Community Art Dos

Here’s a little follow-through on my plan to get involved in community art projects this month.

I participated in a life drawing class, something I haven’t done in over 40 years. Not too much has changed, except instead of being an unemployed artist, the model was a professional who handed out his business card. Here are several sketches of Frank in conte crayon on newsprint. The last one does not look as much like the actual Frank but is my favorite — a caricature I can definitely use in another project.


The “love bomb” at St. Julian Devine Community Center in Charleston is coming along nicely. Here’s a shot of a group of us sewing and crocheting large colorful blocks together. These will be hung from one of the towers in back of the center, a rehabilitated industrial building. The party is on Valentine’s Day, and I will definitely be there to take pictures and celebrate, as will many participants from all walks of life.



The reception at the tiny book show was lots of fun. Here’s a picture of some of the books that night; mine is the open one with black things creeping out.



I have started volunteering with the Association for the Blind and Visually Impaired. This is intensive one-on-one work, helping someone with extremely limited sight become a creative maker. The adult class consisted of a half dozen men and women of limited means who’ve suffered vision loss due to untreated diabetes.

One of my projected projects for the month seems impractical in hindsight: making something out of plastic stuff for the “accessibility” exhibit in Florida (the plastic pieces are too hard to glue). Art museums like the Harns in Gainesville FL devise tours specifically for the blind. Raising awareness is another thing artists can do. Here‘s an article on “social practice art” that introduces a young artist who creates tours of art exhibits for blind-folded sighted folks to raise awareness of what it’s like to be blind or nearly so.

Next up is my coffee-art paper cut titled “Malevolent Benevolent Brew.”  It’s been lots of fun to work on and as soon as I go buy some red and gold paint, it will be ready to show.

About Lillian-Trettin

I grew up in the Appalachian "Bible Belt" of East Tennessee in the southern United States, listening to banjo music and gospel lyrics as well as the Beatles. As a kid, I was curious about religious rituals like speaking in tongues and snake handling but resistant to the fundamentalist thinking they involved. Flannery O'Connor's tales of religious fanatics, con men, bigots, and the spiritually bereft or ambivalent resonate for me. Despite having traveled widely and lived in other places, I am (as so many Southerners claim to be) permanently "South haunted." I returned to making art full time in 2011, following a career as a teacher, researcher, and consultant and after raising two sons. I’m convinced the delay enriched rather than impeded my growth as an artist.
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