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about leeway

Support for individual artists is at the core of Leeway’s mission. The Foundation serves as an important resource for women and transgender artists who often struggle to find funding for their work and hopes to grow the way its resources support social change through supporting art and culture. Our grant programs, the Art and Change Grant and the Leeway Transformation Award, are open to women and transgender artists living in the Philadelphia region working in any medium of art, including traditional and non-traditional as well as multimedia and experimental forms. Creating change must be integral to the ideas, beliefs, and goals that are woven throughout the work and the process of creating and sharing the work. For more information please visit www.leeway.org or call 215. 545. 4078.

cover image: Multi Head, 2010, mixed media, Jerrell McGill Image below: Portrait of Joshua Harper, 2010, mixed media, Joshua Harper

Contact Information: The Philadelphia Building 1315 Walnut Street Suite 832 Philadelphia, PA 19107 p 215. 545. 4078 f 215. 545. 4021 e info@leeway.org


OASIS arts and education is Philadelphia-based organization that offers classes and workshops to adults and children who often find themselves marginalized as a result of mental illness and/or retardation. Through creative interactions, students are given opportunities to realize their full creative potential, improve their quality of life, and gain life skills. (For more information visit www.oasisartcenter.org.)

A Fertile Ground presents examples of the variety of styles, mediums and techniques being explored in the Oasis studio. We chose the title as a way of articulating the kind of safe space -- creative haven and sanctuary, if you will -- the instructors, guest artists and participants have made of this place. The 24 artists in this show vary in experience from those whose work is being exhibited for the first time, to very seasoned practitioners including Oasis staff members (and Leeway grantees) Melissa Ezelle (ACG ‘07) and Stacey Robinson (ACG ‘09). It is our hope this exhibit gives you some flavor of the joy and excitement we felt when seeing this work for the first time, and that you will share our deep appreciation of those that have built and nurtured this fertile ground.

A Fertile Ground is open from July 6 to August 31, 2011 • Opening Reception: Thursday July 14 from 5:00-7:00pm. • Gallery Hours (by appointment): Mondays through Fridays 10:00am-4:00pm.

about the exhibit

o·a·sis noun  /ō’āsis/  oases, plural 1. A fertile spot in a desert where water is found 2. A pleasant or peaceful area or period in the midst of a difficult, troubled, or hectic place or situation haven: a shelter serving as a place of safety or sanctuary


the artists

Alonzo Humphrey

Angie Dilworth

Arielle Mabsoute

Alonzo was born in Chattanooga, Tennessee, and has lived in Philadelphia since 1980. Alonzo has been attending Oasis since 2006. Drawing since he was six, he says that when he makes art, he feels better about himself, and that it is important to him and keeps him humble. Alonzo enjoys attending Oasis, because of the sense of community. “I feel like I belong when I’m there.”

Angie has been attending Oasis since 2000. She lives at the Philadelphia Resources for Human Development program Residential Services Systems. In 2009, Angie participated in the Tree of Life art installation as part of the Oasis Group Show at St. Asaph’s Gallery in Bala Cynwyd, PA. Her work was also on display in the Cre-

Arielle has been attending Oasis since 2009, and was involved with the Self As Animal collaborative Artist-inResidency project with artist Elisabeth Nickles in 2009. Arielle also showed her work at the Wayne Art Fair in 2010 and the recent Animalz art exhibit at the Tompkins Square Library in New York City.

ative Correspondence

art exhibit at Philadelphia’s Magic Gardens in 2010.


Crystal Bates

Ellen Wasko

Carole has been attending Oasis since 2000. She lives at the Resources for Human Development program Residential Services Systems. In 2009, Carole participated in the Self As Animal artistin-residency workshop and subsequent exhibit, held at the Asian Arts Initiative in Philadelphia, PA.

Crystal has been attending Oasis since 2006. She recently completed a biography of her life, entitled My Story.

Ellen has been attending Oasis since 2000. She lives at the Philadelphia Resources for Human Development program Residential Services Systems. In 2009, Ellen participated in the Tree of Life art installation as part of the Oasis Group Show at St. Asaph’s Gallery in Bala Cynwyd, PA.

the artists

Carole Antonelli


the artists

Gus Raffeo

Jameir Andrews

Jerell McGill

Gus has been attending Oasis since 2000. He lives at the Philadelphia Resources for Human Development program Residential Services Systems. In 2009, Gus participated in the Tree of Life art installation as part of the Oasis Group Show at St. Asaph’s Gallery in Bala Cynwyd, PA.

Jameir has been attending Oasis since 2009. Jameir lives at home in Philadelphia with his mother Rose, and attends Philadelphia Developmental Disabilities Corporation’s Vocational Day Program. He has participated in several art exhibitions organized by Oasis, including the most recent Animalz exhibit at the Tompkins Square Library in New York City.

Jerell has been attending Oasis since 2009, and has participated in several exhibits, including a solo show of his work at the Metropolitan Café in West Philadelphia during the summer of 2010.


Kathy Miller

Kay Pickron

Josh lives in Philadelphia, PA, and has been attending Oasis since 2009. Josh participated in the Oasis organized group art exhibit at the Watermark Gallery in 2010.

Kathy has been attending Oasis since 2000. She lives at the Philadelphia Resources for Human Development program Residential Services Systems, and attends the Lower Merion Vocational Day Program. In 2009, Kathy participated in the Tree of Life art installation as part of the Oasis Group Show at St. Asaph’s Gallery in Bala Cynwyd, PA. Her work was also on display in the Creative Correspondence art exhibit at Philadelphia’s Magic Gardens in 2010.

Kay has been attending Oasis since 2006, and also attends Elwyn’s Vocational Day program. Kay lives in Philadelphia, and is very active in her church. She has participated in several Oasis art fairs and exhibitions, including the 2010 Wayne Art Fair, and the Animalz art exhibit held at the Tompkins Square Library in New York City.

the artists

Joshua Harper


the artists

Melissa Ezelle

acg ‘07

Melissa is an artist and educator who has been living in Philadelphia since 2005. She has been the Assistant Director of Oasis since 2009. Melissa holds an MFA in Printmaking from Ohio University. Her work explores themes of vulnerability, aging, and metamorphosis using organic imagery, Victorian themes, and surreal juxtaposition. Melissa received a Leeway Art and Change Grant in 2007.

Morgan Savage

Olin Johnson

Morgan has been attending Oasis since 2009. In that same year, she won the top prize for the Centerpiece Competition at the Resources for Human Development Values Day Celebration.

Olin has been attending Oasis since 2000. He has participated in several Oasis art exhibitions, such as the most recent Animalz show held at the Tompkins Square Library in New York City, and the Cre-

ative Correspondence

exhibit held at Philadelphia’s Magic Gardens in 2010.


Queen Nancy Bell

Samuel Sesay

Oranit was born in Tel Aviv, Israel, and now lives with her mother Lydia in Philadelphia. Oranit’s work was featured in the Animals show at Pterodactyl Gallery in Philadelphia in the Spring of 2011, as well as the recent Animalz art exhibit at the Tompkins Square Library in New York City, and the Building Blocks exhibit at the Underground Arts performance space in Philadelphia.

Queen has been attending Oasis since 2010. She is a prolific artist who incorporates her anthropomorphic designs onto clothing, handmade prints, and paintings. Queen has won awards at the annual Norristown State Art Fair, and has participated in several Oasis art exhibits, including the Mainline Unitarian Church Group Exhibit, the Animalz exhibit at Tompkins Square Library in New York City, and the recent Oasis Puppet Show directed by artist Beth Nixon (LTA ‘10), and held at the Underground Arts performance space located in Philadelphia.

Sam is a prolific artist and musician whose work has been featured in several Oasis art exhibitions including the recent Salon 1522 Oasis Group Show, the Oasis Group Exhibit at the Main Line Unitarian Church in 2010, and the Animalz art exhibit at the Tompkins Square Library in New York City. Sam performed recently at the Oasis Puppet Show directed by artist Beth Nixon (LTA ‘10), and held at the Underground Arts, a performance space located in Philadelphia. Sam resides in Philadelphia with his mom Sara.

the artists

Oranit Solomonov


the artists

Stacey Robinson

acg ‘09

Stacey was born in Philadelphia, and was raised in North Philadelphia and Mount Airy. She attended Dobbins Vocational Technical High School where her major was commercial art. She has been drawing, painting, and designing since then. Stacy states that, “ Art is my friend when there is no human friend. Art is my best friend when no one understands me. It feels like being safe. It is empowering. Art is a quiet place, a personal journey.” Stacey received a Leeway Art and change Grant in 2009.

Stephanie Clifton

Steven Vessels

Stephanie has been attending classes at Oasis since 2008. In 2010, she received the prestigious Barbara Foust Award for leadership at the Resources for Human Development Values Day Celebration. Stephanie has shown her work in several Oasis art exhibitions, including the recent Animalz exhibit in New York City, and the Oasis Group Exhibit at the St. Asaph’s Gallery in 2009.

Steven has been attending Oasis since 2006. His work was on display at the Oasis Group Exhibit at the Metropolitan Café in the Summer of 2010, and at the Oasis Group Show at the Watermark Gallery in the fall of 2010.


Willy Boykins

Woodley White

Tenbroeck was born in Oslo, Norway. She has been an artist in Philadelphia exhibiting for over twenty years. Tenbroeck describes the process of creating art as what we create when, “We want to see the strange little world inside our brains.�

Willy has been attending Oasis since 2009. He has participated in the Annual Norristown State Hospital Art Exhibit for several years.

Woodley has been attending Oasis since 2009, and participated in the Wayne Art Fair in 2010 and the Main Line Unitarian Church Group Art Show in 2010.

the artists

Tenbroeck Cripps


executive director + curator denise m. brown exhibit design + installation sean stoops

Profits from works sold in this exhibit go directly to the artists.

www.leeway.org

2011 (Summer) Fertile Ground  
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