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B.A. Capstone Class explores College Street, west side of downtown Statesboro

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STATESBORO, Ga. – The Georgia Southern University Betty Foy Sanders Department of Art invites the public to a multimedia exhibition exploration of College Street and the west side of downtown Statesboro. The exhibition features works by students in the Bachelors of Art, Studio Art capstone class and will be on display Friday, April 29 from 5-7 p.m. in the Foundations Drawing wing of the Visual Arts Building, rooms 2049 and 2050. Pizza will be served.

The inaugural B.A. Capstone class partnered with the Downtown Statesboro Development Authority (DSDA) and the Office of Student Leadership and Civic Engagement at Georgia Southern. The DSDA has a well-communicated vision for the East and West Main Street sections of downtown, and has created visioning documents and artist renderings for the new Blue Mile segment of 301 S./South Main Street. The DSDA wanted to informally consider whether an additional downtown street may have potential as a student- and arts-friendly area for future investment. College Street is contained within the county’s Tax Allocation District making it an attractive area for business and residential development. Students in the B.A. Capstone class were asked to use their creative skills to catalog and interpret the features and character of College Street and discover assets the DSDA can then work to optimize.

The character of College Street examined through art practice sheds light on the neighborhood’s buildings, lots, green spaces, occupants, history, politics and demographics. This semester the B.A. Capstone students explored College Street with an Asset-Based Community Development model in mind and expanded their study westward from College Street towards Lee’s Restaurant. College Street marks not only the western edge of the DSDA map and TAD but also marks the edge of an informal boundary between the east and west side of Statesboro.

“The students found this area engaging because of its welcoming inhabitants, visual textures, and unexpressed history,” said Assistant Professor Elsie Hill.

The projects this semester manifest themselves in the form of animations, 3D modeling of architecture, photography, ceramic sculpture, poetry and graphic design. Susan Williams built a virtual tour using 3D tracking and video footage she shot in the area. Kimmi Tackett created an animation using footage taken in the home of a native of College Street who narrates some of her experiences growing up there. Jonathan Simons and Morgan Best collaborated to create a photo-documentation and 3D model that highlights African American businesses in the area. Kamiyah Franks photographed textures of Elm Street including the old Van Buren Hospital and nearby establishments no longer in use. Emily Oren created a ceramic sculpture representing Mother Earth and the division of land in the area. Andre’e James will be presenting poetry, which chronicles her personal experiences and wanderings around College Street and the west side, and Kate Rokoczy has tied all of the projects together in a 64-page book which she has designed. The layout and preview of the book will be on display at the event also will be available to order.   

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Betty Foy Sanders Department of Art • PO Box 8032 • Statesboro, GA 30460 • (912) 478-5358 • art@georgiasouthern.edu • (map)