‘Conduit’ ~ Portraits by Doug Safranek at Sugar Hill Children’s Museum as Part of The World Mother Storytelling Project





‘Conduit’ Opening Reception at Sugar Hill Children’s Museum. Photo credit: Yana Lande

The World Mother Storytelling Project installs a multi-sensory art exhibit at the Sugar Hill Children’s Museum of Art and Storytelling, 898 St. Nicholas Avenue (at 155th Street), this summer. The World Mother Storytelling Project is an arts and community enterprise that uses mother stories to teach, heal and empower.

Opening on Wednesday June 5, and running through August 18, “Conduit” features stories by community members about their mothers, and a portrait gallery of 30 Sugar Hill locals by Doug Safranek, in the luminous medium of egg tempera.

WMSP, Conduit Exhibition, Portraits by Doug Safranek

Conceived by Murray Nossel “Conduit” is designed to be enjoyed by adults, children and families. Using music, painting and interactivity to draw us into the healing realm of story, the heartfelt mother testimonies of ten community members are mixed with music scored by Barbara+Marco (Barbara Gogan and Marco Dianese) and broadcast on a loop. Safranek’s portraits represent a stunning array of personages of many ages and backgrounds. Among the portrait subjects are the famed painter, activist and children’s book author Faith Ringgold (who passed away on April 13) and her literary agent Marie Brown.

A special altar where children especially will be invited to place photographs, poems and items of sentimental value about their moms will grow during the course of the exhibit. The show is developing a “How to Navigate Conduit” teaching tool for educators.

“This show celebrates the unique perspective that stories about mothering bring to our view of the world, particularly in these troubled times,” says storytelling pioneer Murray Nossel, who champions active listening in the storytelling process. “But like everything we do with stories, listening is perhaps the most important component. The most meaningful and transformative stories are told when we engage and listen.”

‘Conduit’ Opening Reception at Sugar Hill Children’s Museum. Photo credit: Yana Lande.

About the Creatives

Murray Nossel came to prominence with “Two Men Talking,” a two-man improvisation show that he performed Off-Broadway with Paul Browde. He and Browde co-founded Narativ in 2002, a unique consultancy that teaches listening and storytelling methodologies to a variety of organizations in order to promote positive social engagement. His work with Narativ — often partnering with the Open Society — has taken him around the world to work with disrupted communities and victims of violence, teaching healing and empowerment through telling one’s story.

Nossel founded the World Mother Storytelling Project in 2019. Their most recent project, “Breaking the Silence,” took storytelling empowerment to El Salvador to combat gender-based violence.

Opening Reception, ‘Conduit’, Sugar Hill Children’s Museum. Photo credit: Yana Lande

The Williamsburg Brooklyn-based Douglas Safranek is known for his mastery of egg tempera techniques which date back to the Florentine Renaissance. His work is included in a number of public and private collections around the country including the Arkansas Art Center, The Frye Art Museum, The Norton Museum of Art, The New-York Historical Society, The Museum of the City of NY, and The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Safranek is on the faculty of the Art Students League of New York and is represented by The ACA Galleries in New York City.

A vital hub of community renewal, the Sugar Hill Children’s Museum of Art and Storytelling is part of the groundbreaking Broadway Housing Communities (BHC), a non-profit founded in 1983 that integrates affordable housing, education and art. BHC’s Sugar Hill development includes 124 deeply affordable apartments, a preschool, and the Museum. Charlene Melville is the executive director of BHC, and leads the museum’s intergenerational curatorial, art-making and storytelling programs.

Located on the first and lower floors of the Sugar Hill property (designed by the celebrated modernist architect David Adjaye), the Sugar Hill Children’s Museum of Art and Storytelling is at the proud geographic center of Upper Manhattan’s Sugar Hill neighborhood, home to the Harlem Renaissance, and at the crossroads of a traditionally African American Harlem and Latino Washington Heights.

Sugar Hill Children’s Museum of Art & Storytelling is located at 898 St. Nicholas Avenue, NYC.

‘Conduit’ ~ Murray Nossel: World Mother Storytelling Project; Artist, Douglas Safranek will be on view through August 18, 2024.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *