— by Daniel Tucker, Assistant Professor & Director of Socially Engaged & Studio Art
Photo of a group of people sitting on tree stumps and talking

On September 22, Moore College of Art & Design's Socially Engaged Art MFA and MA graduate students and faculty took a half-day departmental retreat to the Schuylkill Center for Environmental Education. While there, we heard about recent environmental art programs from the Schuylkill Center's Tina Plokarz, and then we held a tea ceremony in an Al Mudhif installation created by artist Sarah Kavage and Moore's very own MA alum Yaroub Al Obaidi MA ’19 and several of their collaborators. 

The project offered such a rich example to learn from, as does Sarah’s ongoing work with phragmites reeds, with Alliance of Watershed Education, and the reconciliation work that Yaroub and others are conducting between Philadelphia residents who are refugees from Iraq and veterans who served in Iraq.

Three people posing for a photo in front of a wooden structure

We then had a series of continuum workshops brilliantly facilitated by longtime adjunct faculty members Anna Drozdowski and Hammam Aldouri. These workshops encouraged students to think about the interrelatedness of socially engaged and studio strategies for art making. Thanks also to faculty members Li Sumpter and Maia Chao, who joined us for the afternoon, and other faculty who adapted their course meeting times and assignments to allow for us all to be there together. 

Thanks to graduate studentd Destiny Garner, Dafna Steinberg, Regan McGrory, Elizabeth Kelly, Katy Molinaro, Emily Whynott, Julie Rainbow, Laura Walters, Jenny Yim and Ayrial King. They're such an impressive group and I am excited to see what comes next. 

What a gift to get to do some community building of this kind together in a context that is safe and outside!

A man and woman serving coffee and tea to people sitting inside a wooden structure