Art Gifts From The Bronx To The Bay - - The News for South Mississippi

Art Gifts From The Bronx To The Bay

"It's called Mississippi Rising, as in phoenix rising," Joseph Quinones said as he picked up his artwork.

If a picture can tell a thousand words.

"When something seems like such destruction, it always comes back, and that's what the phoenix represents," Quinones said.

Then pieces of art being created by teens speak volumes about the unique identity of Bay St. Louis.

"We went out into the community, looking for people, places and things that had a good story to tell, that may have not been covered by the media," said Meredith Drum.

She's the video teacher for the DreamYard Action Project of New York.

"We wanted to make art that was a form of healing," she said.

Using plaster and their imaginations, the Bay High students and teens from the Bronx, New York, created shields. Each shield is filled with symbols that tell a story.

"This piece is what I picture an eagle would look like," said Tommy Duvieilh.

The Bay High Junior's creation pays tribute to a hero - his uncle Andy Buehler.

"The eagle represents the power and strength my uncle had during the storm to help people out," said Tommy. "He saved his mother, and sister-in-law and his neighbor I believe."

And one sculpture shows how beauty can come from debris.

"I found this phone with this frog that's dehydrated, apparently from the storm, or from the heat," said Scott Bailey with the DreamYard Action Project. "I see this as the 'Collect Call from Katrina.'"

Each shield will stay in Bay St. Louis and be given to a person or place that gave it inspiration.

"What I have on here is a bridge, and some cranes, and a beam of light to show hope," one teen said as he stood in front of the battered Bay St. Louis Bridge.

"It symbolizes the whole process of coming down here and working with the Bay St. Louis community," said Drum. "We're offering our hope, and our love to a place that has been injured by a catastrophe."

Besides creating art, the students also produced video documentaries, wrote poetry, and performed in skits. They showcased their work Wednesday night at the Bay High School Cafeteria on Blue Meadow Road.

By: Trang Pham-Bui

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