Waste to Art: HSBC-SCAD Hong Kong exhibit redefines reuse


One last nod to Mother Earth before Earth Month slips away. Behold the thought-provoking and stunning pieces that comprise the Hong Kong exhibition, "Waste to Art." The show is a result of HSBC's partnership with 29 Savannah College of Art and Design freshmen to raise environmental awareness within the bank's community. In three months time, the students made sculptures composed entirely of recycled waste provided by the bank, including plastic, paper, and electronics. The 23 sculptures, which bear the fruit of the students' diverse academic pursuits at SCAD Hong Kong as much as they do an astute social conciousness, will be displayed at HSBC locations until June 22. Additionally, HSBC is considering adding several of the pieces to its permanent art collection, which includes works by Chinese and western artists, like George Chinnery.

"E-body" by Abinanth Ashok (B.F.A., visual effects) and Mariam Zamani (B.F.A., graphic design). Made of cardboard, wire mesh, cable wires, clock, motherboards and printer gears.

E-body represents a human race that contains electronic parts which many of us carelessly discard. It foretells the future of mankind if timely precautions are not made.

"Lai See/Paper Tapestry" by Rhéa Duckworth (B.F.A., advertising) and Rhea Nayar (B.F.A., architecture). Made of newspaper and shredded paper.

Lai See/Paper Tapestry was inspired by one issue: We sought to portray the falling motion of waste entering the landfill, where 25% of Hong Kong's paper ends up.

"Tech Smog" by Anastasia Simone (B.F.A., advertising) and Jonathan 'Jay' Lee( B.F.A., advertising). Made of keyboards and wires.

Tech Smog represents a sinister cloud because this deadly form of pollution is not often brought to light. It's about treating e-waste like dangerous pollution. We believe recycling is not enough. We don’t really want to make something look like waste. We want to make something that looks like art, not just screaming 'recycling.' It's just there quietly and sends you the message that you don’t really have to think about it.

"I wasted time, and now doth time waste me" by Inga Nelli (B.F.A., painting). Made of steel, acrylics and recycled plastic pellets.

The monumental hourglass, with waste trickling down, reinforces the idea that time runs out as waste becomes a permanent part of our nature. Viewers are invited to invert the hourglass.

"Take-A-Waste" by Daniel Kostianos (B.F.A., graphic design). Made of cardboard, cables and bamboo.

Based on the premise of consuming less and reducing more, this piece is made entirely out of discarded computer cables, cardboard and a pair of bamboo sticks rescued from the rubbish bin.

"Plastic is the New Porcelain" by Dawn Bey (B.F.A., fashion). Made of plastic bottles and wax.

By making plastic bottles resemble modern-day Ming vases, this piece elevates the status of such material into imperial ornaments, leading viewers to reflect on the widespread usage of plastic in our society today. I melted wax and dipped the plastic bottles and coated them a few times until they look really smooth, like porcelain. I made three types of bottles: plain, a layer of rice paper under a layer of wax, and wax printed on wax. All made of classic Chinese imagery like bamboo and plum blossoms.

"SPLURT" by Andre Ho, (B.F.A., interactive design and game development), Ellen Siu (B.F.A., interior design) and Jenn Lam (B.F.A., illustration). Made of shredded paper and foam.

This piece symbolizes the excessive use of paper in Hong Kong, showing that our landfills are overflowing and warning us that it soon may fill our streets.

"Stained City" by Jeselle Leung (B.F.A., photography). Made of plastic bottle labels and steel.

When will we start to take care of the place that we live in? A city made from waste prompts viewers to reflect on how they are affecting the community.

"E Bird" by Wesley Yau (B.F.A., visual effects) and James Hou (B.F.A., fashion marketing and management). Made of wires, metal, and CDs.

We love nature; and since birds are fragile creatures, we have created this bird sculpture to raise public awareness of e-waste harming animals in Hong Kong. 

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Video: Sidewalk Arts 2014 and the winners


Sidewalk Arts 2014 saw 1,000 Savannah College of Art and Design students, alumni and prospective students transform the pathways of Forsyth Park into a colorful carpet of inspired chalk art. This timelapse by photographer Andrew Forino (B.F.A., photography, 2014) captures the mellow frenzy of the day: artists drawing against the clock, their audience lured ahead by one brilliant illustration after another.

The winners include:

Best in Show: Madison Burger (B.F.A., illustration, 2010) and Katie Campbell (B.F.A., graphic design, 2004)

SCAD 35th Anniversary Award: Illustration students Jordyn Moss and Taylor McCaslin and animation students Grant Whitsitt and Abigail Slupecki

Graduate Student Award: Illustration student Sanaz Bagheraloloum Yazdani

Gray’s Reef Award: Animation student Jose Matheu and architecture student Ricardo Chiuz

Drawing Minor Award: Animation student Laurie Murray

Individual Student Award First Place: Illustration student Nguyen Tran

Group Student Award First Place: Illustration student Hyeonji Kim and fashion marketing and management student Soobin Lee

Alumni Award First Place: Cliff Lummus (B.F.A., graphic design, 2006; M.F.A., writing, 2011)

High School Competition First Place: Kari Hiner



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The jewelry of Downton Abbey with designer Andrew Prince


English jewelry maker Andrew Prince is across the pond for a U.S. tour that includes Bergdorf Goodman, which sells his designs, and Kleinfelds in New York City. He’ll give a public lecture at Savannah College of Art and Design on April 30 at 5:00 p.m.

Andrew’s impeccable taste and encyclopedic knowledge of jewelry and fashion could convince the most unadorned of us to match our bling and bouffant. Coexisting with Andrew’s unflinching sense of humor and style is a scholarly seriousness about his craft that will change the way you watch the PBS hit series "Downton Abbey," now filming its fifth season, or any other period piece on television, big screen or stage. Here’s the designer on the virtues of costume jewelry, his commissions for legends like Michael Jackson and, of course, how he bejewels the ladies of Downton.

Thread: Give us a sneak preview of the talk you’ll give at SCAD Museum of Art.

Andrew Prince: It’s about how fashion and jewelry are usually treated as two entirely different subjects, yet they are absolutely intertwined. So many people in the clothes industry know nothing about jewelry, and so many people in the jewelry industry know nothing about fashion. Jewelry follows fashion and it’s a talk that explains how the fashions change and why they change and why at the beginning of the 20th century there was such a revolution in jewelry design.

T: What’s the relationship between jewelry and costume design in film and TV?

AP: With costume design, one of the important things is not so much to match the jewelry with the costume, but to match the jewelry with the age of the person. You might get someone in the 1930s in their 60s wearing a modern dress, but her jewelry would be 20 or 30 years older than that. It wouldn’t be up to date because most people buy their jewelry in their 30s, 40s and 50s when they look their best. Using Maggie Smith’s Downton character the Dowager Countess as an example, all her jewelry would have been Victorian and Edwardian pieces. She would not have had Art Deco piece. Sometimes you see period dramas where you have a matron wearing modern jewelry and that’s totally wrong. It’s like if you can imagine someone in their 60s today wearing someone like Stephen Webster. It wouldn’t happen or it would be very unusual.

Necklace for Dowager Countess of Grantham that was worn at a formal dinner along with a choker. This style and combination is typical of the late Victorian or Edwardian period.

T: How does your jewelry aid the development of Downton’s characters?

AP: The jewelry is more of a background really because it’s supporting an image. It was never meant to take the characters over. For example, Cora, who is the American heiress, she would have had very large jewelry, diamond pieces to hold her own against the English aristocracy who had some very large pieces themselves. At that time, England was a very wealthy country because it had an empire and lots of money was coming in. So the families were able to afford these very lavish pieces of jewelry. So the jewelry is more of a frame for the character rather than part of the character. It’s a little bit of decoration to enhance the character.

Tiara made for Cora of pear shaped diamonds. This is a very dressy tiara worn for court and, being an American heiress, Cora would have come to England with a lot of diamonds as an indicator of great wealth.

Hairpiece made for Cora. She wore this tucked in back of her hair for dinners at home. Because of the eclectic influences, such as exotic countries, during the Art Deco period this design was based on a Japanese plum blossom.

T: Do you loan pieces to the production or are they commissioned?

AP: Some of the early pieces were ones that I already had in stock, but some of the pieces, particularly for the presentation of court and Lady Mary’s feather piece, they were made specifically for the character. The one for Caroline McCall, the show's costume designer, she basically said, "This is the period, this is the person, this is what’s happening. What do you think needs to be done?" There is one particular tiara, the one Queen Mary was wearing during the presentation, and when it came to two days before shooting I had a panicked call from Caroline who said, “We need her tiara to be bigger because Cora’s is going to be bigger than the queen’s and it does not look good.” So I spent 24 hours on the new crown and delivered it two days later.

Tiara that Queen Mary wore during the court presentation. Closely resembling a crown, this piece had to be very big and grand because she is the queen. Pearls were very expensive during these times, and a matched set of pear shaped pearls would have been out of reach for most everyone except royalty.

Maggie Smith is very specific on her jewelry. She’s particular about her character. I was concerned about what she would think about the choker and the tiara. And when it was shown to her she said, “Oh it’s wonderful, it’s exactly what I want,” I was relieved because it could’ve been a case of making something else.

The Dowager Countess of Grantham’s signature choker. She wears this in almost every scene, as she models herself on Queen Mary and Queen Alexandra (who were both very into chokers). The style is Late Edwardian/Belle Époque and is typical of a piece that a wealthy man would have bought for his wife while she was in her 30s.

The choker is a big piece of jewelry that shows wealth, and while it is not considered blindingly flashy or ostentatiously vulgar, it is something she would have used almost as “armor” to show the world her social and financial status.

T: What are these pieces worth or is it a matter of worth?

AP: The most expensive thing that goes into them is time. A lot of the stones are especially cut for me so that the cuts are correct. For example, a 1930s piece would have a different style of cut than a piece from the Victorian times. So quite often you find that when films loan real jewelry that it’s too bright. Under the lights in the studios the stones are too dazzling, so they have to be dulled down. Costume jewelry works best up under film lights because it’s not as bright as diamonds. Diamonds are blinding. There’s a particular tiara that Judy Dench wears in the film “Mrs. Henderson Presents” that is emeralds and crystals. In the studio I toned them down with graphite, which makes the stones look darker and can be washed off, because under the lights they were too strong. The pieces have to be tailored to the filming. Also, insurance on jewelry is too expensive, so studios tend to commission very good costume jewelry.

T: I saw your quote: "You can’t have fun with diamonds." You must be joking.

AP: Seriously. It’s because if you have a $25,000 pair of earrings you will spend the entire evening wondering if they’re still on, or whether the event you’re going to justifies the occasion to bring them out. If you have a string of pearls for $10,000 or glass beads, which one are you going to where more often?

T: What are the most memorable commissions that you've made?

AP: A friend of mine was making Michael Jackson a jacket. I had made a very large piece of jewelry for me - a shoulder jewel - that I was going to wear to a party. She saw it and she said, “I know someone who would like that, but can you make it bigger?” And that’s how that commission came about. That was a fun one. The other is a shoulder strap that runs down the back of a dress. It was for an Oscar lady. I can’t really say who. It went through the dress designer.

T: Mentorship is a big part of your story. What do you tell your mentees?

AP: One is to keep at it. The second one is don’t blow the profits. You always have bills coming in. When you start off and the money comes in, it seems fantastic and it builds up and builds up. You’ve got to put something aside every month, just in case something happens because everybody’s business goes down. It’s never an easy ride. Also, there are two things you’ve got to listen out for when dealing with clients. One is, “Don’t worry, I’m very easy to please.” You’ve missed out on a word. I’m “not” easy to please. And the second one is, “I don’t mind how much it costs, just go ahead.” They don’t mind how much it costs, but they’re not going to pay you. You’ve got to give them a price. Otherwise they’re going to refuse to pay.

T: What designers influence you?

AP: I’m rather ashamed to say it, but Cartier. Cartier from about 1900 to about 1939. They were outstanding. So much better than they are today. At that time the company was run by Louis Cartier himself and he was the driving force. They were modern. Now the company is not a driving force because it has so much history to rely on. So like Stephen Webster, he’s a fantastic designer. Cartier would never produce pieces like that because it’s too groundbreaking and they’d alienate their traditional customers that have been with them for 30 or 40 years. Lalique was also groundbreaking. I wish my brain worked like that because he was a genius in every single way. From a jeweler’s point of view, Cartier is wonderful for technical reasons and commercial reasons, but for sheer artistic extravagance and amazement Lalique is unsurpassable.

Tiara for the Earl of Grantham’s sister for the post court presentation reception at their London house. This piece is a copy of an actual Cartier tiara that was worn by a titled English woman and is reflective of the appropriate style that an extremely wealthy woman would have worn during that period.

T: What’s next for you?

AP: I’m going to start doing some more lavish pieces. I want to do impact pieces. So I’m being influenced by the Duchess of Cambridge’s things at the moment; big necklaces. I love big necklaces, so there’s some big necklaces coming out. I’ll also be working with English dress designer Sharon Cunningham. She did a lot of bridal stuff years ago and wants to do more couture things, and she’s a beautiful cutter. We want to create wonderful gowns incorporating lavish jewelry. 

And that takes us back to where we began, fashion and jewelry. Hear more from Andrew on April 30.

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Looking forward to Sidewalk Arts


To get ready for Savannah College of Art and Design's Sidewalk Arts Festival (April 26), we're taking a visit back to some photos from previous years. The festival is a nod to an art form as old as the 16th century, but we're bringing it into the present like never before. The 33rd annual festival hosts a brand new section of the competition for 3-D chalk art (complete with matching glasses, of course), and from now through April 20 you can vote for your favorite chalk drawing in the first annual Virtual Sidewalk Arts Festival for eLearning students and alumni. So mark your calendars and prepare to get a little messy.

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Prabal Gurung chats with Steven Kolb live


Prabal Gurung, world renowned fashion designer born in Singapore, will discuss his career and views on modern glamour with CFDA CEO, Steven Kolb. The livestream of their conversation from Savannah College of Art and Design in Atlanta, part of SCADstyle 2014, starts tonight at 6:00 p.m. EDT here on Thread.

Parabal Gurung was the recipient of the 2010 Ecco Domani Fashion Fund Award, has served as Goodwill Ambassador for Maiti Nepal, and his designs have been worn by fashion icons such as First Lady Michelle Obama and the Duchess of Cambridge.

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Watch: SCADpad micro-house unveiled


In a conventional Atlanta parking deck, Savannah College of Art and Design has launched an unconventional solution to explosive urban population growth and the accompanying demand for flexible housing. If you missed the live unveiling of SCADpad here on Thread, watch it now and take a virtual tour below.

SCAD’s experimental and experiential contribution to the micro-house movement, SCADpad pushes the boundaries of urban living and the parking deck that hosts three models of the 135 square-foot semi-permanent dwelling, SCADpad Asia, SCADpad Europe and SCADpad North America.

The SCADpad project also pushed emerging artists and designers, representing 12 academic programs, to the limits of innovation in areas like adaptive reuse, sustainable living, furniture design, intelligent home systems and more.

So, is it liveable? We’ll answer that question when the first round of SCADpad’s student-residents moves in next week. Follow their experiences on Twitter using #SCADpad.

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Sustainable art: the Earth works of Marshall Carbee


When artist Marshall Carbee took a real look at his own environmental footprint, he realized that the results were anything but pretty. After years of working for Los Angeles-based productions, including films like "Basquiat," "Conspiracy Theory," "Eraser" and "Men in Black" and collaborations with artists like Michael Jackson, The Rolling Stones and Bob Dylan, he realized that industries and artists alike need to reevaluate the materials used in the works they create. So in 2008, Marshall took a step forward and created the world's first bio-based sustainable soy gesso, which is not only free of toxins and petroleum, but is cheaper to make and more functional.


Marshall's nature-centric attitude towards art doesn’t stop at the materials he uses. He often lets nature have its way with his paintings by laying out big sheets of paper in the grass, mixing his paints with rainwater and just letting them flow across the page. His canvases are often flecked with sand and pine needles, and sometimes Marshall will let his pieces fly around loose in thunderstorms. Once, he even buried a few underground for years before exhibiting them. The result is a vibrant, beautiful experience; it's art that keeps you connected to the ground and the sky.

Artist Marshall Carbee discussing his work at the opening.

Non-Fiction Gallery brought Marshall to Savannah, Ga. with the launch of their MAP program, a new initiative that makes far-flung artists accessible to locals. While here, Marshall debuted his new show "Panoptica," played host to two painting workshops, and gave a lecture at the Bull Street Library. 

Forethinking artists like Marshall are starting to make a significant impact on the art world today, and for good reason. Art that decorates a wall but leaves the environment in sorry shape seems counterproductive. On the eve of Earth Day, it's time we all take a page out of Marshall's book and start becoming aware of the things we're using to keep every aspect of our art beautiful.

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Sidewalk Arts Festival welcomes spring in Hong Kong


More than 100 students at Savannah College of Art and Design turned out for the annual Sidewalk Arts Festival, the rite of spring at the university's locations in Hong Kong and Savannah (April 26). Whether Inspired by nature, Hong Kong landmarks, mythology or even SCAD's mascot, Art the Bee, the masterpieces were too ornate to tread on. Here's the winning squares and the best of the rest.

Best Overall Individual Square

Alissa Berkhan (B.F.A., Illustration): “This is my third time joining Sidewalk Arts. I wanted to create something colourful and playful. I drew four flamingos with shoes, and incorporated the words SCAD into the flamingos.”

Best Overall Group Square

Mairin Blaauw (B.F.A., Painting) and Maddalena DeBeni (B.F.A., Graphic Design)

SCAD Spirit Square

Laura Kwon (B.F.A., Advertising), Peggy Ip (B.F.A., Illustration) and Yi Jeong Koh (B.F.A., Painting)

The Best of the Rest

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A walk through deFINE ART with critic Paul Laster


Art critic and "Art in America" contributor Paul Laster has known many of the artists showing at SCAD Museum of Art for years. But that hasn’t stopped him from rediscovering them all over again during his third visit to Savannah College of Art and Design for deFINE ART. This artist, turned curator, turned critic and editor for Flavorpill.com ArtKrush, and more, helped me to see this feast of contemporary art through his eyes.

Paul Laster: This work by Matthew Brandt speaks for itself.

Thread: It’s beautiful.

Matthew Brandt "Lakes and Reservoirs"

P: This is the series that he’s done where he’s photographed the lakes and then he puts these photographs into the water from the lake so it’s like a secret soaked in lake water. The pictures are so clear and crisp because he shoots 35 millimeter and then puts the negative together in the computer. Then he makes a composite that he makes the prints from, so he gets all of that detail.

T: How did you become familiar with this work?

T: I reviewed his show in New York for "Time Out New York" and at that time, just as we’re doing, I had a walk-through with him so that I could totally understand. I do that often.

T: I would think that’d be the only way to do it.

P: Well, some people don’t want to get that involved. They want to have an objective point of view but, for me, I’d rather know as much about the work and then…I mean look at how sublime this is. So I’d rather know about the process, how it’s made and then look at it from the aesthetic.

Jason Middlebrook "Submerged"

T: How do you approach a place where there’s so much happening all at once?

P: Obviously, I walk in and I see [Jason Middlebrook's] installation first and you soak that up and then, like a kid in the candy store type of thing, you come into  show. Then, oh, it’s [Viviane Sassen's] show, and I like her work a lot, too. So at first you look at it and it’s all mixing together but then you start to delineate it, you have to separate it. See [Dustins Yellin's] show just on it’s own, or [Tallur’s L.N.'s] show just on it’s own.

Tallur L.N. "Balancing Act"

P: You just take it one at a time. Obviously, for me, I’m doing an interview with [Alfredo Jaar], but I have to decide too between [Nicola Lopez] or [Tim Rollins] and the kids as far as a review for Art Pulse. And then I’m reviewing Tallur's show for Art Asia Pacific. So what I do is…and I’m thinking about doing something on [Sam Nhlengethwa’s] work. You just take it one step at a time.

T: Walk me through Tallur's "Balancing Act" exhibition.

P: An artist like Tallur I’d never seen before. But that’s great because now there is someone else that I’ve met and someone else that I’m going to write about, someone else whose language I’m learning about.

T: Is there a piece here that you’re particularly drawn to?

P: Yeah, the last two, they’re all different. But this one’s quite fascinating in that these were ready-made sculptures that he cut the figure off. But when you look into these, too, you see the light from the other side?

T: Oh, wow.

P: It’s kind of marvelous. This is kind of like a top or a toy that spins. But he’s just welded all of these together. And this is quite marvelous, too.

T: I pounded a penny in there per the artist's invitation to the public.

P: It’s interesting how he cut this up. It’s not for an aesthetic, it’s for practicality because it’s so heavy. So by cutting it up he can ship it in separate parts.

Nathan Mabry "Process Art (B-E-A-G-G-R-E-S-S-I-V-E)"

P: I saw these [Nathan Mabry sculptures] when they were exhibited at the Nasher Sculpture Center in Dallas.

T: This reminds me of the Rodin Sculpture Garden at Stanford.

P: Well, these are “The Burghers of Calais.” He’s transformed them. It’s amazing because these are bronzes that he had made. When they were at the Nasher Sculpture Center they were on these terrace steps, so they were woven throughout that.


T: I watched them drop these into place.

P: These are heavy. These are amazing. They’re quite spooky with those masks on. The poses are after “The Burghers of Calais,” but they are transformed through this changing situation.

P: I like [Viviane Sassen's "In and Out of Fashion"] a lot because basically she’s showing us photography in a very unconventional way. Rather than it being framed prints on the wall, like Matthew’s work is, she has found a way to show us the pictures in the book in some dynamic, moving way.

T: It reminds me of a slideshow on a blog.

P: And then I love the way this image sweeps across the floor, just through the trick of the mirror. Look how dimensional the space becomes. You’re swept into it with this mirror.

T: It’s immersive.

P: It’s quite a marvelous use of a small gallery. I think it’s something a lot of people could overlook because of the impact of a show like Tim's or Sam's.

Dustin Yellin "The Triptych"

P: [Dustin Yellin's] piece ["The Triptych"] was exhibited in a show on Sandy in Brooklyn.

T: Hurricane Sandy?

P: Yes, one year later. Phong Bui, editor of the The Brooklyn Rail, curated the show, and artists had to respond to Sandy.

P: This piece is phenomenal. Like in Tallur’s piece, how you can see the rings of the tree. You’re seeing kind of like the rings of a tree here. This is layer after layer after layer of resin. He has poured layer after layer of resin. And then working on the top of each new surface is another level of collage and another level of collage.

T: He builds these layer by layer?

P: Yes. All this smoke area is paint, but the paper is layer after layer after layer until it starts to look dimensional.

T: Do you know how long this took him to complete?

P: No, I don’t. But look how complex this is. It’s like how Fred Tomaselli works. He works in resin and he paints and he collages and they become dimensional because it’s one layer on top of another.

T: Did you see Waldo hidden in one of the sections?

P: No, I hadn’t seen him. That’s wonderful, and he’s as tiny as you can get to still see it. It’s so complex because it’s a world unto it’s own.

Next stop on Paul's world tour of art is the Armory Show in New York and TEFAF Maastricht in Holland. Follow him on Twitter @plasternyc.


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Slam dunk for a college application: making art with Tim Rollins and K.O.S.


Hanging amidst the exhibitions of celebrated contemporary artists at SCAD Museum of Art is the work of 14-year-old Winter Jones.

I never would have suspected that I would have the chance to put one of my pieces inside of a museum as good as this.

Who better than Tim Rollins and K.O.S. to introduce Winter and his 7th and 8th grade classmates from Garrison School of Visual and Performing Arts to the art world. The collaboration between Winter’s class and the New York-based artists was a condition of sorts that Tim set for bringing the exhibition “Rivers” (Feb. 1 - June 8, 2014) to SCAD Museum of Art. Because, quite naturally, he wanted to interact with the community.

And so, among staples of the Tim Rollins and K.O.S. collection inspired by literature like Harriet Jacbos’ “Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl” and Mark Twain’s “Adventures of Huckleberry Finn,” is the piece that bears the untested marks of middle school students like Winter, “Darkwater III (after W.E.B. Du Bois).”

The students saw their work - first edition pages of the text "Darkwater" dipped in watercolor and gold acrylic - displayed on museum walls for the first time this week during deFINE ART.

Judging from their reactions, the students' encounter with Tim and K.O.S. was one opportunity that made their possibilities seem endless.

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