The Village of Arts and Humanities


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The Village of Arts and Humanities is a place that has a long and rich history of creating space for community-building through the arts. Originally the building housed the Black Humanitarian Center, founded by artist and humanitarian Arthur Hall. Hall brought the power of dance, music, singing and beyond to the community. Twenty years later, artist Lily Yeh continued Hall’s legacy by creating a park around the center that engaged the community. Since then, the center continues to grow and is a true Philadelphia landmark. There seems to be a clear power to this specific location. As a spiritual person, I do believe energy can be connected to a specific place. The incarnations of 2544 Germantown Ave. proves this theory, and continually draws artists and community members together.

The Village has an artist-in-residence program called “SPACES” and is run by the program manager Lillian Dunn. I was lucky enough to get a wonderful tour from Lillian and learn more about the program. They are currently hosting artist Olanrewaju (Lanre) Tejuoso, who I also got to meet. Tejuoso’s work focuses on using waste materials and giving them new life as works of art. His projects involve community members, who can help create the work. I ended up spending some of my time at the center volunteering on his piece. We were creating a garland-like component that was composed of small squares of cut-up cardboard boxes on string. The process was meditative and made me crave my knitting needles, which have been tucked away for months. We sat in a small room and talked about our art, the project, and such. I left feeling rejuvenated and reminded of the power of community art. Sitting together working on a project creates a special energy that we should all experience from time to time. If you are interested in volunteering for this project, please contact Lillian Dunn to learn more.

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The Resource Exchange


 

The Resource Exchange.   (as stated on their website) is:

“nonprofit reuse center dedicated to promoting creative reuse, recycling, and resource conservation by diverting valuable materials from the waste stream and redirecting them to artists, builders, educators, and the general public.”

The store has all kinds of unique items that can get the creative juices flowing. Because the majority of goods are donation you never know what you will find. This could be a great resource for artists, teachers, and more. The Resource Exchange is located at 1701 N. 2nd Street and is always taking donations. Go check them out the next time you are in need of creative tools or inspiration.

 

Fabric Workshop Museum


The Fabric Workshop Museum is located at 1214 Arch Street and showcases works using materials and media to create unique works of art.  The current exhibition, “Ann Hamilton: habitus” melds textile and the written word to show the interconnectedness of these art forms.  The connection between “thread and line” is further explored through a showcase of archives from local Philadelphia museums and  collections.  This peak into the past evokes nostalgia and the theme of our interwoven histories.  Hamilton’s painstakingly intricate work makes the viewer take notice of time and dedication.

 

 

The Continuation of Preeti’s Purpose


It has been quite some time since I have posted on my blog. Of course my life and purpose moved forward, but I stopped documenting moments, experiences, and thoughts about it. I am now back in school and reinvigorated to get back to blogging. For me the goal is to create a personal archive that documents my experiences as a student. I hope to look back on these posts as a resource and a journal. I also hope to inspire others through my words. Thank you for continuing the journey with me!

I started the MFA in Community Practice program at Moore College of Art and Design. The field is an old one that is just recently becoming institutionalized. It goes by many names from community practice to social engagement and a million variations in between. What is means right now to me is the fusion of art and social awareness. The art attempts to go beyond contemplation to action. The author of the work can be comprised of many makers, even ones who never would call themselves an artist. The process explores the spaces surrounding the established definition of art. And through this exploration, community practice artists hope to impact the world around them.

As an activist and artist, this program felt like a destined decision. I first learned of Moore while taking walks on my lunch break as a new Philadelphian in 2006. I worked at 17th and Arch streets at the time and would explore the area with my friend and co-worker, Dianne. I remember the first time I saw the school I thought how amazing it must be to go to an art school right next to museums! This was not something I was accustomed to as a person from Northwestern PA. Little did I know that a decade later I would be attending this school that at gazed at in awe. I am in the second semester of school and loving every moment of it. After 30+ years I am finally studying art at an educational institution; a dream that has finally become a reality.

Preeti’s Poetry: The Space to Begin


 

This is a poem about taking a chance at the possibility of love.  It’s about letting someone in, even if we have been hurt in the past, even if that person doesn’t completely fit our ‘mental checklist’, even if we fear the risk of new beginnings.  It’s dedicated to a very special woman who took a chance and let me in…a woman who now holds my heart.

 

“The Space to Begin”

She engulfs me with desire.

I lay at night counting the minutes until I wake.

When will she be lying next to me?

My eyelids heavy, I will dream of her tonight.

To touch her, to kiss her, it’s all that lives in my mind.

She fears what it could mean to be in love with me.

She stifles her desire, but it can’t be hidden.

So different, yet the same.

I imagine what we could be: a complement to each.

Like the sun and moon…casting light onto her beauty.

Sharing the burden of lighting the skies.

Patience is the virtue I have tested of late.

With only dreams to comfort me.

I save the space in my heart and bed for her.

Hoping to calm her fears of the end, so we can finally begin.

 

—-Preeti Pathak, 6/9/14

Ganou and the Ill Fated Natives Collaborative Performance for International Women’s Day


 

Check out this amazing performance by Ganou and the Ill Fated Natives.  A huge THANK YOU to Global Women’s Strike for hosting the “Women Against Repression & Occupation: Rock, Rap & Speakout vs Poverty, Prisons & War” to celebrate International Women’s Day.

While videotaping the performance I was mesmerized and got lost in distraction…hence the broken up videos.  Ganou’s passionate and soulful voices captivates the listener; paired with the powerful and moving sound of Ill Fated Natives – they gave me chills.  Its always a special treat when you discover unexpected music.  I came to the event to support the Global Women’s Strike movement and enjoy artistic expression.  I left with a song I can’t stop playing…even if through piecemeal videos.

 

 

 

Can’t wait to see them perform again.  Check out their websites to learn more:

Ganou

Ill Fated Natives

The Gorgeous Watkins Glen State Park, NY


 

Glen Watkins Park (27)

For More Photos Visit: facebook.com/preetispurpose

 

If you are looking to visit a breathtaking natural wonder, then Watkins Glen State Park, NY is a must see.  The most famous park in the Finger Lakes region, it is said to leave visitors “spellbound.”  And I can attest that it’s true!

In a last-minute attempt to make the most of the long weekend, I searched online for good places to hike in northeastern U.S.  I came upon a helpful review about Watkins Glen.  I went on to find pictures and was thrilled to see such a beautiful place so close to Philadelphia (approx. 4.5 hrs).  My “on the whim” kind of trip turned out to be one of the best experiences ever.

The park consisted of two major trails; the “Gorge Trail” and the “Indian Trail.”  The former led you to up close views of the gorge, while the latter was a path through the forested area.  Each section was truly unique.  I felt like I couldn’t stop taking pictures!  I needed something to hold as a memory of the inspiration surrounding me.

The park is a moving reminder of the power of nature.  To think of the the thousands of years of erosion that led to the beautiful rock formations gives me chills.  It shows us that nature is the greatest artist of all time.  And though the park was crowded and noisy with tourists, I was able to find peaceful moments to truly get lost in the splendor…a great test of my meditation practice:)

If you’ve been to the park, please share your comments below.  I would love to hear about your experience.  I’ll leave you with some trip planning details:

Details:

Address: Route 14, Watkins Glen, NY 14891

Phone: (607) 535-4511

Website: http://nysparks.com/parks/142

Map: http://nysparks.com/parks/attachments/WatkinsGlenTrailMap.pdf

Tips: Bring cash for the entrance fee, and dress for hiking.  The gorge area is wet and muddy so wear proper shoes!  The area does get crowded with tourists, so try to go during off-peak times.