All posts tagged: Stevenm P. Harrington

SWOON: The Sanctuary Rises to Its Highest Mission in Braddock, PA

SWOON: The Sanctuary Rises to Its Highest Mission in Braddock, PA

“I’ve faltered, but I haven’t given up,” says Calendonia Curry AKA Swoon. “I believe in it and I hope you do too.”

She is speaking about the much ballyhooed Braddock, Pennsylvania church which she purchased a decade ago and parlayed into an art project, or two. If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again. Now we enter “The Sanctuary”.

Now along with her Heliotrope Foundation the street artist is proposing to convert the church into a sanctuary for persons transitioning from incarceration and programs to assist. She’ll be donating it to Ronna Davis Moore, an originator and shepherd for similar such safe havens, – but first Swoon is making sure there are new windows in the building, and is raising money via Kickstarter.

“The Heliotrope Foundation has rallied our community to fix the roof in a traditional way (no tiles this time), so now the building is secure and dry,” Swoon says, “and our next step is the windows.”

READ MORE about how you can participate in the final delivery of this planned safe haven.

“It’s a specific project in a specific place,” says Swoon, “but I believe that it is a beacon in many ways, and that its success will have a ripple effect, addressing questions like: How do we help people heal so that they no longer make harmful choices? Can participating in an effort to re-enfranchise the black community with land and assets be part of a journey of healing for people who have benefitted from our country’s brutal legacy? Can artists work alongside social workers, activists, and community organizers to create spaces that challenge cycles of intergenerational trauma and create the potential for lasting change?”

Now you can help in this new chapter for Swoon’s Braddock church, which will be called called Donelle’s Safe Haven. The church will join Z’akiyah House, a house Swoon bought and fixed up a few years ago for a similar mission.

Swoon recalls the exchange that took place to finally get to “Yes”.

Swoon says she placed the call to Ms. Davis Moore and asked, “Ronna, if we can get this church building to you with the roof and windows fixed, do you think you could take it from there, and make it into something that continues to serve your mission?” She stresses that Davis Moore took all things into consideration before answering.

“Ronna is no naive visionary like I was, so she didn’t answer right away,” says Swoon. “She looked at the space, she contacted her community, she slept on it – and then her answer came back. ‘I have a vision for what it can be, and if you can get it that far, we can take over the rest.’ ”

Learn more: The Sanctuary is here.


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Images of the Week: 03.03.13

NY weather remains cold/rainy/crappy on the streets still but we actually saw a Street Art tour guide plodding through Williamsburg yesterday pointing out Os Gemeos, El Sol 25, Mr. Toll, and COST paste-ups and telling stories about “beefs” to a handful of cellphone snapping Street Art fans, so Spring must be coming!

By the way, in case you were interested, “The Splasher” identity apparently applies to anyone who splashes paint anywhere today. Remember that dude who was the first “Splasher” and who enlivened many a PBR cocktail party conversation in the late two thousandzies? Remember the outraged manifestos about Street Art years ago – weren’t those wheat-pasted with shards of broken glass? Did he move on to other things? Teaching art therapy? Training sea lions? People magazine should do a “where are they now” story about “The Splasher” right?

Here’s our weekly interview of the street, this week featuring Bast, Blacksheep, Centrifuge, Daan, FRYMS, Hellbent, JM, Joe Iurato, Matthew Deston Burrows, Meer Sau, ND’A, Olek, Saane, Skount, and Young and Sick.

Top image > Joe Iurato (photo © Jaime Rojo)

OLEK (photo © Jaime Rojo)

ND’A (photo © Jaime Rojo)

ND’A (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Meer Sau. “Real World”. Salzburg, Austria. (photo Meer Sau)

A lot of advertisers have used QR codes on the street to guide you to more “content” if you simply scan them off the poster or billboard with your cellphone. That’s exactly where Street Artist Meer Sau hopes to meet people in this new conceptual piece on the street that ponders how everyday life is completely infiltrated by digital, and how it’s winning our attention from the physical. “I often catch myself walking around and just looking at my f-ing smartphone, checking office mails, typing text messages or just seeing what´s new…instead of keeping my eyes open for the real world – the weather, the people around me, nature …  simply everything,” explains Sau.

“But when I raise my eyes I just see everyone else is doing the same thing – especially the youth – Sitting next to each other, not talking to each other, but using Facebook to contact each other. They are hunting “likes” and judging their friends by their popularity on Facebook, Tumblr, Twitter, Instagram and so on. I’m interested in seeing how far this is gonna go. Actually, I don´t wanna know.” – Meer Sau

Young and Sick (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Skount “Empty Salvation” Amsterdam, The Netherlands. (photo © Skount)

Skount with Daaan and Saane. “Masks”. Den Haag, The Netherlads. (photo © Skount)

FRYMS (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Blacksheep (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Bast (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Artist Unknown on the left. JM on the right. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Artist Unknown. Detail. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Matthew Deston Burrows on the center with Hellbent on left and right. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Matthew Deston Burrows (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Untitled. SOHO, NYC. March, 2013. (photo © Jaime Rojo)



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