This week I am honored to introduce you to Annelies Gentile
ARTIST, VISIONARY, EDUCATOR
Please introduce yourself and your art a little bit.
Hello! My name is Annelies and I experience the world as an artist, visionary and educator who currently resides in Raleigh, NC. Recently, however, I’ve mainly been a fulltime student, finishing up my Liberal Studies degree in Social Change through the Arts and Creative process. My artwork varies in medium from painting, photography, documentary and sculpture to hair, makeup and facilitating creativity workshops. My passion is public installations that promote education and inspire change.
As a means to expand on my passion for social change, I created the Conduit Center for Creative Change in 2008, which is a network of individuals, businesses and non-profits who create spaces of potential for people to explore ideas and new ways of being in order to create opportunities to find the conductive potential available in us all. Ultimately, the Conduit Center for Creative Change is about promoting sustainability through education and creative forums that support community, empowerment and social change.
My art has been featured in many installations nationwide and often I’ve used my work to educate cultural issues. My time abroad in Dubai, UAE in 2004, offered an opportunity to help bridge gaps of cultural tolerance through the sharing of my photography. Dubai: The Other Side of the Middle East can be found on Youtube.
A more recent example of a public art installation is The Community Journal Project. As a means to provide a sacred space for people to think, write, draw and just ‘be’, I placed a journal inside of a mailbox on a memorial bench for my father, at a local lake named Lake Johnson. At first, I initially did this for myself as a means to grieve but was surprised when others began writing in it too.
Social change through the arts is what I am drawn to do. It’s an organic experience that is self-perpetuating, inspiring and powerful. My project gathered attention and was featured on Dick Gordon’s ‘The Story’ on National Public Radio (NPR).
I also filmed a short documentary titled, The Journal at Lake Johnson, which can be found on YouTube. My vision is to plant seeds of community journals so that others may also provide sacred spaces for people in their communities. The Community Journal Project Facebook page is where I’d like all of them to be linked and be found, worldwide.
For me art is…
a sacred space through which I share what I see and feel in the world. Choosing to be an artist is accepting the role to share the sacred. I see it as a responsibility to remind both others and myself how to sense and remain connected to source.
What other projects are you currently working on?
1~Research on ‘Creative Survival’ in Cuba…
How Cubans have adapted to live and thrive ‘without’ after the US trade embargo. My research will involve studying art and creativity as it relates to sustainability and social change.
I’ll be in Cuba June/July 2011.
2~An ongoing photographic documentary on Country Club Homes, a historic apartment complex bound for demolition, which also happens to be my current place of residence.
3~ I’ve been accepted to grad school in Switzerland for a MA in Expressive Arts in Conflict Transformation and Peace-building, which I’ll attend in 2012.
4~Ongoing work with Conduit Center for Creative Change, a network of business, individuals and non-profits I created as a means to explore sustainability through creativity. www.conduitforchange.
5~Growing my little garden and an ongoing desire to learn more about the earth and her gifts.
Who has inspired you?
Nature is my guide, as well as my past. Any challenge, no matter what the obstacle, has been my greatest teacher and greatest source of vision.
What is your favorite inspirational quote?
“Be the Change”
Are there any tips to living a creative life that you’d like to share?
When you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change. Use your life and the energy of your life as your paint and palette. Life is the first art.
Where can people find you and your work?
Annelies Gentile’s website link: www.anneliesgentile.com
Conduit Center for Creative Change website link: www.conduitforchange.com
Conduit Center for Creative Change on Youtube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n482LXLB5aA&feature=related
The Journal at Lake Johnson interview on NPR: http://thestory.org/archive/the_story_120210_d.mp3/view
The Journal at Lake Johnson doc. on Youtube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x60EsTslkbk
The Raleigh Artist interview link: http://www.theraleighartist.org/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=105&Itemid=1
Photographic documentary on Dubai, UAE 2004 on Youtube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=etLBpV8Ireg&feature=related
Annelies, thank you for sharing your AMAZING story with us. I know I personally will look forward to following your incredible creative life!
Thank you Jennifer for this opportunity!
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“Inspiring Artists” is an ongoing artist interview series at JoyfulArtsStudio.com. Join me Mondays for a weekly dose of creative inspiration.
The series will continue as long as there are artists wishing to participate. If you are an artist and would like to share your story, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I’d love to hear from you. Thank you!!!
Love & Blessings,