Sunday, September 16, 2007

Community and art in Highland: collecting the material for a Highland Spirit House, as seen by Leia Lewis and Mat Schwarzman

In Gentilly, New Orleans, the late artist John T Scott gathered images of the city from neighborhood people and built a monument to their lives. He called it Spirit House. Scott's monument is an annotated shell of a shotgun house that is elevated above a park on DeSaix Blvd (Fairgrounds neighborhood). It survived the flood that followed Katrina.

In Shreveport, Leia Lewis, education director for Meadows Museum of Art, Centenary College, has a vision of a companion monument. To be called Highland Spirit House, the project has become a class taught by Lewis at the college. She is approaching it as an outreach to the neighborhood.

Mat Schwarzman is a specialist in community-based art projects. He has written a book upon the topic and has a PhD in Transformative Learning & Change in Human Systems from the California Institute of Integral Studies. " He has helped establish arts education programs for teens, college students and adults across the United States," notes Lewis.

No one knows quite what the Highland Spirit House might be, but there's a hint in an evocative exhibit of works by John T Scott on display at Meadows. I recommend it highly as art and a start toward imagining Shreveport's project.

Mat Schwarzman, Attaway Fellow
Centenary College of Louisiana Campus Visit

Sun, Sept 16
Meadows Museum of Art
2:00 - 3:00
Lecture: National Network of Community-Based Artists and the Social Change Catalyzed by their Work

Mon, Sept 17
9:30 to noon
Docent training on "Community-Based Arts Projects and Process"

Thur, Sept 20
11:10 - Noon
Centenary College Convocation on "Transformative Learning, Diversity, and Change through the Arts"

Wed, Sept 19
5:15 - 7:30
Community Partner Planning for The Highland Spirit House Project

Fri, Sept 21
5:15 - 7:30
Highland Community Story Circle

Leia Lewis
Museum Educator
Meadows Museum of Art
Centenary College of Louisiana
2911 Centenary Blvd.
Shreveport, LA 71104
(318) 841-7271


Unknown said...

I'll miss the lecture today -- quality time with the 'rents in Haughton. Hope I can make some of the rest of this. Anyone know if they are audio/video/podcasting any of this?

Robert E Trudeau said...

Jon Schleuss of KSCL, 91.3, is planning to cover it, perhaps with a radio interview / podcast.

Pan's Pantry said...

Did they mention where this house would be?