project leader
Sarah B
location
Intersection of Tillman and Sam Cooper Blvd
(Binghampton)
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the project

Carpenter Art Garden mission and vision is to provide art education and enrichment opportunities that are aimed to support the youth of Binghampton. Challenges that many of our Binghampton community residents face include poverty, blight, violence, insufficient services for children and adults, little access to public transportation, and little or no exposure to the arts. Through CAG's intimate involvement with this community, it is clear that most residents share aspirations to feel a sense of safety and to live in a place that inspires hope in their children. However, opportunities to realize their dreams have been historically fleeting or non­existent.

We have seen the benefits of exposing an underserved population to the arts first hand. Current CAG participants have developed their artwork over the years, some even building their own clientele. Our staff has nurtured the talents of participants by providing supplies, workshops, and helping adults and children to sell their own artwork for income. These opportunities will continue to foster economic development and enhance the community member's identity through art.

In the summer of 2016, community members began working on a mosaic sculpture garden on the comer of Mimosa and Carpenter Street. This public art installment opened a dialogue between neighbors. The transformation of this lot changes the perspective on their living space. This garden features mosaic pieces made by neighborhood children and adults under the instruction of local artist Suzy Hendrix. The objective of the CAG mosaic garden is to tum a blighted lot into a place where Binghampton residents can come view art and take pride in their neighborhood. Community members are encouraged to work on the mosaic garden every Wednesday afternoon.

This new project, "Welcome to Binghampton" Mosaic community sign will be created by local Binghampton residents, including adults and youth, under the
guidance and leadership of professional artist, Suzy Hendrix. Carpenter Art Garden plans to implement the creative vision of our neighborhood residents by fabricating and installing this sign at the intersection of Tillman Ave. and Sam Cooper Blvd. and a second sign where The Hampline meets The Greenline, two of Memphis’s public walking and biking trails. This project will serve to train"local youth in tile making and mosaic, as well as encourage the use of Green Space in this urban community.

This project was conceived by one of the Binghampton Residents employed by CAG to help run another program. He and other residents are frustrated by the public perception of Binghampton as a dangerous place. They wanted to make their neighborhood more attractive to visitors, especially as another portion of Binghampton, the nearby Broad St. Corridor, has seen a recent revitalization and resurgence as a business and cultural district.

the steps

The first "Welcome to Binghampton" Mosaic Sign located at Tillman St and Sam Cooper Blvd will take over a year to complete. ​

  • Binghampton residents were surveyed about the sign and the design
  • Professional Artist and Project Lead, Suzy Hendrix, worked with the engineers at Montgomery Martin Contractors to design the concrete form. To be seen from the road, the sign is approximately 12' wide by 6' tall
  • Acquire permits for signs from the City of Memphis (June 2019)
  • The mosaic team begin the design process for "Welcome to Binghampton" sign (June 2019)
  • Montgomery Martin Contractors will pour the concrete form for the first mosaic at the intersection of Tillman St. and Sam Cooper Blvd. (Aug 2019)
  • The teens will recreate the concrete form out of cardboard boxes to create the template for the sign
  • A pattern will be made on butcher paper
  • Binghampton youth will create approximately 7,000 clay tiles, depending on the design
    • Cut clay with cookie cutters and draw designs on the clay cutouts then dry completely
    • Fire the clay tiles
    • Paint and glaze the tiles
    • Second fire the tiles
  • The tiles will be laid out in sections then applied to the concrete form
  • Once all of the tiles are applied, the sculpture will be grouted and sealed 

 

why we're doing it

Carpenter Art Garden provides educational & enrichment opportunities that are aimed to support the youth of Binghampton. This community has virtually no access to the arts due to geography, transportation, and lack of affordability, and CAG is addressing the lack of access by bringing in local and National artists, art immersion trips, music and theatrical performances, and creating public art through murals and mosaic making. We do this by providing unique artistic, vocational, and educational experiences, many of which grow organically through conversations with the children and the adult community. CAG’S community gardens, bike co-op, tutoring program, and Art Interventions celebrate Binghampton and provide youth and their families with opportunities and tools for employment, education, leadership development, and healthy living.

The Binghampton Memorial Mosaic Garden began as a way to beautify and activate a vacant lot which was being used for drug deals and other activities unproductive for the neighborhood.  Located directly across the street from a large housing development, the lot is passed daily by the young people from the community on their way to school or to the local community center.  At the suggestion of residents from the community, CAG acquired the lot and began to transform the remnants of old concrete fencing and foundations into mosaic sculptures. 

The summer mosaic team is wrapping up the three year-long project of creating the Memorial Mosaic Garden. The large flower topper that sits on top of the final mosaic totem is ready to be installed. The teens researched how to create the flower so it will not fill up with water. Through artistic engagement, these teens have created something that they can tangibly call their own. Creative thinking skills will be necessary in order to overcome other challenges in their life.

This garden was previously an active drug corner. Binghampton resident, Tarlisa Clark, set up a mosaic making table in the garden with the team one Saturday afternoon. She tells a story of her joy when adult men, including her oldest son, came over to join her.  The men created tiles and asked questions. This garden is a tribute to their friends who have been lost to violence. Using art as a healing agent produces results that are both beautiful and beneficial. Art provides a creative outlet to release emotional trauma. Binghampton residents are able to express struggles they can’t speak about verbally through an art form.

Professional Artist, Suzy Hendrix, has hired three of the mosaic team youth as paid apprentices in her personal art business. One teen helped with a public art piece, another helped restore a historic church. By acquiring skills in the arts, the students are gaining self-confidence, pride, hope, and a living wage; all combined to fulfill CAG’s goal of helping them to create their best futures.

CAG’s organic assets and guiding values are congruent with what has been prescribed by the children of Binghampton. This public mosaic art installation and other youth-led programming has not only opened a dialogue between neighbors but has been building blocks to our core values of Connection, Trust, Caring, Safety Creativity, teamwork, and listening. Every public space created by CAG was not a plan created by the organization. They have organically evolved out of the desires of Binghampton children and conversations with neighbors.

budget

Renowned Memphis Artist Suzy Hendrix will serve as the project lead, assisted by Binghampton resident Tarlisa Clark and three Binghampton teens. Each of these positions are paid. This project provides Binghampton adults and youth with a meaningful source of income, skills training, and financial literacy training alongside an important sense of belonging, pride, contribution and investment in the community and its identity. The Mosaic team will meet twice a week during the school year.

Staffing: Professional Artist, Resident Assistant, Three Resident Teens=  $20,000
Mosaic Supplies=  $3,000
Potential Klin Maintenance=  $500
Utilities to run the klin=  $1,200

SUBTOTAL=  $24,700

ioby Platform Fee=  $35

ioby Donation Processing Fee (3%)=  $741

Total to Raise on ioby= $25,476

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