Soulful Expressions

A year of soulful immersion in art, music, dance, photography, and film through nine expressions, each reflecting a unique experience across time and culture.

A fundraising campaign for Olean Meditation Center

SOULFUL EXPRESSIONS

Since our earliest beginnings, human beings have passionately expressed their emotional connection with life in art, music, and dance.

Throughout the last 32,000 years, we have felt compelled to tell our stories on cave walls, in folk tales, and chant and drum them at communal firesides. We have painted their intensity into fine Renaissance masterpieces, intoned them harmonically in Classical Music, and choreographed them in the graceful movement of cultural dance.

While expressing the great diversity of life, art reveals the universal human experience of the joys of romantic love, the pathos of political oppression, betrayal of racial prejudice, alienation of social persecution, and bliss of spiritual connection in meditation.

The Olean Meditation Center has realized from humanity's earliest times, art has served a significant role in expressing and engaging whole communities on the mystical path.  It has also been found that peace and prosperity pervade in a community in which the inner mystical life is enriched. It has always been the mission of the Olean Meditation Center to provide enriching programming to support the inner life of individuals and the Olean community. Soulful Expressions is a step further down that path.

The Olean Meditation Center will present throughout 2020 a remarkable year of full immersion in our rich collective human story as expressed in art, music, and dance. Nine talented and passionate Soulful Expressions will engage audiences and participants in the rich soul work of artists, musicians, and dancers from the global community.


The nine Soulful Expressions featured are:


FACES OF AFRICA 


Elephants Bathing

FACES OF AFRICA is a photography workshop and exhibit of photos taken by Dr. Charles Walker while on a recent trip to South Africa which reveals both the profound natural beauty and vibrant human soul of the continent. Dr. Walker is a Professor Emeritus of  Psychology at St. Bonaventure University. 


African Mask-Making


African Mask-Making, children’s art program with Rene Pye


Rene Pye is a professional artist working in a multitude of areas and media. As a teaching artist, she sells her art in stores, shows, and online. For 16 years she has worked as an artist in residence throughout Chautauqua County specializing in the design and customizing art classes around a variety of ages and curriculum. Her goal is to help students reach their creative potential by building inner strength and confidence with successful art projects.

Since 2010, she has been a teaching artist for Infinity Visual Performing Arts Inc. in Jamestown, NY. She designs art classes appropriate to grade levels and individual groups, teaches in house and satellite locations, custom classes for individual grade levels,  pre-K through adult. Her passion is teaching children to create imaginative art, reflective of the beliefs and traditions of a given culture. For Soulful Expressions, she will be guiding children in making African masks.


“Night Fragrance” 



“Night Fragrance” is a duo consisting of Mimi Jong (erhu and occasional singing) and Barbara Dyskant on piano. The erhu is a traditional Chinese string instrument with a beautiful, expressive, unique sound that can be said at times to resemble the human voice blended with a fine violin. Their repertoire includes traditional Chinese selections, popular Chinese music from the 1930s to 1940s, and modern Chinese material, and include operatic selections from Italy, Brazilian bossa nova, and modern American music, all presented in a manner that blends of modern Western and traditional Chinese sound and texture. Jong is also an architect and was the designer of the Pittsburgh Zen Center.  Dyskant is Julliard-trained and a well respected Olean-area pianist.

 


SCENE FROM THE SALVATION SHOW


Gregory Fisher


Fisher will act a scene from his book, The Salvation Show. As a poignant multi-generational epic based on the lives of some of his own family members, The Salvation Show expresses many of the trials, tribulations, and tragedies experienced in the Pre-Civil Rights South including the role spirituality plays, even if it has a modern twist - all expressed in a passionate, soulful dramatic style.

Fisher is a Buffalo actor, author, and singer.  He has performed to standing ovations in Shea’s 710 Theatre, most recently, in a production, Christmas at Sheas 710.  He is an advocate for racial equality, human harmony, and compassion, creative artistic expression, and is a Roman Catholic attending St. Joseph University Parish, Buffalo.



Mayan people, past & Present


Mayan people, past & Present

Marilyn Anderson will explore Guatemala’s complex history through art which brims ruefully with the tragedies of the country’s tumultuous history. Past conflicts, refugees, mass migration, the environmental situation, and the changing role of Mayan peoples and their traditional belief system are soulfully lamented in Anderson’s photographs and pictures from her many years of work there. Many are in her new bilingual book, Guardians of the Arts:  Prints of  Guatemalan Artists and Artisans.  In addition to Anderson’s photographs and drawings. Pro Arte Mayahttps://www.proartemaya.org/about-marilyn-anderson


Dance Meditation in Sufi Whirling 


Khadija Radin

Dance Meditation in Sufi Whirling with Khadija Radin

The weekend with Khadija will include:

  • A program on Rumi poetry /Storytelling/history,
  • A lecture: “The Placeless Place  ~  Whirling Essentials
  • “The Dance of Stillness and the Stillness of Dance,  Dance as Meditation”

More about Khadija is on her website: http://www.whirling-dervish.org/about.htm

(See Khadija lead a young paralyzed woman to healing through whirling in this Oprah video: http://www.oprah.com/belief/how-rumis-teachings-saved-karen-cavanaghs-life-video



Chant & Drums


Chant & Drumsadults & children program

Rick Schuler explores African-influenced Meditative Hand drumming using various vocal chants and simple percussion rhythms with participants joining in to create a mindful greater sense of well being. His method brings a feeling of peace and relaxation while elevating the senses to a higher level. He has studied percussion with both private lessons and extensive workshops with the renown teachers Jim Donovan and TR McKotch.

Schuler has led seminars and workshops and taught at Infinity Performing Arts in Jamestown, NY, Chautauqua Institution Special Studies classes, LilyDale presenting the basics of the hand drum then teach several chants and rhythms to allow the group to feel first hand the power of Meditative drumming. This will be an all-inclusive event with each participant having a drum. Rattles, shakers, and bells will be available too. It will combine the drum and vocals.

Some of his drumming and chanting are on his websites:   https://www.meetup.com/jamestown-thunder-drum-circle/  and https://www.facebook.com/pg/Jamestown-Thunder-Drum-and-Dance-Circle-176129715738911/posts/

 


CLASSICAL & MODERN INDIAN DANCE


Classical & Modern Indian Dance, performance and class workshops, led by the director of the Dakshina Palli / The School Bharata Natyam For New Audiences, and Gaitrie Devi, founder of Devi Bollywood Dance, Buffalo, NY.

The weekend of Indian Dance will include classic, ancient Bharata Natyam dance, with the fresh, new Bollywood dance. The weekend will offer an opportunity to feel the difference, and experience the beauty of these two very different styles many centuries apart, yet are equally reflective of India’s long spiritual expression in dance.

 


Film Showing: Cave of Forgotten Dreams,


Film Showing: Cave of Forgotten Dreams, a film by Werner Herzog, 1 1/2 hrs., is a documentary of an expedition into the Chauvet Cave, France, where the world’s most ancient pictorial art ever discovered has remained untouched for more than  32,000 years.  The remarkable sophistication and artistic quality of the art have astounded art historians who were further surprised by the rare minerals used in the drawings which were painted without natural light in a cave more than 150 feet deep.


Canisius College Art Professor, Danielle Prince, will introduce the film and discuss the unique artistic features of the extremely sophisticated art in Chauvet Cave.  Prince completed a master’s degree in art history in 2011 with a concentration in architectural history at SUNY Buffalo.  The film will be shown to schools at no cost. 

Paintings at Chauvet Cave, France are the oldest known rock art site in the world, dating about 30,000-32,000 years ago. Over 420 paintings have been documented in Chauvet Cave, including human handprints left by the ancient artist were created with red ochre.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Soulful Expressions

November 26, 2019

The Olean Meditation Center is stepping out on a limb to offer the Olean community a diverse and enriching year-long arts program that celebrates the human experience across time, culture, religion, and ethnic background.  This is a bold and costly step, but it is one we believe will reap great benefits for Olean.

Often those who need enrichment programs such as this one may not feel they can afford it.  With your support, we will offer these nine arts programs to the community at a reduced cost, even providing scholarships.

Every financial gift to SOULFUL EXPRESSIONS, large or small, is taking a stand in supporting our community.  We need you to join us on this mission.  Together we can provide a quality program for our children and community.

This is a goal we believe in and encourage you to join us on this mission.

Thank you for making a donation to SOULFUL EXPRESSIONS!!

SOULFUL EXPRESSIONS

November 8, 2019

The Olean Meditation Center is stepping out on a limb to offer the Olean community a diverse and enriching year-long arts program that celebrates the human experience across time, culture, religion, and ethnic background.  This is a bold and costly step, but it is one we believe will reap great benefits for Olean.

Often those who need enrichment programs such as this one may not feel they can afford it.  With your support, we will offer these nine arts programs to the community at a reduced cost, even providing scholarships.

Every financial gift to SOULFUL EXPRESSIONS, large or small, is taking a stand in supporting our community.  We need you to join us on this mission.  Together we can provide a quality program for our children and community.

This is a goal we believe in and encourage you to join us on this mission.

Thank you for making a donation to SOULFUL EXPRESSIONS!!

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About the Organization

Olean Meditation Center