Hello All! Lydia See here - It's been a whirlwind of a few weeks here in Spartanburg. I'm so thrilled to be the first Artist in the Community Artist in Residence in partnership with HUB-BUB and the Spartanburg County Public Libraries and I feel as if I have hit the ground running!
HUB-BUB and SCPL and I have joined forces to build a more creatively engaged Spartanburg, starting with community access to arts programming with a focus on inclusivity and a gentle point of entry. So what does this mean?
When I arrived almost three months ago, I wrote a little statement which the following is excerpted from:
"I believe that art and creative practice in any form should be inclusive and accessible to anyone. Teaching and exchanging dialog about art is an integral part of my practice, and spending time in the service of a community will expand my ability to learn about my own work while facilitating the aesthetic development of others. By using my studio practice and through designing a series of community-oriented programs, I hope to inspire and create connections within the community, and offer a gentle point of entry for those who might not ordinarily seek out art in their daily lives."
We've started this initiative to engage the community through accessible creative programming in a few ways: by creating a Studio in the HQ Library where I have begun teaching workshops and classes, as well as keeping regular studio hours, open to anyone who would like to stop by. We've also built a custom traveling loom (with the help of former AiR Eli Blasko) which has been out in Morgan Square for both of HUB-BUB's Hub Crawls this fall, and now lives in the Studio at the Library when not traveling. The influence of fibers and textiles on my practice has been immense, and after moving to Spartanburg and learning more about the rich textile history here (particularly thanks to reading the Hub City Writer's Project book Textile Town, which should be required reading for every resident!) I felt compelled to offer textile arts education to connect Spartanburg residents to their own heritage.