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Friday, April 6, 2012

Extraordinary Rich Altar Art Regarding Harriet Tubman

This week I'd like to share with you some photos from Stephanie Alston-Nero's work. She is an altar artist, performing poet, and shamanic healer.  Her performance installation piece was included in "Women's Work: A Celebration of Poetry and Visual Art" which was held at Iona College Council on the Arts in New Rochelle, NY. At first  I was drawn into the visual and spiritual elements of it.   There was a booth with large and small collages and altars made to Harriet Tubman, and icons of suffering and transformation.

A basket of quotations about Tubman's activism hung beside the booth.  Instructions were provided to read a quote from the basket and ring a small bell when done.

Here are some pictures from  inside the booth!

Prior to the performance, Stephanie handed out some of the quotes.  Then she drummed which drew us together from around the gallery over to the booth.  The drumming was electrifying.  She then asked those of us holding the quotations to read them aloud.  The readings brought Tubman's presence alive in the community of gathered and uplifted her heroism.  It was truly enriching and engaging work.

Stephanie exposed us to a profound history of Tubman's transformative work through visual richness that still resonates with me.  The exhibit is over now but you can see more about Stephanie's work at