Artist Soynika Edwards-Bush is planting seeds this spring. The fertile soil is in the kids at four Boys and Girls Clubs throughout the Mobile area and the fruits are self-realization.
“I try to get them to talk to me about their art, to get them in the habit of expressing themselves. They’ve been able to talk about their art and what they created and why,” Edwards-Bush said.
Her charges are at the Sonny Callahan (Theodore/Tillman’s Corner), Kiwanis (Crichton), Chastang (North Mobile) and Mobile County Training Middle School (Africatown) sites. Though they comprise just a third of the dozen yearlong Boys and Girls Clubs in the area, wrangling all that youthful energy is a task. The teacher is trying to whet assorted appetites.
That means Edwards-Bush tailored the curriculum according to “what works best for each site.” The Sonny Callahan participants worked on mixed media self-portraits. Group effort was best for the Africatown participants, so they designed a painting based on the area’s unique history.
“I taught them about their hometown and just learning this history, they became more excited about their painting. That was a wonderful experience to share that knowledge,” Edwards-Bush said.
The Chastang group explored photography. Edwards-Bush had them outside, snapping shots of whatever piqued their interest, ants included. Eventually, she wants to show them pre-digital photography, film care, exposure and development, the entire process. She’s hoping it will teach patience and conservation with composition. For kids born in the last 15 years, it seems prehistoric.
“They’re always teasing me that I’m ‘from the 1900s,’” Edwards-Bush said, laughing. “I’m like, ‘Hey, the 1900s was a good time.’”
The work from all sites is aimed at a national contest. Projects will be judged with first- and second-place awards proceeding to the national level. The Africatown collaborative project will automatically qualify.
The work should also be available on the Boys and Girls Clubs of South Alabama’s Facebook and Instagram pages.
The art instructor is also looking for a spot downtown to exhibit the work for the May 14 LoDa ArtWalk. Her preference is with Mobile Arts Council, but another venue would suffice.
“I want them to experience that, to have people looking at and critiquing their work or give them words of encouragement,” Edwards-Bush said.
The instructor knows the feeling. Edwards-Bush is thrilled to be Alabama Contemporary Art Center’s artist-in-residence, a term she said ends in August 2022. Her students shrug it off.
“They aren’t impressed so they keep me grounded. These kids are something else,” Edwards-Bush said.
The Mobile Symphony Orchestra (MSO) is headed east, thematically, for their May 1-2 concerts. Past the Atlantic Coast and Atlantic Ocean, even the majority of Europe, they turned to the power of the Russian classics.
On the playbill are breathtaking works like Mikhail Glinka’s Overture to “Ruslan and Lyudmila,” Anton Arensky’s Variations on a Theme by Tchaikovsky, Alexander Borodin’s Nocturne (arranged by Rimsky-Korsakov), Sergei Rachmaninoff’s Vocalise, and Sergei Prokofiev’s Classical Symphony.
There are two featured performers: MSO concertmaster and violinist Jenny Gregoire for the Borodin, while principal cellist Moisés Molina gets his Rachmaninoff.
Pandemic precautions are in place, with only 400 attendees allowed into the 1,900-seat Saenger Theatre (6 S. Joachim St.). Masks are required and the venue is cleaned between performances.
The hour-long concerts start at 6 p.m. and 8:30 p.m. Saturday. Sunday matinees are at 1 p.m. and 3:30 p.m.
Tickets start at $15. Call 251-432-2010 or go to mobilesymphony.org to purchase or to receive more information.
The Eastern Shore Art Center (ESAC) is ready to stage their Outdoor Art Show in downtown Fairhope, April 30 – May 2. It runs 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. each day.
In a workaround with coronavirus caution, they have minimized the number of artist booths and increased space within the show. Booths are still plentiful, with nearly 75 artists listed on the ESAC website.
Hand-sanitizing kiosks will be stationed throughout the grounds. Shuttles will not be available.
Capacity inside ESAC (401 Oak St., Fairhope) will be steadily monitored and limited. Masks are encouraged.
For more information, call 251-928-2228 or go to esartcenter.org.
Tickets are available for Playhouse in the Park’s (4851 Museum Drive) production of “Romeo and Juliet,” running May 14-23. They can be purchased in person on the day of the performance. Box office opens one hour prior to the performance.
Seating is general admission with no reservations. Doors open 30 minutes before the performance.
Curtain is 7:30 p.m., 2:30 p.m. for matinees.
For more information, call 251-422-5434 or email email@example.com.
This page is available to our local subscribers. Click here to join us today and get the latest local news from local reporters written for local readers. The best deal is found by clicking here. Check it out now.