An­nmarie Gar­den hosts MLK com­mu­nity project

An­nmarie Gar­den hosts MLK com­mu­nity project

Maryland Independent - - Front Page - SARAH FALLIN sfallin@somd­news.com Twit­ter: @CalRecSARAH

An­nmarie Sculp­ture Gar­den and Arts Cen­ter was buzzing with ac­tiv­ity in the af­ter­noon of Martin Luther King Jr. Day Mon­day, as res­i­dents near and far par­tic­i­pated in a com­mu­nity art project and spent some time in a gi­ant col­or­ing tent.

Two artists came to­gether to bring the com­mu­nity art project called “What Do You Stand For?” to An­nmarie Gar­den. The in­tent of the project was to show par­tic­i­pants and ob­servers sim­i­lar­i­ties be­tween ev­ery­one, rather than the dif­fer­ences that di­vide.

Par­tic­i­pants traced their foot, cut out the shape and then dec­o­rated the shoe to rep­re­sent what they in­di­vid­u­ally stand for. Then, each dec­o­rated shoe was placed on a wall with the oth­ers.

“We need this di­a­logue now more than ever,” said artist Jef­fery Bos­ton Weather­ford, of Oxon Hill.

He said through­out the week­end-long event at An­nmarie Gar­den, he saw three com­mon themes emerge in the shoes: reli­gion/ faith, na­ture and love.

“We all, like, have th­ese same core be­liefs,” Weather­ford said.

Artist Carl­isha Watkins of St. Leonard said she and Weather­ford had talked about col­lab­o­rat­ing on a project for awhile and were fi­nally able to work on “What Do You Stand For?” through An­nmarie Gar­den’s artist res­i­dency pro­gram.

“Peo­ple ex­press them­selves with art. Art al­ways con­nects peo­ple,” she said. The project at An­nmarie Gar­den al­lowed par­tic­i­pants to vis­ually show what they be­lieve in.

Al­though the project was geared more to­ward chil­dren, Weather­ford said he saw many adults re­ally get­ting into it with their kids.

Kasey Smith of St. Leonard brought her two daugh­ters, Abby, 7, and Lilly, 5, to the event Mon­day.

“It’s a good way to spend time with them and talk about dif­fi­cult is­sues,” Smith said, as she and her daugh­ters dec­o­rated their shoe cutouts.

“Ev­ery­one’s ex­cited about par­tic­i­pat­ing,” said Joann Foltz, di­rec­tor of mar­ket­ing and de­vel­op­ment for An­nmarie Gar­den.

“It’s kind of sweet … the size of the feet are dif­fer­ent so you get the gen­er­a­tional thing,” said Stacey Hann-Ruff, di­rec­tor of An­nmarie Gar­den, as she looked at the com­pleted shoe cutouts hang­ing on the wall.

Watkins said there was even a par­tic­i­pant in the project who came from Bo­livia.

“It’s a great feel­ing be­cause you see peo­ple from all over com­ing … just to cre­ate some art­work. … I feel like we’re chang­ing lives,” she said.

STAFF PHO­TOS BY SARAH FALLIN

Through­out the week­end and Mon­day, vis­i­tors to An­nmarie Sculp­ture Gar­den and Arts Cen­ter were able to par­tic­i­pate in the “What Do You Stand For?” com­mu­nity art project.

Shoe cutouts dec­o­rated by par­tic­i­pants re­flected sim­i­lar themes like faith, na­ture and love.

Kasey Smith of St. Leonard dec­o­rates shoe cutouts with her daugh­ters, Lilly, 5, left, and Abby, 7.

Artist Jef­fery Weather­ford helps Ni­cholas Gess­ford, 6, of Hugh­esville put the fin­ish­ing touches on his shoe cutout. Be­low, Kasey Smith of St. Leonard dec­o­rates shoe cutouts with her daugh­ters, Lilly, 5, left, and Abby, 7.

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