SWAG! And not your average Soulja Boy superman chain dripping in diamond swag, not that sagging overpriced skinny jeans type swag, but that remove your clothes and contour your curves type swag, that Sharp With Art Group type swag, hence the name. So a little about the art collective known as S.W.A.G; it was founded in 09 by Neef Robinson, Stylez with the Smilez, and Shiz Alexander and is all about artistic expression, business and supporting community development through the arts. S.W.A.G has about 5-6 events per year which entails a gallery display of art from S.W.A.G members, live music, and socializing. The most recent, and my first S.W.A.G event, Black Electric which was hosted at the community owned Peace House Creative Space located in North Philly, was a great intro to the art collective and the type of event people from all sorts of backgrounds could enjoy.
Apon ascending the stairs to the porch, Kendrick Lamar beats seeped through the windows, gently inviting you in, persuading movement upon opening the door. Women in undergarments held still as Nebulous Flair painted one and Reek painted the other. Abstract pieces by Nebulous Flair and Realism by Stylez with the Smilez adorned the walls while fellow artists, poets, lyricists, musicians, revolutionaries, and philosophers chatted over cups of wine and plates of food fresh from the kitchen. Conversations battled to be heard over the bumping beats and various cameras went off every other minute, especially once the cypher begin. The host Lindo introduced the cypher and nearly 20 emcees passed around the mic and shared their rhymes and energy with the crowd. Among them were Philly newcomer Tonic, and Flash Ashmosis. Charlyn Brown, owner of Sanctuary Holistic arts took the night, after descending the stairs to afro indian music, with her identity obscured by a long hooded cloak which she discarded and displayed her body painted so complete it was as though she had a second layer of white and blue skin. She mesmerized the hype crowd with her sensual movements, dimmed lights and other worldly appearance. Meanwhile on the second floor, attendees looking to chill and converse, sat back on couches in the bedroom turned hookah lounge and watched movies, made new friends, and talked politics and art .
Black electric was a great event, that displayed raw talent and brought together people in the community from all different walks of life, and was made possible by the Peace House creative Space. The Peace House Creative Space, which is the ancestral home of revolutionary leader Tommy Joshua and his wife Keturah Caesar, and home of numerous allied independent revolutionary institutions such as North Philly Peace Park, Club no Limits, and the Peace spot. It is also an African American community owned media studio, art gallery and social lounge. All proceeds of the Peace House benefits the movement for social change.
Follow both the Peace House Creative Space and S.W.A.G on social media
Peace House Creative Space: http://www.facebook.com/PeaceHouseCreativeSpace?fref=ts
By Nia Nadira