Chattahoochee residents sallied upon a surprise not too long ago in Heritage Park – the Little Free Art Studio. Allowing easel and ease of access of art to every passerby, it was welcomed as a colorful, veritable change. Yet, did you know the local history to this elegiac stand?
Created by Lindsey Smitherman-Brown, professor of Humanities at Tallahassee Community College, the Little Free Art Studio in Heritage Park began in April of 2022 as a service-learning project created by students in her HUM 2020 Class – Introduction to Humanities Honors Course.
These students, eager to employ their college-learned education in a real-world setting, were due to research the general benefits of an artistic education on a local populace, all whilst kindly providing supplies for local children monthly.
There followed the creation of the LFSA soon after start-up funding by TCC’s Foundation through the College Innovation Fund; partnering then with Chattahoochee Main Street for maintenance and promotion, a suitable location was found – none other than the iconic Heritage Park, of course.
Continuing generous sponsorships from local businesses and organizations and individual donations of spare art supplies have helped the monthly amount to grow from an original number of 50 to over 100 monthly kits.
“To date, we have distributed 1500 art kits to local children and this past holiday season, children created art that was displayed publicly in a store window for Light Up Chattahoochee.
We hope to have future opportunities for public art in the future,” Professor Smitherman-Brown said in a quote. “We have even been contacted by other communities to begin a Little Free Art Studio there and I recently presented at a service-learning conference about LFAS and received lots of questions from other professors on how to start their own.”
As it has been more than a year, though, and, as we all know, new semesters bring new students, those in subsequent courses continue to design and implement new kits for the children of Chattahoochee.
Additionally, within each art kit, a child shall encounter a historical artistic mini-lesson ranging from Van Gogh’s vivid post-impressionism to the splatter abstracts of Jackson Pollock.
All necessary studies for the growth of the youthful and aspiring mind.
Rubén Darío Uribe – Gadsden County News Service