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Art + History + Engagement Workshop Series: Deconstructing History/Re-Constructing Memory: Explosion Notebooks & Collage Art with Artist Ife Nii Owoo

Saturday, February 11, 2017 from 10am to 1pm
at Concord School House & Upper Burying Ground

Artist, Ife Nii Owoo, returns for a second Art + History + Engagement workshop. Her first workshop in the series went "behind closed doors" to reveal hidden truths of Germantown history. The upcoming workshop, held in Concord School House, will explore the volatile topics of segregation, integration and education reform in Philadelphia public schools, past and present. After a demonstration of two basic notebook structures - pocket and explosion - participants will make original books and book covers using collage applications. Attendees will write personal notes and memorable quotes on assorted post-its and craft paper to color book creations with pieces of national, local and family history. This collection of moments is designed to explode in a "pop-up" scrapbook or ticking time capsule of powerful words, poems and lessons learned. Th is workshop offers a fresh spin on self-publication and innovative bookmaking techniques for writers, literary artists and other creatives interested in new ways of presenting their work. No previous art experience required. Ife Nii Owoo's collaborating historian in Dr. Abigail Perkiss.

Ife Nii Owoo is a visual collage artist and graphic designer who lives in Germantown. She has received several public art commissions including The President's House Commemorative Memorial Site, Independence National Historical Park and the Free Library of Philadelphia’s Community Portraits in 2014. She is a recipient of a Leeway Foundation Change Award and the author of the children’s book A is for Africa. In her paintings, collages, and mixed- media works, Nii Owoo draws upon her deep knowledge of African visual traditions and freely mixes her personal experience with communal stories and symbolism. Ife collaborates with historian Abigail Perkiss.

Abigail Perkiss, Assistant Professor of History at Kean University, is broadly trained in U.S. history, twentieth-century urban culture, African American history, oral history, and legal history. Her research centers on the history of race, ethnicity, and urban identity in post-WWII American cities, and has been guided by questions of identity creation, community cohesion, and historical memory.

#HGElephants is the official hashtag for the Elephants on the Avenue - Race, Class and Community in Historic Germantown project.

Elephants on the Avenue has been supported by The Pew Center for Arts and Heritage.


Art + History + Engagement: Workshop Series
Join Historic Germantown on a 2-year exploration of RACE, CLASS & COMMUNITY with noted artists and historians in freedom's backyard.

Historic Germantown's ELEPHANTS ON THE AVENUE will offer several free special events and artist-led workshops exploring themes of race and class in Germantown. All public engagement activities and original works by artists will be informed by the research of leading historians in the field and the narratives of HG member sites. Community members are invited to join the dialogue and share past and present-day stories that continue to shape the German Township and Philadelphia's diverse history and culture.

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