Maryland and DC (2011)
In 2010 TMTTR was invited by the Art Program of the University of Maryland University College, located just outside Washington, DC, to stage a community program and exhibition for Fall, 2011. In response, TMTTR developed a multifaceted project involving professional poets, senior citizens, and young African-American boys.
For this project TMTTR partnered with two regional arts-related community service organizations: Arts For The Aging (AFTA), which provides older adults with arts experiences, and Life Pieces To Masterpieces (LPMP), which uses art as a means to foster the personal growth of at-risk African-American boys. Two well-established poets, Kim Roberts and Dan Vera, based in Washington, DC, were invited to conduct a series of 8 poetry workshops at AFTA and LPMP, with project artists in attendance. During the workshops, which began in January, 2011, the older and younger participants created poetry which referenced water.
In May, 2011, each of the 18 visual artists participating in the project was given a poem which had been created in the workshops. The poems served as an inspiration, or point of departure, for the artists in the creation of a work of art. The two poets also contributed poems.
As with all TMTTR projects, several regional artists were invited to join the permanent artist members of TMTTR for the project. Five artists living in the Washington, DC, region were invited; these artists were originally from Chile, China, Jamaica, Nigeria, and Zimbabwe. Additionally, an artist from France was invited to participate.
The artists created their work with whatever media they wished, which included oil, and acrylic paint, drawing, photography, digital imagery, glass, and collage. All the work was then converted to large-scale digital prints, providing a unity to the presentation of the work. For the exhibition, the poems were displayed next to their respective artwork. The exhibition also included paintings on the theme of water by the young workshop participants from Life Pieces To Masterpieces. The exhibition opened in November, 2011.
The project received significant media coverage, including a major article in the Washington Post.