#InTheLoop | Queens Hosts Summer Solstice Celebrations on June 21
BY QEDC It's In Queens
Summer Solstice – June 21 — is technically when the sun travels the longest distance through the sky, thus creating the most daylight. Locally, it’s a time for fun activities, great food, and time-honored rituals involving nature.
Jocelyn Perez from Herbalists Without Borders will lead an Early Morning Summer Solstice Walk at 8 am. After meeting at the Alley Pond Environmental Center (224-65 76th Ave. in Oakland Gardens), strollers will meander through Alley Pond Park while Perez discusses plant species, especially those associated with the Solstice and traditional folklore.
A little later, Socrates Sculpture Park will present its annual Summer Solstice Celebration, starting at 4 pm.
First the vendors. Beanca will sell Soulfully Infused Smoothies that mix fresh, all-natural fruits with such items as cinnamon, coconut water, Greek yogurt, and spinach, while Mama’s Empanadas peddles meat and vegetarian patties.
A workshop related to Hélio Oiticica’s Subterrenean Tropicália Projects: PN15 with Space/Time Reclamation: órbita 555 featuring Juliana Luna will kick off the program at about 4 pm.
Space/Time Reclamation is an attempt to communicate a personal need to reclaim inner rhythm through non linear data collection. It’s a calling to reconnect with ancestral wisdom through Yoruba Afro Brazilian mythopoetics. (Consider it a meeting of the spirit and technology worlds.)
At about the same time, iDig2Learn will offer Flight of the Monarchs. Participants will put on wings and flutter like a Monarch butterfly while soaring through, air, art (i.e. The Steel Bodies exhibition), and nature in a simulation of the orange-and-black insects’ annual migration from Mexico to Canada and back.
At 5:30 pm, Socrates Curator Jess Wilcox and Brazilian artist Raphaela Melsohn will talk about Oiticica’s Subterranean Tropicalia Projects: PN15 and Melsohn’s temporary earth drawing created in response, which he calls “Querido Helio, I made a subterranean floorplan.” The discussion will highlight ideas such as translation processes, scale shifts, intergenerational conversations among artists, and the relationship the two works have with the body, public, and earth.
The final activity, Sonic Rituals: the will to love, will start around 6:30 pm. Organizers will create time and space for participants to get in touch with their internal worlds and learn to trust their inner guidance systems through rest, Reiki, deep listening to a sound bath DJ set, and a performance by Dyani.
Socrates Park, whose address is 32-01 Vernon Blvd. in Long Island City, is located along the banks of the East River with fantastic views of Roosevelt Island and Manhattan’s Upper East Side.
Top image: Socrates Sculpture Park; bottom image: Alley Pond Environmental Center