MURAL “They Leave Us No Choice” by Ann Lewis

MEDITATION by Theresa Widmann
MUSIC “Bilancia II” by Jeff Mercel

Artist/Activist Ann Lewis completed this mural on the evening when SB8 was passed in Texas and this is her response to the perpetual and systemic oppression of non-male bodies. The timing, location and context of this piece on the YWCA is “a work that has shifted my public art practice in a powerful way. In placing this figure on the chimney of the building” Lewis stated that the body is “Feminine, rising, autonomous, strong, empowering. This is what the YWCA is all about… They leave us no choice- by any means necessary fight for your autonomy. Your state might be next.”

Ann Lewis

Ann Lewis is a multidisciplinary activist artist using painting, installation, social practice, and participatory performance in our public spaces to explore themes related to American identity, power structures, and justice. Her work interrogates power imbalances such as mass incarceration, police brutality, and the desecration of women’s and trans rights. Ann’s data-driven art uses concept-specific materials to offer fact-based experiences for her participants. After receiving her Bachelor’s degree from the University of Wisconsin, her career began in the street art world of New York City and has evolved into large-scale public works. Her mural See Her received an Americans for the Arts 2018 Public Art Network (PAN) Award. Ann’s art has been acquired by the New York Historical Society Museum and the US Library of Congress. It has been discussed in Hyperallergic, Artnet, The LA Times, and The Guardian. She has exhibited in solo and group shows throughout the US and abroad, including shows at Petzel Gallery in New York, Seyhoun Gallery in Tehran, Iran, and the Obama White House. Her most recent work, To Be Human, commissioned by Duolingo, spans 17,000 sq ft and instigated a dialogue producing a sizable public art grant supporting artists in Pittsburgh, PA.

Theresa Widmann

Theresa is a holistic coach and sound healer who has studied and practiced various meditation techniques, read countless books on yoga, nutrition, meditation, energy work and spirituality, and is regularly adding to her base of knowledge on all these subjects. She has formally studied Health and Life Coaching, Sound Healing, Kundalini Yoga, Yin Yoga, Trauma Sensitive Yoga, Akashic Records, Reiki, and Mediumship amidst a myriad of informal studies in related subjects.

She shares her passion for community building and activism as host of I Want What She Has, a podcast and weekly live radio show at Radio Kingston to amplify women’s voices and their stories, as the Chair of Live Well Kingston’s Heal Well Focus Team, as a member of the Ulster County Restorative Justice Task Force and Conviction Integrity Unit, as an organizer of Hudson Valley’s One Billion Rising, and as the former Festival Director and Board President for the O+ Festival.