On September 10th, 17th and 24th from 11AM to 12PM, members of the Folk Art Guild in Middlesex will present a series on the teaching brought by George Ivanovitch Gurdjieff. The Penn Yan Public Library, 214 Main Street, provides the site for this sequence, in the ongoing program Classics in Religion. Gurdjieff was an influential spiritual master in touch with an ancient knowledge, who gathered people around him in the first half of the 20th century. Since his passing in 1949, groups have actively worked with his rich legacy, which includes music, published writings, a study of movement, and an oral tradition. His fundamental aim was to help human beings awaken to the meaning of our existence and to the efforts we must make to realize that meaning in the midst of the life we have been given.
This occasion to learn about the Gurdjieff teaching from long-time Guild members is an unusual opportunity. This first week, September 10th, the presenters look forward to describing how the teaching has touched their lives. Annie Schliffer, a potter, Matthew Shubin, musician, and David Barnet, woodworker, will introduce certain ideas which initially drew them to the “Work”, as it is referred to. After many years of practice, what is alive and fresh today?
The following week, September 17th, the presenters will examine the sacrifices necessary to bring the Gurdjieff Work into life. Gurdjieff himself faced monumental struggles as he conveyed the body of ideas to those in the West.
A devoted follower of Gurdjieff, Mrs. Louise March, founded the Folk Art Guild in 1957 and undertook the study and production of traditional crafts in order to study the teaching directly, and to produce beautiful and useful work as well. Mrs. March modeled extraordinary patience and perseverance with her followers. What is the nature of our own sacrifice? What might we have to give up in order to receive help?
The Guild’s reputation for quality handcrafts has grown during the 50 years that it has flourished in Middlesex. The teaching that stands behind the Guild has been less well known. These gatherings will be informal; each successive week, additional material will be presented, with time to ask questions and discuss the ideas. The series is sponsored by Cobblestone Springs, a retreat and renewal center in Dundee. The talks will take place in the Hicks-Kimball Room at the Penn Yan Public Library, 214 Main Street, and are free of charge, though a donation to the sponsors is accepted gratefully.
About the Folk Art Guild
A not-for-profit arts community and educational institution, the Guild began its work in crafts more than 50 years ago. Located on a 350-acre farm in New York’s Finger Lakes Region, the Guild has grown to receive worldwide recognition for its handcrafts, which have found their place in museums, private collections, shops, and galleries through the United States and abroad. The on-site East Hill Gallery welcomes visitors from May to October. The Guild also offers workshops for adults and conducts educational outreach programs for children. Its Apprenticeship Program is designed for young people who are searching for a practical, hands-on approach to learning and living. Working alongside experienced master craftspeople, apprentices learn proficiency in a craft and how to live alongside others in a community setting. The Guild also offers a July Craft Weekend for all ages with fifteen hours of studio time over the course of three days on the farm.
Visit the website at www.folkartguild.org