Students in Centenary College's Art 295: Introduction to Community-Based Arts probably experienced one of the most hands on classes of their academic careers. Instructor Leia Lewis and her class actively engaged the community of Highland from the start of the creation of the The Highland Spirit House Project. Early in the semester KSCLinterviewed Lewis and Dr. Mat Schwarzman about community based arts projects. The local project drew much of its inspiration from New Orleans artist John Scott. Scott was awarded a MacArthur Genius Award in 1992. He spent his life transforming metal and wood into visual stories about black culture in New Orleans. One of his grandest works is the huge public sculpture Spirit House. It was funded through the Percent for Art Program. For more examples of Scott's work click here.
A celebration of all the hard work done by students and community members was held Sunday at Meadows Museum. It will be interesting to watch the progress of this community and college collaboration.
"I found bliss early. It was reading or thinking in the spread out trunk of a pink flowered mimosa tree in our front yard.
I made my freest art back then. When I was a little kid alone in my room, I danced to music from a tiny record player. I had a built up platform in the bottom of my closet, so I would push the clothes back on either side and dance away in funky costumes I found around the house. Now when I create art, I am seeking to go back to my bliss." Usher May 24, 2010