Phenomenal Women 3: A Night of Pure Togetherness

“It’s empowering to be in a space solely created by women because it shows just how powerful and what a force of nature we can be. It is even more exciting because it is a creative experience and such a wonderful expression of women” -Anezka Kurian, Guest (@anezkalicek).  

Artist @jas.tot artwork based on the Phenomenal Women in Philly flyer was one of the many amazing pieces of artwork on display.  via @mck.bert

Artist @jas.tot artwork based on the Phenomenal Women in Philly flyer was one of the many amazing pieces of artwork on display.

via @mck.bert

         On Saturday March 30th, 2019, a group of women were given a chance to showcase their art, talent, and success stories at ‘Phenomenal Women 3’, the third part of the series celebrating phenomenal women in the community. It was taken place at Circle of Hope, a thrift store in South Philadelphia. The event featured four female panelists, 20+ female artists and vendors, and a female DJ.

         The night begun with people filling into the space with all the artists’ work spread across the walls. Everyone was slowly walking around admiring the pieces, with the artists nearby to talk about their inspiration. The atmosphere truly felt radiant, rich, and stimulating to everyone’s emotions and mind. One of the artists, Sarah Alahmadi (@___sharika.art), shared her feelings about being at the event, stating “It feels really empowering, even though I am just a small part of the making of the event, but seeing all the women here makes me feel empowered to see how creative they are. I feel very inspired.”

         As people were walking around, there was an eye-catching and beautifully made art installation called “The Illusion of Scarcity”, created by the talented Sam Colon of OEM. It was an all pink backdrop with pink chairs stacked up on top of each other and one chair sitting right in the middle for people to sit. The installation represented the idea of having more than one seat at the table for women, despite society telling us otherwise. People constantly came up to take a picture with it, as it was such an aesthetically pleasing piece of art. “I’m not a woman so I will never truly understand the struggle they endure daily, but I have a mother and grandmother and while building this I attempted to put myself in their shoes to try and understand.” -Sam Colon, Artist (@thankyousam)

Phenomenal Women in Philly panelist Ashley Primis poses with her daughter in front of “The Illusion of Scarcity” art installation.  via @al.turay

Phenomenal Women in Philly panelist Ashley Primis poses with her daughter in front of “The Illusion of Scarcity” art installation.

via @al.turay

 I personally felt really moved by the four panelists during the panel discussion that happened towards the end of the night. The panelists were DJ Diamond Kuts, Tina Wells, Melissa Alam, and Ashley Primis. Each one provided insight in their respective fields, and made me feel like I could accomplish anything I set my mind to. I felt that everyone was relatable in a sense of how they got to where they are, their mindset, and their drive. The segment was full of inspirational moments:

         “In the very beginning I definitely wanted to be more than just a female DJ, I wanted to be an all around great DJ.. I put in so much work that now I AM that DJ. I’m not just put into a female DJ category, I can stand with the guys” - DJ Diamond Kuts, Entrepreneur/Producer/Radio DJ (@djdiamondkuts)

            “Jump into anything that you can do because you’re going to learn the skill set that’s going to translate, even if you change fields” -Ashley Primis, Deputy Editor for Philadelphia Magazine (@AshleyPrimis)

         “If people tell you that it’s not possible it’s because it’s not possible for them, not because it’s not possible for you” - Tina Wells, Founder/CEO of Buzz Marketing Group (@tinacwells)

         “I had such a great time at the event and was so happy to be invited. I loved what Tina said about “embracing our chaos” because that’s exactly what I feel like I’ve been doing!” -Melissa Alam, Entrepreneur & Brand Strategist (@ringthealam)

Phenomenal Woman in Philly panelists listening to a question from the audience.  via @al.turay

Phenomenal Woman in Philly panelists listening to a question from the audience.

via @al.turay

         Overall, the night was uplifting for all women. Only Elite Matters curated an experience that allowed everyone to feel encouraged to be their best selves and to have no limitations to their goals, dreams, and aspirations. This was the perfect ending to International Women’s Month and I am happy to be have been a part of a space that exuded inclusivity, creativity, and just PURE togetherness.

         “To all my phenomenal women – Often times society makes women believe that there is only room for one woman to be at the top, causing women to compete against each other. But, there is room for more than one woman at the table” -Victoria Chhor, (@therealslickvick).

          

         -Leilani Encarnacion, (@leilaninicolex)

The Illusion of Scarcity

The Illusion of Scarcity was an interactive art installation that we built for the annual Phenomenal Women in Philly event that took place on March 30, 2019.

The purpose of the installation was to illustrate the idea of there being more than enough room for women at the table and the idea of scarcity was an illusion while incorporating the ability to take photos inside of it and share the idea with others.

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11 Quotes From Women Artists on Being Phenomenal

We asked 11 women visual artists at the 2019 phenomenal women in philly event what being phenomenal meant to them, and why it was important for women to collaborate more.

Take a look at some of their answers below:

“To be a phenomenal woman is to be extraordinary, purposeful, and unique. A woman whose presence is drastically different than of her counterparts, yet is always impactful. She is a genuine and strong force in every encounter. She is confident, resilient with every endeavor, and remarkable.”

-@artbyzay_

Artist @artbyzay_ showcases her artwork at Phenomenal Women in Philly.  via @malachizvchary

Artist @artbyzay_ showcases her artwork at Phenomenal Women in Philly.

via @malachizvchary

“To embody the essence of a phenomenal women is to constantly amaze everyone including yourself. If your performance doesn’t amaze yourself every time, something is missing. Artists should constantly create to astonish. It is important for women to continue to collaborate to show this sometimes oppressive world that we are capable of the unimaginable.”

-@goldmvtter

“To me, being a phenomenal woman means not only being confident & unapologetic with who you are, but also uplifting other women to feel the same about themselves.

It’s SO important for women to collaborate because in this male-dominated industry, so much is taken from women who are trying to succeed, by the men who currently have the power. We need to show them we don’t need to sacrifice who we are to get where we belong, at the top!”

-@joleahalarke

“I strongly believe in collaboration. I think it is important to bring people in when you have access to a space that your counterparts might not be privy to. Collaborating allows for great ideas to be continuously generated while also providing something for other people to be a part of. I think it is really important for women to collaborate and we need to do more of it. Many women do not have access to the spaces/areas where great things are created. As a woman, it’s important for me to leave the door open to others that might not have even known that door existed. I think that collaboration leads to more opportunities for those involved and that’s why women need to actively seek out ways to bring other women in.”

-@_mcbailey

“What being a phenomenal women means to me is simply being your true authentic self while walking in love everyday. I like to think of myself as a very sensitive, passionate, and loving person. I pay close attention to details when it’s comes to anything circling the idea of love. I’m not perfect, but I’m willing to learn, keep trying, go through experiences, and have it shape into my being. Whether it’s self, platonic, romance, short-lived, or unconditional; it all matters and means so much more. I go by a motto of never letting this world turn me cold, but to respond with love.

It’s very important for women to collaborate together because someone could bring something uniquely different or open up a new perspective that wasn’t initially intended. We are unstoppable when we unite. It’s cheesy to say, but we can learn so much from one another and possibly help each other with creating amazing stories.”

-@ashatiye

@ashatiye poses with the “Scarcity” installation  via @thankyousam

@ashatiye poses with the “Scarcity” installation

via @thankyousam

“I think it’s super important for women to collaborate more because of the stigma surrounding women in art, especially when it comes to modeling. Society teaches us to be in competition with each other CONSTANTLY. Women should be helping each other rise up rather than trying to tear each other down, and by collaborating more it definitely helps break through that stigma. Women share a lot of the same struggles in the art field and working with one another I feel definitely breeds some beautiful art as well as friendships. Nothing better than women empowering women.”

-@rhi.img

“Being a phenomenal woman means to never lose touch with your inner self (your essence; the soulful qualities of yours that no one could ever reach let alone alter).

Being a phenomenal woman means to seek, to create, to speak, and to play so freely and so far away from every “should” and every “must” you have ever heard or been subjected to.

Being a phenomenal woman can simply mean to “be” outside the boundaries of prepackaged notions about who you are, how you should be, and when you should be.”

-@___sharika.art

Being a phenomenal woman means being effortlessly extraordinary by force of nature. It means what ever may challenge us we work hard to overcome it and make it our strengths.

We live in a world that has constantly tried to divide us by pinning us against each other but I’ve learned over the years that we are more powerful when we work together. We can accomplish so much more when we bring all of our gifts together.

-@youngfoxblood

I feel like being a phenomenal woman is being a person who can create something that is bigger than themselves and someone who can navigate through this often times intense world with kindness and positivity. To be able to take from this harsh reality and make something beautiful is the capability of a phenomenal woman

Being apart of an identity that is marginalized socially, sexually, politically, and being that we do often times face violence because of our identification, I think it’s important that we as sisters create safe inclusive spaces of solace as much as possible. This way we can celebrate and stand in solidarity while at the same time be resources for each other.

-@detoxenthusiastt

It’s important that woman collaborate because communication is the first thing that sparks change. The nature of collaborative art is very engaging and it functions like a conversation. There’s compromising and learning when to assert yourself and when to let someone else have a spot light.

Inherently, Art is political. Artists are trying to say something and engage an audience, and there’s no better way to do that then include many strong voices.

-@goblin.babe

Being a phenomenal woman means being me. Just being a women stamps us with pure dopeness. Women are the warriors, and that fact alone is why we should she build on that momentum together. It’s important to collaborate with women because it’s all about energy transfer. When women get together there’s undeniable magic that fills the air. Instead of constantly going toe-to-toe, I rather work along side my sisters hand-in-hand. What’s better than one dope chick? A tribe of dope chicks.

-@jas.tot

@jas.tot and @djdiamondkuts pose with the Diamond Kuts inspired Phenomenal artwork created by Jas herself.  via @thankyousam

@jas.tot and @djdiamondkuts pose with the Diamond Kuts inspired Phenomenal artwork created by Jas herself.

via @thankyousam