By Lauren Schiavone
Hometown Weekly Staff
Members of the community sought healing at Medfield’s Bellforge Arts Center on Friday evening, July 15, and Saturday, July 16, for “Expression + Connection”.
The event featured multimodal artworks and installations that invited the public into the space for exploration and conversation.
The repurposed chapel was the hub of creation for the weekend. Art in varying styles, submitted by over eighty artists, was projected on the stage and against the chapel wall. As visitors admired and poured over feelings, haunting violin notes — from the instrument of Sylvia DiCrescentis — echoed off the walls. The violinist left an impression on everyone as they made their way to look at the featured artwork. As an added immersion art piece, a table with instructions and help on how to create origami butterflies was propped in the center of the chapel. An assistant encouraged community members to write their feelings and fold them into butterflies. They also were urged to hang the origami along the perimeter of the chapel. Before long, the area blossomed into a healing garden.
Spoken word poet La Poetica expressed her soaring inspiration and passion with her voice. Michelle La Poetica focused on the here and now, while acknowledging and growing with the past and future.“This is how we heal. This is how we survive,” she stated. She encouraged members of the community to keep artistic spaces in the forefront of their minds as we collectively build ourselves up again.
Director of Development Renana Kehoe at the Bellforge aimed to take the strong responses and feelings surrounding current events and turn them into a way to connect through art. “This is a community exhibit in response to everything going on the past couple weeks,” she explained. “Here at the Bellforge, we talk about how the arts give you time to process and heal. I was trying to think of a project to help everyone. I was thinking about how we could create a project that is inclusive and truly accessible to anyone.”
With a two-day weekend event, the Bellforge made plentiful space for everyone to collaborate.
The Bellforge has events centering on theatre, music, dance, and more throughout the summer. Visit www.bellforge.org for further information.