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Talk / Lecture

Community Conversations: Nena Soul Fly

May 4, 2024 | 1:00PM - 3:00PM



Join us for a craft-making workshop with clay to mold small pots out of clay to create containers for the water (spirit) with artist Nena Soul Fly. The workshop focuses on the orisha divinities, Osun the Orisha of the waters, Egbe our heavenly mates/celestial family who dwell in the Stars, and the different “containers of the spirit”. The body as a container of spirit, bodies of water as containers of spirit and vessels/pots as containers of spirit from a traditional and diasporic lens of Ifa. How we “house” and contain “Spirit”, through the body, land and objects while maintaining and persevering tradition and traditional ways in support of our physical and mental health and the importance of Water. A deeper understanding of our connection and responsibility to the water and stars (body/head) despite our ever changing and challenging pathways do to migration, displacement, and gentrification.

Artist bio

Tanya Melendez is a Puerto Rican, born and raised in Northeast Los Angeles. Tanya is an Iyanifa (Priestess of Ifa), Olorisa Osun (Priestess of Osun) and Egbe Initiate. She comes from a lineage of Orisa practitioners from both her Maternal and Paternal lines in Puerto Rico. Tanya has been studying Ifa for the past 25 years, traveling to and from Nigeria since 2016.

Tanya is a self-taught multi-disciplinary artist with a background in Traditional Folklore Dance. In 2002 she began her art career, creating mixed media art focusing on women of color, culture and social justice. In 2005 Tanya launched her jewelry and accessory line “Nena Soul Fly”, a fusion of traditional and modern textiles and design creating her own signature style. In 2013 she began freelancing as a stylist for celebrities and public figures.

Tanya Melendez is now a world renowned celebrity hair stylist represented by Opus Beauty. Her client list includes: Alicia Keys, Bad Bunny, Tyler the Creator, Li Saumet, Sasha Taylor Barnes, Simone Biles, Aunjanue Ellis, Donald Glover, and Ava DuVernay to name a few. She was recently with Alicia Keys on her 2023 U.S tour and was with Ms. Keys for her 2022 International tour. Her career requires her to travel to set or out of town frequently with her clients for shoots, red carpets, concerts and other live events. Tanya also works with brands like, Louis Vuitton, Nike, Athleta, Ivy Park, Adidas and Le Fleur.

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