I was happy to be driving up the gravel road to the Center on the 14th of this month; and now my time here is almost over--at least for this year. I'm hoping to return in the future--this is such a wonderful place to spend time. As Lillian Smith said, "Dreaming, talking, acting: this is the way to bring change about."
Here's a short quote from a brochure about the Center:
"The Lillian E. Smith Foundation was established August 1, 2000, to honor the memory of Lillian E. Smith, one of this country's eminent writers, civil rights activists, and humanitarians. Smith held at the center of her being her function as a creative artist. She also deeply valued the power of the arts to transform the lives of all human beings.... It was with this vision in mind that the concept of a retreat for artists, writers and scholars was developed on her homesite."What a wonderful concept... to value the power of the arts to transform lives. I feel especially blessed to have been here during this particular time when a political party's convention has been taking place, one at which the value of the power of the arts was possibly not a plank of the platform.
I've been involved in the arts for most of my life. I majored in art in college, then was a full-time art teacher for 31 years. I continue to be involved in art teaching, although now in short classes and workshops specifically for tapestry weaving. I can truly say that my immersion in art making and teaching about what I've learned in art has transformed my life. And I've seen it at work in the lives of others. I hope that a belief in the value of the power of the arts to transform lives is revived on a national scale. One can always hope.
OK... off the soapbox now. Here are some photos from the Center as I prepare to leave. They're in no particular order, by the way:
So, for now... I'll say good-by to the Lillian E. Smith Center... until next year. Maybe I'll see you there!