EARLY WORD: If You Had Wings

fpa_salon_aug_borgenm3.jpgPictured: Matthew Borgen will discuss The Wing Rack

PHILADELPHIAFirst Person Arts’ Salon series returns with another diverse and thought-provoking lineup at the Gershman Y on Wednesday, August 13th at 7:00 p.m. The multi-disciplinary First Person Salons, held on the second Wednesday of each month, showcase cutting edge original works by local artists through a variety of artistic mediums. The August Salon will feature local filmmaker Andrew David Watson, muralist Eric Okdeh, storyteller Juliet Wayne, and interdisciplinary artist Matthew Borgen. Admission is on a sliding scale of $5 – $10 at the door. Beer and light refreshments will be available for a donation. For more information, call (267) 402-2056 or visit www.firstpersonarts.org.

Filmmaker Andrew David Watson will screen two short video projects exploring bicycle culture, newly ascendant thanks to the rise in fuel prices. One film examines biking in the small Italian community of Treviso, and the other follows Philadelphia’s Fred Edny, a longtime bicycle commuter. As a freelance filmmaker, Watson is currently covering the presidential election for IFC, the Independent Film Channel. He is also the cinematographer for Swallow Your Pride, a documentary about the competitive eating contest Wing Bowl, which will have its Philadelphia premiere at the 2008 First Person Festival, held at the Painted Bride, November 11-16th. For more information about his work, visit www.andrewdavidwatson.com.

South Philadelphia native and muralist Eric Okdeh will discuss his current project with the Mural Arts Program dedicated to overcoming the stigma of mental illness through recovery. Okdeh will offer a behind the scenes look at the creative process, highlighting the many paint days and workshops with over 150 community members who contributed to the mural (located at 4040 Market St.) through poetry, painting, and glass mosaic work. Information on his work can be found at www.ericokdeh.com.

First Person StorySlams 2008 GrandSlam winner Juliet Wayne, will make her Salon debut with a solo storytelling performance. Guided by the personal belief that storytelling is the most direct, concise, colorful and fulfilling form of expression between people, Wayne will present a fast paced autobiographical tale with many twists and turns, exploring early adulthood, friendship, life’s hopes and expectations, and more.

Philadelphia-based artist Matthew Borgen will discuss The Wing Rack, a biographical multi-media installation exploring the issues Borgen has faced while struggling to succeed in an art world preoccupied with its own mythologized history. The highly visual installation utilizes an antique clothing rack, seven pairs of hand-crafted angel wings, twelve hanging lightbulbs, and projected video. An Adjunct Professor at Arcadia University, Borgen’s installation work frequently explores two archetypes popular in literature, academia, and film – the artist as social rebel and the mythic hero.

A growing audience of local artists and community members continue to be captivated by the power of First Person Arts’ innovative artistic series featuring personal tales by Philadelphia’s best memoir and documentary writers, visual and performing artists, filmmakers and more. The organization’s monthly programming offers Philadelphians seeking a refreshing and engaging look at creativity in motion the opportunity to take a walk in another person’s shoes through the first person narratives of the city’s talented voices.

First Person Arts is a nonprofit organization and producer of the annual First Person Festival and other programs that tap into the power of personal stories and speak to diverse audiences, including people whose voices are not often heard. First Person Arts is guided by the belief that the sharing of personal experience is a powerful way for people to celebrate uniqueness, bridge differences, and find common ground. For more information, please visit www.firstpersonarts.org.

Upcoming First Person Salon Events

Wednesday, August 13; artists: Matthew Borgen, Eric Okdeh, Andrew David Watson, Juliet Wayne
Wednesday, September 10; artists: TBA
All First Person Salons are held at the Gershman Y, 401 S. Broad Street
7:00 p.m. – 10:00 p.m. every second Wednesday of the month
$5-10 sliding scale

For more information, contact First Person Arts at (267) 402-2056 or www.firstpersonarts.org.
Artists working in all media and from all levels of experience, whose work is based in real-life experience, are encouraged to apply to present their work at future Salon events. To apply, visit www.salons.firstpersonarts.org or email salons@firstpersonarts.org.

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