Community Foundation awards grant to LaGrange Art Museum

Published 7:11 pm Friday, December 28, 2018

The LaGrange Art Museum is one of 18 area organizations awarded a grant from The Community Foundation of the Chattahoochee Valley, announced foundation President and CEO Betsy Covington.

The museum was awarded $2,450 for a project entitled “Eyes on LaGrange: Camp ¡Libertad!” The project will be a photographic display on the outside walls of the museum which will highlight the children of Latino families living and working in LaGrange and their value to the community. 

“This is an underrepresented group both at the museum and the community,” said LAM Executive Director Laura Jennings. “Currently 6 percent of our community identifies as Latino, and I suspect that number is actually higher.”

“Eyes on LaGrange: Camp ¡Libertad!” will be creatively led by Henry Jacobs, a photographer, filmmaker and outreach director for Chattahoochee Riverkeeper, a local non-profit organization. 

Jennings will serve as project manager and Victoria Slagle, the museum’s education coordinator, will be instrumental in the installation of the images. 

Anton Flores, with Casa Alterna, will play an important part in this project, as he lives and works in the Latino community and will help ensure its involvement.

Museum board member Cynthia Welch commented that she understands first-hand the importance of exposing art to children of LaGrange’s Hispanic community. 

“As a Hispanic child, growing up in LaGrange, LAM was highly influential in educating me about art in its various forms,” Welch said. “Unfortunately, what we are seeing today is that due to certain factors, mainly language barriers, LaGrange’s Hispanic community doesn’t participate in events at large. Through ‘Eyes on LaGrange,’ LAM will bring art exposure to these kids. They will not only be observers but the very subject of this exposition, making the experience a true cultural event to promote social integration in our community.”

The photography is already complete. With Flores’ help, Jacobs spent time this past summer making portraits of children at Casa Alterna’s “Camp ¡Libertad!” 

“Using those images for ‘Eyes on LaGrange’ will be a great fit, especially given that the mission of ‘Camp ¡Libertad!’ is to develop confident, literate and empowered Latinx children who will be change makers in every sphere of their community,” Flores said. 

Children from the camp and volunteers will help install the images using wheat paste.

“Considering the scale of the project and size of the installation — we plan to use at least 480 square feet of the outside walls — this is a low-cost, socially-engaging project that will be seen by thousands of people who pass through downtown every day,” Jacobs said.