Alchemists! Aphrodisiacs! You're not going to want to miss these spectacular evenings at Observatory:
Painted Alchemists: Thomas Wijck at the Intersection of Art, Science, and Practice
A presentation by Elisabeth Berry-Drago
Date: Friday, January 31st
Presented by Phantasmaphile
Dutch images of alchemists in the laboratory have long been overlooked by art historians as moralizing satires catering to a disbelieving audience. This project examines afresh the alchemical pictures of Thomas Wijck (1616–1677), seeking to understand how artistry and alchemy met and merged in the early modern studio and laboratory. In addition to iconographical and historical concerns, emphasis is placed on Wijck’s paintings as transformative objects produced in a studio-workshop: raw materials, pigments, and chemical processes will shed light on the practices of painters and their role in a greater “Golden Age” of discovery.
Elisabeth Berry Drago is a Ph.D candidate in art history, specializing in 17th-century Netherlands. Her dissertation centers on the painter Thomas Wijck (1616–1677), whose pictures of alchemists in the laboratory offer new perspectives on early modern science and artistry. Elisabeth received her M.A. in art history from Temple University in 2010 and holds a B.A. in fine arts from SUNY Fredonia. In her free time she enjoys volunteering with the Fleisher Art Memorial, a community arts organization, and the Free Library of Philadelphia, teaching youth workshops in painting and drawing, comics, and picture-book illustration.
Botanica Erotica: Aphrodisiac Love Potions
A Workshop with Herbalist Kate Temple-West
Date: Tuesday, February 4th
Admission: $40 (includes $10 materials fee. Each participant will take home their own love potion.)
Presented by Phantasmaphile
***You must RSVP to phantasmaphile [at] gmail.com if you’d like to attend, as space is limited
‘Tis the season of love and keeping each other warm. Come prepare for Valentine’s Day (or the feral fest of Lupercalia, if you prefer) by learning about the hot magic that dwells in our gardens, parks, and pantries.
Herbal aphrodisiacs, nature’s sensual love letters, have the power and potency to send us into raptures, revitalize our bodies, nourish our sexual energy and open our hearts.
When stress squelches your sexual vitality, natural aphrodisiacs can help you to not only recover your zest, but to also reach new heights of sensual well-being and pleasure. These medicinal roots, fruits, flowers, leaves and seeds add spark to your step and increase overall energy and health.
In this workshop you’ll learn some of the secrets and science of these amazing plants while making your own potent aphrodisiacal honey or coconut crème to take home.
Before spring is in the air, it’s in the earth. While outside it’s as cold as ever, underneath us the roots are growing. The days are beginning to feel markedly longer.
We’ll be connecting to this potent season of deep change as we make our potions. We’ll also learn of other sensual herbal applications to try at home, such as foods and herbal baths to super-charge our capacity for delight.
Please bring a cushion or towel to sit on, as we will be working on the floor.
Through her teaching and clinical herbal practice, Kate’s helped hundreds of people get over heartbreak, nurture their bodies and spirits, and find grounded freedom through the help of the medicine plants. For the past 8 years Kate Temple-West has run herbal workshops and wild-crafting classes in Prospect, Central, and Inwoood Parks, at universities such as Pitzer College in California, Hunter College and NYU, P.S. 20 in NYC, Brooklyn’s Observatory, private yoga studios, and in community gardens. She’s the director of the Children’s Magical Garden, an NYC non-profit and community garden dedicated to putting city children in touch with nature. Katetemplewest.com