by Mimi Norton/Lion Staff
Even though she’s two years younger than I am, I look up to sophomore Kendall Greene. She’s consistently involved in so many events across campus, but her extracurriculars extend far beyond Lovett. In fact, she is single-handedly planning an art showcase on April 22 at a gallery at the Center For Civil and Human Rights that she calls “Sacred Space.”
Inspiration came last year, when she “noticed a lack in student galleries in Atlanta - ones that were not only for students, but by students,” Kendall explained. She hopes to build the young arts community here because “it’s so prominent in Los Angeles, and New York, so everyone feels like they need to get away.” Kendall wants to bring together the countless artists that make this city so special and help show them a community of like-minded creatives who can support them.
Kendall has been collecting submissions for about a month, and she currently has over a hundred. She asked people to submit things that are sacred to them, or close to their heart. Her submissions are coming in the form of all different kinds of media - whether that be paintings, drawings, sculptures, films, song recordings, poems, or really anything else.
She’s also planning on contacting a few musicians who submitted songs to come perform in person, and she’ll be projecting films and music videos in addition to the physical pieces on display.
When I was chatting with her in the senior lounge, Kendall said that art has always been something she’s been surrounded by. “It’s been a part of my life for as long as I can remember!” she said.
Her dad was a teacher, and her grandfather was an architect, so they would always encourage her to be creative by giving her and her brother art supplies and learning resources. She remembers spending time in her room when she was younger, just drawing for hours and hours.
I was incredibly impressed, but not surprised, when I heard Kendall was planning all of this. “I’ve never organized anything like this before!” she said, laughing. She was able to find an available (and free) space at the Center for Civil and Human Rights thanks to Lovett Director of Multicultural Programs and Services Ellice Hawkins, who’s been helping her with some of the logistics.
Once she got the space and a date, “I just threw together some flyers and a website, and told a lot of my friends who are creative, and it just spread through word-of-mouth.” Kendall hung flyers around the city and talked to local businesses to see if they could help her advertise, which they all willingly did.
She also got help from local organizations re:imagine/ATL and Wonderroot who shared her gallery details with their young artists, so she’s gotten plenty of submissions that way, too.
“It’s a lot of putting myself out there, and seeing who responds,” Kendall admitted. “With an event like this, I know it’s my responsibility to reach out, but it’s also a lot of waiting on other people.”
This whole initiative has been completely driven by Kendall, but she acknowledged she’s had lots of support from her mom. “I can’t drive myself,” Kendall said, “so she’ll take me wherever I need to go. She also keeps me organized. Some days if I’m feeling lazy, she’ll remind me to respond to submissions or work on fliers, that kind of stuff.”
Kendall said she’s hoping to turn the idea of “Sacred Space” into her own non-profit organization, “but that’s still in the works.” She just wants to continue to have these spaces where people can celebrate themselves and their art and connect with each other. Kendall hopes this event will become an annual thing, or even a few times a year.
Right before I ended the interview, she added, “I just wanted to mention that everyone I’ve reached out to has been really cool and so willing to help. The city came out!”
If you are interested in coming out to the event, the date is set for April 22 on the bottom level of the Center for Civil and Human Rights from 12 - 5 PM! I’m sure Kendall would appreciate it if you spread the word, too. If you want more details, please check out Kendall’s website at www.positivityparty.com or email firstname.lastname@example.org.