OASIS IN THE WOODS, An Arts and Wellness Festival

"Art is Business" https://vartsdevelopmentproject.blogspot.com
How will we rebuild our communities to be stronger and recreate sustainable living places? Six artists will answer this question with land-based art installations during a week-long artist residency at Juniper's Garden.

2023 Summer Solstice Oasis in The Woods:
An Art & Wellness Festival
Friday, June 16, 2023, 6-9 pm
https://www.eventbrite.com/e/oasis-in-the-woods-an-arts-wellness-festival-tickets-638393942467

"2023 Summer Solstice: The Land" is a living creative, and cultural experiment with sustainable practice at its center. It incubates the artist's and community's personal and collective transformation.
 
For one week, June 12-16, 2023, artists of diverse disciplines and ages will converge at Juniper's Garden for a week-long residency. Their collective goal is to build generational bridges while working with ideas and materials that emanate from the land to create installations that answer the question, "How we will rebuild our communities to be stronger and recreate sustainable places to live." Importantly, this conversation addresses environmental justice's physical and psychological dimensions and impact. The residency will occur in Maryland's Prince George's County, the Southernmost region, and its remaining rural tier.
 
On Friday, June 16, 2023, 6-9 pm, as part of the 2023 Summer Solstice Oasis in The Woods: An Art & Wellness Festival at Juniper's Garden, the artists will host an open house where they will be present to offer free and open to the public gallery walks. In addition, they will be contributing stories of their experiences with the South County ecosystem and the process by which their installations came together.



HOST: Samaria Marley Brandywine MD
samariamarley@gmail.com



About the Facilitators, Samaria is a farmer, herbalist, and co-owner of Junipers Garden. She has worked in agriculture and food justice in the D.C. metro region for over ten years. Her innovative and visionary approach has helped to usher in accessible models of food access and community-centered care. She developed the first low-cost C.S.A. model, C.R.I.S.P., in DC 2016. Then went on to manage The Farm at Kelly Miller in NE DC for four years. She is also the co-founder of the D.C. Mutual Aid Apothecary, a mutual aid organization that connects people to herbal medicine, education, and community.

She began her herbalism journey in 2015 and has studied with Wild Ginger Herbal Center, Well of Indigenous Wisdom, and the Vermont Center for Integrative Herbalism. She is also a 2022 Braiding Seeds Fellow. Samaria and her partner Blain recently opened Junipers Garden, a small-scale vegetable and medicinal herb farm in Brandywine, MD, whose mission is to provide a space for black and brown people to be on land, reclaim their ancestral healing and farming practices, traditions, and seeds and gain access to valuable knowledge and resources. The farm hosts seasonal events, herbalism workshops, retreats, and natural building workshops.



Curators:
Caryl Henry Alexander, Clinton Maryland
 https://www.carylhenryalexander.com/
For more than 40 years, Caryl Henry Alexander's work has harnessed the power of creative collaboration with multi-generational, multicultural, and interfaith communities to conceive, design, and implement community art projects in diverse public settings around the globe. In the studio, Caryl's work includes painting, printmaking, papermaking, textiles, installations, and sculpture. Her media are traditional and experimental, often incorporating recycled or found objects and natural plant materials. Out in the community, she combines her roles as a visual artist, teaching artist, curator, researcher, lecturer, writer, and social activist to support communities in clarifying their shared goals and turning their ideas into action. Her long-term focus is on culture, environment, and nature. She has exhibited throughout the U.S. and abroad. Her media are traditional and experimental, often incorporating recycled or found objects and natural plant materials.



Alpha Bruton, Chicago Illinois
phantomngallerychicago@gmail.com 
Chief Curator Phantom Gallery Chicago Network, the Phantom Galleries, are temporary exhibitions in nontraditional gallery settings. The mission of the (P.G.C.N.) is to promote the betterment of the visual arts community through the arts, promote personal achievement in striving for excellence and continual growth as an artist, and promote cultural activities in exhibits, workshops; galleries exhibitions; art centers; artists in residence projects. She is the Co-founder of the Visual Arts Development Project (V.A.D.P.), formed in 1996. It is an art service organization - that develops projects as living experiments for sustainable practices and an incubator for personal and collective transformation. Visual Arts Development Project is a community-based art organization that provides children, adults, and emerging artists with resources, workshops, and venues to show and express their art form. https://vartsdevelopmentproject.blogspot.com


Jennifer Andrea "Y.A.Y.A." Porras-   Sacramento California 
 
During her studies and the American Southwest, she was a cultural ambassador, arts educator, and performing artist in China, Mexico, Africa, and Cuba. A multi-talented artist who has received Fellowships from Teatro Campesino, the National Association of Latino Arts and Culture (N.A.L.A.C.), was a youth mentor and video documenter for the Center for African Peace Conflict Resolution. Curator of the International Society of Altar Making artist constructs temporary installations which are curated by master altar makers drawing on personal history: Envisioned to evoke the transformative value of historical and contemporary cultural traditions, M.A.P.'s Gallery uses the power of myth, stories, and imagination to give voice to the universality of cultural traditions.



Gabrielle Gilliam "Gigi"
Gigi is a holistic wellness educator, experienced curator, 200-hour certified vinyasa yoga teacher, social justice advocate, and an eternal student of life. She uses the principles of yoga, mindfulness attitudes, and natural wisdom as catalysts for ease, empowerment, and liberation. With a strong belief that holding space for collective reflection, imagination, and transformation is the key to meaningful change, Gigi regards her work as spiritual activism. Her teaching style honors the beauty and nuance of the human experience while encouraging individual power and curiosity along the way.

"Pause Portal" wellness installation is a Place for Collective Reflection, Imagination, and Transformation.




Chantel Bennett https://www.linkedin.com/in/chantelbennett/
Chantel (she/her) is a Caribbean-American multidisciplinary artist and spiritual diviner. 
She has yet to find a medium she won't try at least once and often cycles through periods of focusing on one or three mediums more than others. She is currently focusing on fiber arts and Collage. After learning how to knit through TikTok and YouTube University, she is working on replacing her storebought sweaters and knitwear with clothes she knit or crocheted. She learned how to crochet from her mother at a young age and often has at least two fiber projects going at once. In addition, she uses collages for emotional expression and has led therapeutic art journaling and collaging sessions for over 7 years. After completing her Master's in Social Work at the University of Maryland, Baltimore, in May 2023, she plans to become an art therapist and incorporate creative self-expression into her therapy practice.

Cultural Equity Statement
The Phantom Gallery Chicago and its network of artists and art organizations believe cultural equity embodies the values, policies, and practices that ensure that all people—including but not limited to those who have been historically underrepresented based on race/ethnicity, age, disability, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, socioeconomic status, geography, citizenship status, or religion—are represented in the development of arts policy; the support of artists; the nurturing of accessible, thriving venues for expression; and the fair distribution of programmatic, financial, and informational resources.

Phantom Gallery Chicago promotes the betterment of the visual arts community through cultural activities in exhibits, workshops; gallery exhibitions; art centers; artist in residence projects and promotes personal achievement in striving for excellence and continual growth as an artist. As a BIPOC-led group, our curatorial practice works with mainstream artists and alongside diverse artists from varied backgrounds and practitioners. 

Sponsored in Part by: 

 



    




Oasis In The Woods: An Arts & Wellness Festival

"Art is Business"



Oasis In The Woods: An Arts & Wellness Festival is an immersive intergenerational experience where art and nature intertwine to bring beautiful and thought-provoking nature-based art installations, wellness experiences, and more.

Eight Black and Indigenous artists-healers from DC, PG County, Mendocino, and Sacramento, California,  New Mexico, New York, and Chicago, Illinois, will reside at Junipers Garden for the week leading up to the festival. During their residency, they will build nature-based art installations and wellness experiences inspired by nature, the land, and the vision of creating a more just and sustainable ecosystem in the face of climate change.

The culmination of the residency will be a two-day festival where guests will have the opportunity to experience these art installations and wellness experiences, contribute to the land through community art projects, and enjoy good food, live music, and community.

Event Schedule
Artist Reception- Friday, June 16th, 6–9 pm
Art & Wellness Festival- Saturday, June 17th 1-9 PM

Day 1 (6–9 pm)
On Friday, June 16th, join the artists for an Artist Reception, Gallery Walk, and Artist Panel. During this evening on the land, you will get the opportunity to meet the artists, hear the stories and inspiration behind their work, and experience the installations.

Food: Pre Order Pizzas for Friday Evening Only
Margherita (Cheese Lovers) San marzano tomato and garlic sauce, mozzarella, arugula

The First Feast (Meat Lovers) is a summer meat lover's pizza with chicken, mozzarella, fresh onions, greens, and tomato sauce.

The Eternal Veggie (vegan or with cheese) Caramelized onions, garlic, pan-seared mushrooms, greens, tomato sauce, and mozzarella. Serving size 1-4 people. 12-inch pizza, 8 slices

Day 2 (1–9 pm)
Come celebrate the summer solstice on Saturday, June 17th, with a day-long festival experience. This family-friendly event will allow guests to walk the trails, experience the artist installations, participate in community art projects, pause and rest, and celebrate the beauty of nature and community.

On the evening of June 17th, enjoy live music, DJ/Dance party, and a Bon Fire. Camping is also available on-site.

Liminal Grace will be hosting The Pause Portal on Saturday (1–5 pm)

The Pause Portal is a space of presence, reflection, and rest. Step into this liminal space for a mind, body, and soul reset. Then, before walking through the art installations, pause with Gigi at 1:30 pm and 3:30 pm for a yoga nidra (yogic sleep) that will prepare you for your walk. The yoga nidra sessions are meditative experiences that can be done lying down or sitting in a chair. Cushions, blankets, chairs, and more will be provided in the portal.

Food Vendors (2–5 pm)
Green Things Work will be selling vegetarian and vegan food options on Saturday.

Live Music (5–7 pm)
Enjoy live music from the DC-based music collective Too Much Talent Band, with one purpose, Make Good Music.

Bon Fire & Dance Party (6–9 pm)
Celebrate the summer solstice with a huge bonfire, great music, and dancing...

This festival is hosted by  Aunt Caryl Art and Herbs, Junipers Garden, Liminal Grace, and Phantom Gallery Chicago Network.

About The Artists

Caryl Henry Alexander


For more than 40 years, Caryl Henry Alexander's work has harnessed the power of creative collaboration with multi-generational, multicultural, and interfaith communities to conceive, design, and implement community art projects in diverse public settings around the globe. In the studio, Caryl's work includes painting, printmaking, papermaking, textiles, installations, and sculpture. Her media are both traditional and experimental, often incorporating recycled or found objects and natural plant materials. Out in the community, she combines her roles as a visual artist, teaching artist, curator, researcher, lecturer, writer, and social activist to support communities in clarifying their shared goals and turning their ideas into action. Her long-term focus is on culture, environment, and nature. She has exhibited throughout the US and abroad. Her media are both traditional and experimental, often incorporating recycled or found objects and natural plant materials.

Alpha Bruton
Alpha Bruton, 2013 in a garden in German

Chief Curator Phantom Gallery Chicago Network, The Phantom Galleries, are temporary exhibitions in nontraditional gallery settings. The mission of the (PGCN) is to promote the betterment of the visual arts community through the arts, promote personal achievement in striving for excellence and continual growth as an artist, and promote cultural activities in exhibits, workshops; galleries exhibitions; art centers; artists in residence projects. In addition, she is the Co-founder of the Visual Arts Development Project (VADP), formed in 1996; it is an art service organization - that develops projects as living experiments for sustainable practices and an incubator for personal and collective transformation. Visual Arts Development Project is a community-based art organization that provides children, adults, and emerging artists with resources, workshops, and a venue to show and express their art form.

Jennifer Andrea "YaYa" Porres

 During her studies and the American South West, she was a cultural ambassador, arts educator, and performing artist in China, Mexico, Africa, and Cuba. A multi-talented artist who has received Fellowships from Teatro Campesino, the National Association of Latino Arts and Culture (NALAC), was a youth mentor and video documenter for the Center for African Peace Conflict Resolution. Curator of the International Society of Altar Making artist constructs temporary installations which are curated by master altar makers drawing on personal history: Envisioned to evoke the transformative value of historical and contemporary cultural traditions, MAP's Gallery uses the power of myth, stories, and imagination to give voice to the universality of cultural traditions. Holds a B.A. in Theater/Dance Arts from CSU- Sacramento.




Samaria is a musician, farmer, and herbalist. Her music and art are inspired by her relationship with nature and her experience as an adoptee and healer. Samaria's music blends traditional folk with afro-beat, R&B, and hip-hop elements. Most recently, she has been exploring the history, music, and construction of the Banjo. As an herbalist, she works to reconnect her community to traditional ways of healing.

Gigi


Gigi is a 200-hr certified yoga instructor and eternal student of life. In 2021, she founded Liminal Grace to help folks navigate life with mindfulness, confidence, and ease. Gigi's teaching reflects these intentions by honoring the nuances and complexities of the human experience while encouraging individual power and curiosity along the way. Liminal Grace offers live yoga and meditation sessions, corporate wellness programming and retreats, educational mindfulness courses, and hosts mindfulness events and retreats.



Chantel (she/her) is a Caribbean-American multidisciplinary artist and spiritual diviner. She has yet to find a medium she won't try at least once and often cycles through periods of focusing on one or three mediums more than others. She is currently focusing on fiber arts and collage. After learning how to knit through TikTok and YouTube University, she is working on replacing her storebought sweaters and knitwear with clothes she knit or crocheted. She learned how to crochet from her mother at a young age and often has at least two fiber projects going at once. In addition, she uses collages for emotional expression and has led therapeutic art journaling and collaging sessions for over 7 years. After completing her Master's in Social Work at the University of Maryland, Baltimore, in May 2023, she plans to become an art therapist and incorporate creative self-expression into her therapy practice.

Three Walls/Rad Lab fellowship Congratulations to Kiela Smith

"Art is Business" https://three-walls.org/artists/kiela-smith/.

This project will center on artist-led collaboration, formal and informal action research, and place-keeping activations.

 Hello, friend or lover of arts, culture & community, Please share the attached flyer and web link.

It is a survey conducted during May 2023 about the space needs of South Side Chicago artists and creatives. Whatever way you feel comfortable sharing is appreciated. The survey will continue research for my Three Walls/Rad Lab fellowship. 

https://three-walls.org/programs/rad-lab/

The survey flyer with the QR code is attached & here is a direct link to the survey also:

https://forms.gle/xqALQrMLJ8nQdjbG6

Philosophy

Neighborhood: Greater South Shore
Racial Justice Issue: Self-Determination & Gentrification

This project will center on artist-led collaboration, formal and informal action research, and place-keeping activations. The focus will be to study the feasibility of developing a permanent work/live space cooperatively owned by artists of all abilities. It will also include capacity building about shared ownership.

BIO

Kiela is a lifelong Chicagoan with a BFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and 30 years of professional arts experience teaching, consulting, planning, and creating collaborative community-based mural projects. Kiela's leadership in conceptualizing, designing, and creating art with the community was also seeded by her family legacy of licensed architects/designers and civil rights activist parents. Her desire to collaborate with and empower other artists and the non-artist community about the power of art and the importance of art spaces has fueled her engagement around artist ownership and community peacekeeping concepts.

ABOUT
RaD Lab+Outside the Walls Fellowship supports ALAANA (African, Latinx, Asian, Arab, and Native American) artists and creatives who use radical imagination to practice a racially just society. The fellows will demonstrate alternative ways toward racial equity through the lens of radical vision and social justice.

We will support a combination of project grants at $40K annually for research, implementation, and continuation. Artists have challenges receiving funds at all stages of their projects, and being able to fund at least two phases will invest in the artist and the idea. With this understanding, the program will offer multi-year grants. Additionally, artists rarely get the opportunity, time, space, and financial resources to put their imaginations of justice into the world. The fellowship will help expand the funding landscape and distribute the funds to the most vulnerable community—ALAANA individuals.

The program is divided into RaD Lab (research and development) and Outside the Walls. During the RaD Lab year, the fellows spend a year researching, developing, and testing their project for Outside the Walls. Over this time, each awardee will present their idea to their communities/neighbors, stakeholders, and the interested public every quarter.

Outside the Walls is our presentation model that presents convenings, workshops, exhibitions, and installations in Chicago neighborhoods developed through RaD Lab. The art or research form will be installed in spaces that do not typically host art exhibitions and are easily accessible. In addition, outside the Walls features programming led by artists and their neighbors to support the exhibitions and the engagement cultivated during RaD Lab.

With both parts, Threewalls assists with public engagements by brainstorming different ways to present to the public, logistics (securing space, communicating with various groups), and documentation. Threewalls collaborates with the fellows throughout the process and conducts quarterly check-ins to help solve problems and ensure they progress on their projects.