Name: Wayne Manns
Hometown: Atlantic City, New Jersey
Age You First Fell in Love: I first fell in love when I was one years old with my mother, it was love at first suckle and my Grandma Pudding, but if you mean in the romantic sense, I was thirteen.
Love Is: Love is giving.
I also met artist Wayne Manns in Jackson Square, he was dancing to the brass band and selling his art. As we talked, he pulled a sketchbook out of his bag and began to draw me as we spoke. He’d just come back to America from studying art in Brazil and Cuba before that. I asked him what Cuba was like, as I’ve always been interested in Cuban history. We talked a bit about the African influence on Cuban art and music. When I asked him his definition of love, he burst out into a stream of conscience, speaking fluidly as he continued to sketch me:
“I love my Grandma Pudding, I painted her, her portrait is over there (he points to a framed painting sitting against a wall). I always thought love was about getting, I learned this last week (he smirks as he looks up from his sketch) that love is about giving energy, time, talent. My music and my paintings are all about love, love of black folks. Invisible Man made me fall in love. Coltrane’s My Favorite Thing makes me think of love. I’ve learned to not follow love, but to follow my heart, to not take any hostages. Love is making sure that I learn as much as I teach.”