Not in the clamor of the crowded street, not in the shouts and plaudits of the throng, but in ourselves, are triumph and defeat.--Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

REDIRECT ALERT! (Scroll down past this mess if you're trying to read an archived post. Thanks. No, really, thanks.)

Due to my inability to control my temper and complacently accept continued silliness with not-quite-as-reliable-as-it-ought-to-be Blogger/Blogspot, your beloved Possumblog will now waddle across the Information Dirt Road and park its prehensile tail at http://possumblog.mu.nu.

This site will remain in place as a backup in case Munuvia gets hit by a bus or something, but I don't think they have as much trouble with this as some places do. ::cough::blogspot::cough:: So click here and adjust your links. I apologize for the inconvenience, but it's one of those things.

Friday, May 21, 2004

A great honor indeed.

Rural Studio exhibit opens in D.C.

News Washington correspondent

WASHINGTON - A tribute to Auburn University's Rural Studio, the student program that combines architecture and community service to combat poverty, goes on display at the National Building Museum Saturday.

Created originally for Birmingham's Museum of Art, the exhibit is now on the road and will be in the nation's capital before moving westward to Arizona in September. Like in Birmingham, the intriguing work of the architecture students is the main attraction, but it is more importantly an homage to the man who inspired them all, the late Samuel Mockbee.

"He's been a part of our solar system for some time," said Howard Decker, chief curator. Mockbee won the museum's Apgar Award for Excellence in 1999 and Decker said he's been trying to land an exhibit of his work ever since.

It opens publicly on Saturday but a preview tour Thursday drew national press. The 3,000-square-foot display combines the photography of Timothy Hursley, Walker Evans and William Christenberry; Mockbee's striking artwork; scaled models of the buildings students erected across Hale County; and samples of the designs with their unorthodox materials.

The centerpiece is a carpet bale temple, a touchable structure for displaying the models and giving museum-goers a feel for how Rural Studio work looks from the inside. Its walls are heavy pine timbers and 95 bales of discarded carpet yarn, and beaver-chewed sticks jut from the roof.

For 10 years, Rural Studio has transplanted Auburn architecture students into the high-poverty Black Belt to design and build things people need: a house, a chapel, a community center, a baseball field. Their budgets are low, their labor is cheap and their creativity, boundless.

"The most basic function of architecture is shelter, but the dignity of this shelter is above and beyond," said Chrysanthe Broikos, coordinating curator. [...]

Any of you up in the D.C. area--this would be a great exhibit to see. Here is a link to the exhibit at the National Building Museum website.

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