Creativity Unleashed | Vèvè Painting with Mahalia Stines – by Jessica Tong, Communications and Outreach Intern

This second session of Creativity Unleashed featured Brooklyn-based artist Mahalia Stines. Stines taught us techniques for channeling our inner creativity and how to paint with our heart and soul while giving a brief history of Vodou, the significance of vèvès, and what they symbolize.

Mahalia explained that for centuries, Vodou has been maligned and misrepresented by Western culture and media.  In reality, vodou is a peaceful belief tied to ideas of nature. Deeply rooted in the relationship of Man and Creation, Vodou is commonly referred to as a religion.  Practitioners however, prefer to refer to Vodou as a way of life; a belief that all forces in the Universe are interconnected.

Vèvès are symbolic diagrams used before and during ceremonies.  They represent astral forces that are used to compel the lwas (spiritual entities) to manifest themselves during ceremonies.  By paying respect to lwas by offering them their favorite foods or wearing their colors during a Vodou ceremony, the lwas give blessings, physical well being, protection, abundance, and other gifts, depending on what they represent.  While some lwas have many vèvès, others have none or are assumed under another vèvè.  Some vèvès are figurative, whereas others are symbolic and almost abstract.

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Participants were able to learn about the different vèvès, pick their favorite, and paint their own interpretations. Some participants used their own interests to add emphasis to their selected lwa, others used nontraditional colors creating beautiful original pieces.

We thank Mahalia and all of the workshop participants for sharing their Saturday with HCX!  Stay tuned for more Creativity Unleashed in the months to come!

This Creativity Unleashed Adult Workshop took place on March 8th, 2014 at the HCX Office.

This entry was posted on Wednesday, April 9th, 2014 at 1:54 pm and is filed under Archive, Arts, Crafts, HCX Programs, Visual Art, Weekend. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.