who is this woman?

June 30, 2009


You can’t miss her.

Positioned close to the front entrance of the Blockson Collection this larger-than-life bust is a definite attention grabber. Her deep set eyes seem to stare back and you, her chiseled high cheekbones and full lips were meant to be displayed.

I wish I could share the story of the inspiration behind this work of art and the artist who created it, but no one has any idea where she came from.

Since the bust was donated to the Blockston Collection her origins have been a mystery.

In addition to rare books on African and African American studies, other less mysterious pieces of art like a 20th century drum from the Baga people of Guinea and and an oil painting of Angela Davis, are displayed throughout the library making the Blockson Collection an ideal stop for art gazing.

Every piece in the collection is fascinating but I am personally drawn to this bust. So much so that I plan to get to the bottom of this mystery and find out just where this woman came from. Stay tuned.

– Jazmyn Burton

Ladies of Hip-Hop 2009

Ladies of Hip-Hop 2009

The 6th annual Ladies of Hip-Hop festival will take place on Temple’s campus Friday, Aug. 7 – 9.

Created by Montazh Performing Arts Company director, Michele Byrd-McPhee, “The Ladies of Hip-Hop Festival” is a celebratory and educational festival of women in Hip-Hop culture.

Traditionally, men have dominated all facets of the hip-hop scene, but Ladies of Hip-Hop reverses this tradition and puts women center stage for the entire event. This year’s event will include classes, conversation, dance workshops and an evening of live performance.

Visit http://www.ladiesofhiphopfestival.com for more information.

– Jazmyn Burton

Jazz lecturer Tom Lawton

Jazz lecturer Tom Lawton

Boyer faculty to create original composisition to commemorate PSC’s 60th anniversary

Philadelphia Senior Center (PSC) awarded a grant through the American Composers Forum Community Partners Program to jazz pianist Tom Lawton to create a new composition to celebrate PSC’s 60th anniversary.

To inspire his composition, Lawton, who is currenlty a jazz instructor in the Boyer College of Music and Dance, will interview Philadelphia seniors to learn about the music that has shaped their lives – not just jazz, but Gospel, Blues, R&B, Classical, and Soul. Through learning what music has been influential in seniors’ lives, Lawton will create a piece that reflects and incorporates these interests and tastes.

He will record and perform his final creation during two concerts in September and October 2009.

-Jazmyn Burton

These kids can play

June 19, 2009

MusicprepNeed something to do this weekend? Want to hear some talented young people make music? Check out Temple Music Prep’s student recital at Temple University Center City (1515 Market St., Philadelphia) this Saturday, June 20, at 3 p.m. in room 222. Performers, some of whom are as young as 9 years old, include students of Temple Music Prep’s individual lesson faculty.

(Note: The previously scheduled adult recital earlier that day has been cancelled.)

Temple Music Prep offers individual lessons in most orchestral instruments, piano, voice and guitar for children and adults. Some spots are still available during the summer session beginning July 6. Other offerings throughout the school year include music classes for children (starting as newborns), dance classes for children and classes for adults on subjects ranging from learning to sing to learning how to repair instruments. New this year is a class that will teach students how to conduct a choir, with no prior experience required.

– Hillel Hoffman

Art in the stacks

June 19, 2009

paley_towerYou don’t have to go far to find art on campus. Paley Library has a wonderful collection of ongoing exhibits throughout the summer. Here are a list of the latest displays:

  • Odyssey by local artist Meri Adelman – a collection of watercolor painting based on scenes from the Odyssey. Located on Paley First Floor
  • Prints from the Tyler School Print Study Collection – a beautiful selection of prints formerly housed at the Tyler Elkins Park library, now part of University Libraries Special Collections Department, Paley First Floor and Mezzanine

Coming soon …
Art in the Archives – a selection of images from the Urban Archives’ Philadelphia Evening Bulletin collection related to art production and consumption. Paley Ground Floor

-Jazmyn Burton

Art imitates life

June 19, 2009

Kimmika Williams-Witherspoon, associate professor of theater, was so inspired by the stories she heard while documenting the urban history of North Philadelphia that she decided to use the material for a stage production.

She’s currently putting the finishing touches on her new play Shot; a story inspired by the lives of residents in the Fairhill section of North Philadelphia.

Shot follows the lives of African-American families from the 60s to present day and touches on issues of race, class and gender from the perspective of local community members.

Her new work is slated to open the fall 2009 season of Temple Theaters.

Soweto, Johannesburg (Ismail Farouk)

Soweto, Johannesburg (Ismail Farouk)

The good people at Tyler’s Exhibitions and Public Programs have launched an online exhibit called “The World in My Street: New Urban Imaginaries.” The web site represents the first stage in a multi-year artistic project that engages “the rapidly evolving social, cultural and political transactions of cities affected by globalization.” To do that, 16 artists are re-imagining their own cities. The first phase presents utopian proposals (or “new urban imaginaries”) for five cities: Bangalore, Delhi and Mumbai in India; and Durban and Johannesburg in South Africa.