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Go See The Village of Arts and Humanities’ First SPACES Exhibition Before It Closes Next Week

February 1, 2017

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If you’ve never been to Philly’s Village of Arts and Humanities, you are missing OUT… I really can’t emphasis this enough, I freaking LOVE this place!

On the outside, The Village of Arts and Humanities offers a brilliant array of 15 art parks and gardens in the mold of Detroit’s Heidelberg Project (see some photos I took of The Heidelberg Project in 2015 here.) On the inside, The Village offers the people in the North Philly neighborhoods that surrounds it a space to read, dance, sing, make music, and explore their creativity.

“Our mission is to amplify the voices and aspirations of the community by providing opportunities for artistic expression and personal success that engage youth and their families, revitalize physical space and preserve black heritage. We value the power of creativity as our most powerful and effective tool for catalyzing healthy and sustainable change—with, for and as neighbors to our community.”The Village of Arts and Humanities

One of my favorite things about The Village is their new SPACES program, an artist in residence program that promotes collaboration between international artists and North Philadelphia residents. The first iteration of which has brought us Olanrewaju Tejuoso’s incredible Material Memory exhibition!

Olanrewaju (aka Lanre) is a painter, sculptor, and performance artist from Abeokuta, Nigeria who works in discarded materials. When he arrived in North Philly, Lanre surveyed the streets for materials and inspiration. He often came across candles, bottles, and teddy bears — the remnants of temporary memorials created by community members grieving a death in the neighborhood. In conversation with Village staff and community members, Lanre decided to respond to the community’s need to remember its loved ones through art.

For clarity’s sake: All of the photos in this post that are indoors are of Olanrewaju Tejuoso’s Material Memory exhibition. The outdoor photos show work that’s there year-round.

If you’d like to see Lanre’s work in person, you’re in luck. Because of its great reception, Material Memory, which was originally slated to close on January 30th, will now be extended one week and have a Closing Celebration on Tuesday, February 7th. All the details of which can be found here!

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