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Swamp art complete

SCAD students finish project at LeConte

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POSTED: October 16, 2009 9:50 a.m.
Photo by Lauren Hunsberger/

A strip of fabric marks one of the nature trails on the plantation.

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After a few weeks of work, a group Savannah College of Art and Design students have completed their massive, two-part art installation, which is designed to serve as a memorial to slaves who worked the land at LeConte-Woodmanston Plantation. The exhibit is open to the public.
And it’s just the beginning for this art piece inspired by the natural landscape and the people who once walked it.
The students, a mixture of architecture and fibers majors, are now preparing to submit their design into the Manifestations of Memory: A student ideas competition as a memorial to American slavery hosted by University of Carolina.
“They submit in January,” SCAD professor LaRaine Papa Montgomery said. It’s a national competition and it’s wide open. People can submit any kind of memorial ideas that they may have.”
The final project includes a series of wooden structures that are mounted in the same rice fields that slaves once toiled in decades ago as well as a 231-foot long installation along walkways that wind through the plantation.
“Our installation is pretty much encompassing the integration of cultures from the original enslaved people from Africa, the 231 original slaves and the original LeCounte family sort of integration that is the melting pot that is America and bringing in this diversity through a fibers-inspired installation,” architecture student Christian Fortuno said.
Montgomery and Liz Sargent, a fibers professor for SCAD, assigned the installation as the group’s midterm project, so the students still have work to complete before the quarter is over.
“For the second part, they’ll design a chapel for the site.” Sargent said of the student’s upcoming assignment.
Montgomery said the chapel will house a variety of events and will be able to hold about 125 people.
The installations will also be featured in the upcoming Riceboro Ricefest on Saturday, Nov. 14. 
Visitors would wish to see the art project at its best, however, should hurry to LeCounte as the projects are completely outside and subject to weathering and because they’re are made mostly out of natural materials, could begin to breakdown.
For more information about the Riceboro Ricefest, go to www.riceboro-ricefest.com, and for more information about the UNC competition, go to www.asmcompetition.com.
 

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