Ganzeer was both a mirror (he reflected their identities back to them) and a window (he provided them a look into another culture). – Harmony Thompson
As Northeast High School’s art teacher noted, Egyptian artist Ganzeer made a big impact on her students when he visited the school in January 2015. The art work that students created, inspired by the guest artist, came together in an exhibit organized by Al-Bustan staff in coordination with Douglas Witmer who founded the Museum of Art and Peace, located at Germantown Mennonite Church in Northwest Philadelphia.
On June 4, 2015, Al-Bustan arranged for NEHS students, accompanied by art teacher Harmony Thompson and music teacher Jay Fluellen, to visit the Germantown Mennonite Church to see their works on display, alongside six prints by Ganzeer, and 3 photographs of street art from the Church’s recent project This Is Palestine In My Heart (2013).
Spoken-word artist Jacob Winterstein (founder of the pigeon presents: The Philadelphia Poetry Slam) led students in a workshop with a series of group activities that built up to students writing a poem about their artwork and the importance of the theme they selected. Afterwards everyone enjoyed a reception with drinks and snacks, as they shared stories and reflections on their works.
Al-Bustan is grateful to Bryn Mawr College for inviting Ganzeer to Philadelphia and to Douglas Witmer and the Museum of Art and Peace for their collaboration on presenting this project. The exhibit is on view through August 25, 2015, on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays from 9am-4pm, or by appointment with Michelle Bruhn (firstname.lastname@example.org or 215-843-5599).
Jon Michael Martinez
About violence and
How we got stop it because Philly
Is supposedly the city of brotherly love
But every day there’s a different person
covered in blood.
Philly, city of brotherly love but everyday different person
City of brotherly love everyday blood
City of blood