Longfellow Community Council is hosting Solace at the Palace, a day of community art, healing and resilience in the heart of the Longfellow neighborhood. Community members can enjoy a free day of creating art with six workshops featuring things like printmaking, fabric collage, leather working and more. There will be 20 vendors selling artwork and three musical performances throughout the day, as well as special art activities for kids. Solace at the Palace is June 11 from 12 to 6 p.m. in the yard of Moon Palace Books.
With so many amazing artists participating in this event, we wanted to highlight three visual artists and one musician who shared their reflections on the meaning and power of community.
Find more information on Solace at the Palace on our website, longfellow.org.
Meet artist and vendor Sheena Vang (she/her), the artist of Pabgha (bah-kha)
Sheena is passionate about creating bubbly, colorful, and whimsical art to bring a tint of happiness.
Why is working in the Twin Cities important to you?
The Twin Cities, or Minnesota in general, hold a special place in my heart. My parents immigrated here as refugees, and I'm forever grateful for the resources and support the community has provided.
I love how supportive the Twin Cities are when it comes to art. There's a poignant stance to preserving, yet Minnesota artists continue to evolve art. It's refreshing. Thus why, I'm grateful to be part of this amazing community.
As for me, the culture and practice of what Minnesotans do has influenced my artist way. Most of them are kind, polite, experience perseverance through crappy winter, yet truly know how to enjoy great weather.
What does community mean to you?
There's a saying that the kitchen is the place where people are happy because food always brings people together. For art, the way we see the world and sharing that is a connection with one another. I create art and connect with others because I want others to feel the subtle joy in their everyday and hardship life.
Ricardo Perez (he/him) is a Twin Cities-based artist born and raised in Mexico
How does environment/ community shape your work?
I live in Richfield and work in Minneapolis. As a Latinx immigrant, being able to find the diversity and vibrancy of Minneapolis was very special, it is like a piece of home here in Minnesota. The sounds, smells, and people feed my soul; almost like breathing fresh air, and lets me keep going on my identity journey.
I lived my adolescent years in Mexico city, and fell in love with the beauty created by the chaos of the city and the connections between the mystical indigenous past and its anarchic present; my identity started shaping up in between," said Ricardo. "I am a self taught mixed media artist. Love watercolor and ink. I have a robust body of work that goes back more than 15 years. More recently I have done murals that serve as place keeping strategies to engage with community about where they live.
What does community mean to you? How do you see the connection between art and healing?
On a personal level, art has been a healing element of my person since I was a young child. When I do art, it allows me to focus on my feelings and on the present moment. I approach it as a ritual, I need to have several elements for the moment to be right, the 4 elements need to be present. I respect art as a spiritual part of me, and I am still discovering where this journey is taking me.
Fabric journal, atelier mamako
atelier mamako is a creative studio co-founded by Jacques Elate Joss and Carmen Elate, lifelong partners, educators and artists. Jacques is a Cameroon-born DJ, poet, and visual artist. Carmen is a book artist and textile designer. Jacques and Carmen will be leading community members in a fabric book collage and patch making workshop.
Why is working/ living here important to you?
We live in the Seward neighborhood in south Minneapolis between the Greenway and Mathews Park.
We enjoy being part of our community in many different ways. Walking in our neighborhood is an important part of our creative process: from walking or biking near the Mississippi, to enjoying street art under bridges, and poems on the sidewalks. We also consider the outdoors to be our studio and a place of inspiration.
We make collages with eclectic and colorful pieces of fabric. It gives us joy to reuse and repurpose old items into new work. We integrate scraps from many different sizes, patterns, cultures, and textures into our projects. We enjoy watching the conversation of colors and patterns unfold as the work progresses. We are inspired by our experiences that are related to our journey.
What does community mean to you?
Community is a sense of belonging and sharing experiences together. Art allows us to connect with our intuition, work with emotions, and experience the power of color and patterns. Art can bring the fun and joy of making something with your hands.
What do you like most about workshops/ making art with others? What do you hope people get out of your workshop?
We enjoy working with people and seeing how they play with the material and how they express themselves. There is beauty in seeing the variety of voices and responses to the process. We hope participants experience a sense of play and joy.
We are humbled by the opportunity to be making art outdoors with our community.
Caroylne Naomi was born and raised in Lagos, Nigeria and began writing music lyrics and singing at nine years old. She will be performing during Solace at the Palace.
“I picked up the guitar during my undergrad and have been performing at a number of venues in Nigeria and then the U.S. when I moved here in 2014. My music is a mix of Afrobeats, Rhythm and Blues, Gospel, Reggae and Pop music. Quite a number of music artists have influenced my sound because I grew up listening to a variety of genres and artists.However, two of them were instrumental in my decision to pursue music and they are: Asa (Nigerian-French singer and guitarist), and Brandy Norwood.
I live in Apple Valley and have always loved living in the south metro. The environment I live in is very important because this is the space I come home to after a busy work day, and so a quiet neighborhood with less traffic works best for my mental state and provides the peace needed in order to focus on my creativity better. As much as I used to live in the big hustle-bustle city of Lagos, Nigeria, I have a great appreciation now for small and laid back neighborhoods.
Community is valuable and it provides a sense of togetherness and identity. I try to connect with others through music and dance events, roller skating locations and events, festivals, birthdays and outings, etc. Art and music play important roles in influencing our communities, hence it is important that we use these tools positively.
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