CMA Stories

6 Fun Facts About Elias Sime

Join us on Sunday, June 2 for a celebration of Ethiopian culture! CMA is partnering with the Ethiopian Community Mutual Assistance Association (ECMAA) and the Ethiopian Social Assistance Committee (ESAC) to present performances and interactive workshops. Story Time will take place at 11 am featuring books by Ethiopian authors read aloud by Children’s Librarian Kristy Raffensberger of the Hudson Park Library. ECMAA will be sharing traditional clothing and Eskista dance and music workshops and performances at 12 and 2 pm. A coffee ceremony will follow the final performance at 2:30 pm in the lobby.

Our Gallery Workshop for the day is inspired by Elias Sime, an Ethiopian artist that uses recycled materials to create relief sculptures and assemblages that resemble topographical maps. Learn how to make your own recycled topography with a CMA Teaching Artist! To help us get ready for the festivities, read 6 Fun Facts about Elias Sime below.

1. For more than 25 years, Elias Sime has reused materials like old keyboards or cell phone batteries to create abstract compositions. This technique is called upcycling, or creative reuse.

2. He was born in Ethiopia’s capital city, Addis Ababa, and remains an active member of the arts community there.

3. Sime finds materials to make up his sculptural collages at the largest open-air market in Africa — Mercato. Most of the materials come from a section of the market called Menalesh Tera, which means, “what do you have,” and is a gathering place for the community to find resourceful ways to repurpose items that might otherwise be thrown away.

4. His work examines themes of environmentalism, critiques of consumerism, and the fact that many African countries are repositories of e-waste from the rest of the world.

5. Sime also draws from traditional arts practices of Ethiopia, such as architectural and textile patterns, as well as the country’s history.

6. He is a co-founder of Ethiopia’s Zoma Museum, a center for environmentally conscious art in Addis Ababa, which had its grand opening in March of this year.

This program is supported, in part, by the Horace W. Goldsmith Foundation, the New York State Council on the Arts with support from Governor Andrew Cuomo, and public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs. CIVICKIDS is sponsored by Google.

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