By Bonita Buford, Gantt Center
On June 15, 2011, the Gantt Center hosted a group of twenty-three children from South Carolina’s Blackmon Road Community — one of the poorest areas in the nation — whose residents live without indoor plumbing, trash pick-up, street lights or paved roads on the border between the city of Rock Hill and York County, a 30-minute drive from Charlotte. The visit was coordinated through Karen Byrnes, a volunteer at A Place for Hope (APFH), a non-profit center located in the Blackmon Road Community which provides tutoring, resources and counseling for the students.
After a guided tour of the Center’s three exhibitions, including work by Afro-Cuban artist Maria Magdalena Campos-Pons and the cornerstone of the Gantt Center’s permanent collection, the John & Vivian Hewitt Collection of African-American Art, South African Artist Lorraine Belachew led the group in a painting class.
After returning to South Carolina, the students created a hand-crafted thank you card for the artist.