS RHYMES : I WOULD SAY FOREVER.

TED SIMONS: SO IT'S NOT JUST THERE FOR A CERTAIN PERIOD OF TIME.

KRIS RHYMES: YES.

TED SIMONS: AND THE SCHOOL REALLY DOES ENJOY IT.

KRIS RHYMES : YES, THE STAFF, THE STUDENTS, AND BEING ABLE TO HAVE THE ENGAGEMENT WITH THE YOUTH AND BEING ABLE TO DO THE GRAND REVEAL AND THEM ABLE TO SEE IT, YOU KNOW, FOR THE FIRST TIME. I MEAN, IT WAS -- IT WAS A GREAT EXPERIENCE.

TED SIMONS: I'LL BET. I'LL BET. NOW YOU ARE A PHOENIX NATIVE.

KRIS RHYMES: YES, BORN AND RAISED.

TED SIMONS: I HAVE HEARD OF THE RHYMES FAMILY.

KRIS RHYMES: YES.

TED SIMONS: HOW DID YOU GET STARTED?

KRIS RHYMES: I MEAN GROWING UP…I USED TO DRAW, AND DO COLORING BOOKS, AND DO IT IN NOTEPADSBUT IT WAS NEVER SOMETHING THAT I TRULY WANTED TO BECOME. LIKE I WAS MORE SO INTO BASKETBALL, OF COURSE. MY JUNIOR AND SENIOR YEAR IN HIGH SCHOOL IS WHEN I REALLY STARTED TO GET MORE INVOLVED WITH THE ARTS, AND I FELL BACK IN LOVE WITH IT, SO GRADUATING FROM HIGH SCHOOL, I WANTED TO ENGAGE AND BE A PART OF IT A LOT MORE, AND SO I BELIEVE IT WAS THE FIRST FRIDAY, I ACTUALLY SOLD A PIECE, AND THAT'S WHEN -- YOU KNOW, I REALLY STARTED TO BE A PART OF IT.

TED SIMONS: THAT MUST HAVE FELT FANTASTIC.

KRIS RHYMES: OH, YES.

TED SIMONS: YOUR FAMILY ARE VERY MUCH INVOLVED IN SPORTS IN THE VALLEY, AND HAVE BEEN FOR QUITE A WHILE. OBVIOUSLY ART GIVES YOU THAT SAME SORT OF PERSONAL SATISFACTION. WHAT IS NEXT FOR YOU, AS FAR AS ART IN YOUR LIFE?

KRIS RHYMES: WHAT’S NEXT FOR ME? I'M LOOKING TO BUILD A SERIES TOGETHER NEXT YEAR. IT'S CALLED "THROUGH THE AGES." IT'S A MICHAEL JACKSON EXPERIENCE. AND I'M PUTTING TOGETHER AN EXHIBITION, AND I WANT IT TO BE ONE OF THE BIGGEST EXHIBITIONS OF ALL, AND I WANT IT TO BE SOMETHING TO REMEMBER AND HAVE A NOSTALGIA BEHIND IT AS WELL. SO IT HAS BEEN A LOT OF WORK. AND IT'S GOING TO BE A PROCESS. IT ALSO COMES WITH A FILM. SO PEOPLE CAN WATCH THE FILM BEFORE THE EXHIBITION BEGINS. SO THAT’S MAINLY WHAT I’M PUTTING TOGETHER.

TED SIMONS: YOU SOUND LIKE A BUSY MAN, KRIS RHYMES, LOCAL ARTIST, CONGRATULATIONS ON THAT PIECE OF WORK AT THE LEBRON JAMES SCHOOL.

KRIS RHYMES : THANK YOU.

TED SIMONS: TUESDAY ON "ARIZONA HORIZON" WE VISIT WITH KEN BURNS ABOUT HIS NEW DOCUMENTARY ON THE HISTORY OF THE MAYO CLINIC. KEN BURNS, TUESDAY ON "ARIZONA HORIZON." THAT IS IT FOR NOW. THANKS FOR JOINING US. I'M TED SIMONS. YOU HAVE A GREAT EVENING. ♪

Phoenix artist Kris Rhymes personally delivered his artwork of LeBron James to James’s I Promise school in Akron, Ohio recently. Rhymes’ piece “Kings Music” is a composition of art made of 12-inch vinyl album covers from Ohio artists that he cut into pieces to create LeBron’s image. Rhymes tells us about his artwork and trip to the I Promise school.

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