by Avalon Singer
Sunday June 21 is Father’s Day. It’s also the longest day of the year when the sun reaches its highest point in the sky. To commemorate this day the Bell-Ans Center for Creative Arts in Orangeburg, NY, will be hosting a Summer Solstice Celebration from 5-7p.
Phyllis Dodge, the creative director of Bell-Ans, explains that the spiritual purpose of celebrating the summer solstice is to self reflect on what you would like to change within your life and what you feel you must let go before coming out renewed and refreshed for the entrance to the summer.
The event will include music that incorporates the beautiful and soothing sounds of singing bowls, rhythmic call and response chanting and a guided meditation led by musicians Catherine Moon and Carole Brill.
While the music, chanting and various forms of healing meditations are taking place, Richard Alan Fox and Nancy Parker, two of the artists with studios within Bell-Ans, will be painting alongside the event.
Fox is a photographer and painter whose work can be found in the permanent collections of The Museum of Modern Art in New York. He photographs the light of sight and paints the back brain poetry of abstract thought. Parker is a visionary artist, certified Feng Shui Practitioner, environmental and personal energy healer and medium. Her healing work heavily influences her art, and her paintings are meant shift, lift and awaken the soul.
With help from the Bell-Ans community Phyllis Dodge and her husband James Dodge created a labyrinth, a maze-like path that is meant for prayer, meditation, and spiritual means, at the center of the event where a meditation through motion will take place.
“The labyrinth walk is going to be a healing and meditation walk for me. As I walk through, I’m going to look back at the past year or the past few years and think of things that I want to let go of and things that I want to heal from,” Dodge said.
After the celebration there will be a light snack taking place within one of the galleries inside of Bell-Ans that features the encaustic artwork of Celine Ennis.
Bring water, a notebook and pen, blanket, yoga mat or lawn chair to sit on during the event, and to dress comfortably. Admission fee is $15, discounted to $10 for students and seniors. Bell-Ans Park is located at 2 Bell Lane, Orangeburg, NY.
Avalon Singer is a sophomore journalism major and staff writer for The Ithacan at Ithaca College.