The Orenda Project

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“Orenda” [oh-ren-duh] is an idea from the Iroquois Indians that speaks to the extraordinary invisible power inherent in people and their environment--the place inside each person that wants to create positive impact in the world. Through photographic practices, this project seeks to inspire opportunities for women to come together to question, consult, and create around this concept.

Large scale public art in the form of photographic murals has the capacity to act as a storytelling platform that simultaneously turns alleys into galleries and drives the narrative of breakthrough, vision, and passion via the power of imagery. Orenda has join forces with Arts Martin Acres to bring the conversation of female empowerment into focus. Using photography and wheat-pasting practices, Orenda will work with women, to create pieces of art around their personal stories. Each participant will be guided to self-conceptualize where she has been in life and where she wants to go. Through this experience, a collective body of work will be created and offered through the construction of a photographic mural exhibited with written commentaryl displayed on a prominent wall in a Martin Acres. 

Orenda was birthed from twenty-five years of creative exploration of the multi-dimensional feminine experience. Exhibiting such artwork to the greater public, the people involved can ask questions that push their audience to contemplate their own stories and bring forth the visions of their lives. In the style of the street art movement, along with wheat-pasting, and social justice measures as artist JR has shared, I pursue using the public sphere as a platform to communicate. When just one of person shares their story, they have the capacity to reflect and mirror another person’s story, which in turn has the capacity to make people feel heard, validated, and less alone.

Furthermore, this is an opportunity to bring the art gallery to the streets, thus bringing art to everyone while also working to weave together cities, and then entire countries, all through the vision of Orenda--Impact through Inspiration. The foundation of Orenda is to create photographs around existential questions such as: “Why are we here?” and “How can we best use our energy in this life?” to inspire critical thinking that cultivates empowerment, while bringing awareness to the female experience in society.