Visiting the Carpenter Art Garden

Some friends and I had intended to see an exhibition of an artist I like, but the venue was closed.  So instead one of my friends asked if I’d ever seen the Carpenter Art Garden.  I hadn’t.  So he took me to Carpenter Street, in Binghampton, a block away from where I went to Lester Jr. High School, back in the 70s, during the first year of busing in Memphis.  Lester Jr. High no longer exists, but there is an elementary school on the property now.

Lester will always have a special place in my heart because it helped rid me of much of the racism that I’d grown up as a White child, helped me make friends with Black children and my Black teachers gave me a broader perspective on my city and my world.

Carpenter Street is in an underserved area of town, but there is a grassroots arts and culture organization that’s bringing magic to it.

As we drove around Memphis — not just the Binghampton area, but in so many places where the city has had blight and neglect for years, decades — I said we needed more green spaces, more change, more building and growing.

Imagine my delight upon finding this lovely street and neighborhood organization — growing, changing and creating art.  Their website says:

The Carpenter Art Garden partners with neighborhood children and adults, as well as local artists to transform a blighted lot into a place of beauty. Each Tuesday volunteers work with approximately 70 children on permanent art installations, take home art projects and the tending to the garden boxes. The space is an actual garden of artwork.

As our garden continues to grow, the Purple House opened in September 2014. This a space for our programs to flourish during the cold winter months. At the Purple House we offer tutoring, small group art lessons, mentoring and clubs every day after school.

They also have a community bike shop, to help rebuild and repair bikes.

In 2016, they started work on the Mimosa Mosaic Garden, a property at the corner of Carpenter and Mimosa they are turning into a park.

This is the centerpiece:

20181024_123029
The tile work is a long term project where young artists are given areas to work so that it’s a community structure
20181024_124137
A work in progress but already a lovely site
20181024_123859
The retaining walls are being slowly covered in tile work by young artists with help from more experienced community artists

Across the street, there is a community garden, where some restaurants have signed up for organic herbs and produce grown by community members.

20181024_124405

 

20181024_124358
This beautiful gate was unlocked shortly after we arrived

The area was a bit difficult to navigate in a wheelchair and we were pressed for time, but I look forward to going back and getting more pictures.  It’s a wonder how one act of beauty inspires another.  I can’t wait to see how the garden grows.

If you’d like to read about their five year anniversary, there’s a great article from 2017 here at High Ground News:

http://www.highgroundnews.com/devnews/CarpenterArtGardenCelebratesFiveYearsOfCreativity.aspx

carpenter_art_garden_5_year
from High Ground News

Things are happening in Memphis.  And will continue to if we keep watering those seeds of creativity.  You can donate to Carpenter Art Garden here.

~~~

Thanks for reading my post.  If you like it, share it.  If you find a typo, please let me know and I’ll send you a thank-you postcard.  

You can see my original art on Etsy at:

https://www.etsy.com/shop/ArtbyJoyMurray?ref=seller-platform-mcnav

You can get prints and cards of some of my work on Redbubble.  They also print my work on lots of other items, including phone skins, tote bags, shirts and journals:

https://www.redbubble.com/people/JoyMurray?asc=u

If you’d like to support my art and writing, please consider becoming a donor on Patreon, a monthly donation platform that helps me pay for internet service, art supplies and living expenses.  A little bit each month goes a long way.  If I get enough supporters, I can make this blog ad-free!  Here’s a link to my Patreon page:

https://www.patreon.com/user?u=8001665

If you prefer to make a one time donation, you can do so at paypal.com  Please email me at joyzmailbox@gmail.com if you’d like details.

Advertisements

5 thoughts on “Visiting the Carpenter Art Garden

  1. Joy, I so enjoyed the video of The Carpenter Art Garden. Wow, Memphis is rocking! Loved this website and your info. Xxx, Lynn VG

    1. Thanks, Lynn. It’s always heartening to see what people can create when they put their hearts into it. So much good stuff going on here, in spite of poverty and other challenges.

    1. It’s pretty amazing. I couldn’t get close to some of the amazing structures at the Purple House, but they’re expanding, so I think we have a growing little art and gardening community 🙂

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s