Portraits by the young artists of Tambacounda
Dec 05, 2016

One of the hallmarks of Thread’s mission is, as Josef Albers stated, “to open eyes.” The artists who come to stay at the center never fail to amaze us with how they engage the community, whether it be through direct collaboration, such as Elise Eerearts’ ceramics project, or by offering a class, such as current artist-in-residence Dana Lynn Louis’s portrait drawing workshop.

Dana, who has for many years been involved in the Ko-Falen cultural center in Bamako, Mali, is no stranger to working with large groups. She took advantage of that expertise by inviting students from Sinthian and the surrounding villages, including Dialico, Koar, Nguene and Saal, to focus on drawing portraits of one another. She also challenged the students with a Surrealist-inspired “exquisite corpse” style exercise, in which the students drew both humans and animals, and looked for ways to seamlessly meld the two creatures — i.e. attach a goat’s head to a man’s body.

The workshops, which are part of Thread’s ongoing cultural programming, will continue in different forms during Dana’s residence, which ends December 16.