“My Way” – A Trip to Gee’s Bend

America Irby, \”Ma Willie\” Abrams, Indiana Bendolph, Della Mae Bridges, Seebell Kennedy, Pearlie Pettway Hall, Jeesie T. \”Bootnie\” Pettway, Sue Willie Seltzer, Fannie T. Westbrook, Addie Pearl Nicholson, et al. have produced some of the most remarkable works of American Contemporary Art. Born out of necessity with seemingly limited means and methods, great rigor, patience, and expertise, these truly extraordinary pieces are paradoxically imbued with a refined and confident freedom of self-expression that only exists in the realm of creative integrity. An integrity achieved outside the influence of superficial critical positioning and institutional branding often seen in today\’s world of cutting edge art and architecture. An integrity that can only come from artists and indeed architects where hearts and souls are intrinsically bound to the cultural condition of their work. These difficult works of beauty transcend issues of style, time, and technique to celebrate the spirit and touch the imagination.The studio will look at these works of art carefully, visit the place where they were made, and learn about their makers and the culture that produced them. We, as architects, will attempt, at least in some way, to discover insights into our own confident freedom of self-expression. The object of the study will be a repository for these works activated by a program of community relevance sited in Gee\’s Bend, Alabama.