DSC_0260DSC_0388 DSC_0381 DSC_0368 DSC_0337 DSC_0335  DSC_0327 DSC_0320 DSC_0310 DSC_0307 DSC_0299  DSC_0294 DSC_0291 DSC_0268  With hundreds gathered for a 2nd Amendment Right rally at the Capital and a NFL event in town, Mobile Studio celebrated MLK’s National Day of Service by printing wishes of students from across Montgomery, Alabama, inspired by the life works of Rosa Parks. We have received nearly 1,500 from every district in the city and from as far away as Paris and Burundi. The wishes have been translated to graphic posters- printed messages that speak directly to the future of the city.

Ranging from stop the violence and the killing! to appreciate your bravery and change the world!, the voices of the children are a clarion call to urban action. Not renewal but regenerative design, from soil to civic health, from the roots to the shoots- what is needed includes sidewalks, parks and bike lanes, community centers and excellent public transportation, investment in education and the future of all children today. To make the wishes of these children come true in the City of Dreams, citizens and civic leaders will need to collaborate to rebuild vital community and neighborhood infrastructures. Enter the Mobile Studio, a collective art-based approach to open dialogue about our shared landscapes. We aim to engage the discourse, share the visions and bring the change.

The public silk screening day was held beside the bus stop at which Rosa waited in 1955, in Montgomery’s historic Court Square, a fitting place from which to consider the past, present, and future of downtown Montgomery. Court Square was one of the largest slave markets of the Confederacy. In that clearing beside the first courthouse,  an artesian spring provided water to the emerging capital, as cotton and hay was sold and slaves auctioned at the block. In 1965, a decade after Mrs. Parks acted for equal rights and justice, thousands of people marched from Selma to the steps of the Capital along Dexter Avenue past the Dexter Street Baptist Church and continue to march today to  actualize human rights and justice. However, today, this ground zero is more of a ghost space despite its prominent neighbors. Downtown is half boarded up. Setting the print shop here for this civic workshop was an intentional alignment, a strategic punctum in the studium of the city.

With the Potluck Drumming Choir and Auburn Alabama’s own Less Than Heroes, the field day served to test the acupunctural significance of that haunted terrain in the revitalizing of Montgomery’s civic health and to stimulate the tingling of healing, opening pathways, and channels of sustained service and exchange. Printing these powerful wishes at the epicenter of Dexter Avenue, Rosa Parks Avenue and the State Capital grounds, on what was probably once a sacred mound above the Alabama River, was for the studio, a double move of resistance and wish-making. The posters give power and presence to the children’s wishes for peace, safety, equality, and justice. The event itself celebrates that act, and invites an open dialogue about how we achieve these wishes.

This project is ongoing. We hope you will join us in this wonderful partnership between Troy University’s Rosa Parks Museum, Professor Jerry Johnson and his graphic design program at Troy, Auburn University’s Master of Landscape Architecture Program and an international group of students and artists dedicated to the critical and creative practice of being the change we wish to see in the world.

Poet Nikki Finney  http://nikkyfinney.net/ will be speaking at the commemoration of what would be Rosa Parks 100th Birthday the week of February 4th and prints by Amos Kennedy are showing at the Rosa Parks Museum Gallery http://trojan.troy.edu/community/rosa-parks-museum/. Mobile Studio is excited to be a part of this wonderful year-long project!

Check out the several awesome publications about the event posted the Montgomery Advertiser, and the Prattville Press http://progress.montgomeryadvertiser.com/article/20130120/NEWS01/301200015/Rosa-Parks-celebrated-Montgomery-event

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Please join us next Saturday at Montgomery’s Court Square to silkscreen the first set of wishes posters for Rosa Parks’ 100th Birthday. More than 2000 wishes for the future of the city inspired by Ms. Parks’ life work have poured in from school children across the city and around the world. The Mobile Studio has worked with Ambassadors of the Rosa Parks Museum, Jerry Johnson and his graphic design students at Troy University and Landscape Architecture students from Auburn University to translate these wishes into visual messages that will be returned to schools and neighborhoods across the city and presented to district representatives on the evening of Rosa Parks’ Birthday Gala.

The day long event will bring the art of silkscreening and the populist tradition of the broadside print to the center of the city, free and fun for all. Bring the family, bring the students, citizens one and all and spend the day in this intriguing urban terrain making art, music, food together to re-new our collective commitment to justice, to equal access to the civic infrastructures and civic health of the the city.

The photograph above is from a Mobile Studio silk screen event last spring at Tuskegee’s Courthouse Square with Mark Wilson’s team of outstanding students from across Macon County and Auburn’s Community and Civic Engagement Program. Next Saturday promises the beautiful handmade Rose Paper, the silky scarlet studio fabric roof and much more. Hope to see you there!

SHILOH SHOW OPENING: a wonderful re-imagining schoolgrounds program and event!

The opening Saturday brought together a great mix of students, school collaborators, civic leaders and friends of Shiloh in the Shiloh Rosenwald School in Notasulga to enjoy the show. It was great to see the student’s sharpest work framed in the context of the remarkable history of Shiloh and the care for land-based education cultivated in Macon County. The mixed-media program featured posters, photos and prints, agricultural displays, models, a slide show, film and laptops set up in the resource room to inspire the next year of community programming. The afternoon inspired many exciting future collaborations and provided thoughtful feedback about the Re-Imagining Schoolyards project to date. Thank you so much for coming out and supporting the Mobile Studio’s first full-scale public exhibition!


DSC_0809A fabulous show in addition to being a provocative design review; the work stimulated conversations about life, landscape literacy, grassroots design/build, and hands-on learning. We explored the many potentials of schoolyards: playful to productive, meditative to magical, and the intention of constructing these landscapes with the communities of Notasulga, D.C. Wolfe and the Fews School in the future. Perhaps only the first in a system of co-operative extension design/build programs across the southeast, prototypes of this collaboration, like the Rosenwald Schools, could multiply across Alabama.  Many thanks to the excellent reviewers: Kevin Moore, David Hinson, Judd Langham, Jacqueline Margetts, Michael Robinson, Charlene LeBleu, Rod Barnett, and Birgit Kibelka from Birmingham for joining us for and sharing their thoughts. Please come next Saturday, 12-5 pm to Notasulga for the opening of the Re-Imagining Schoolgrounds: from roots to shoots Exhibition at the Shiloh Rosenwald School.

Re-Imagining Schoolyards Final Reviews and Exhibition Opening

Please join us for the MLA Studio 2 Final Reviews November 29th and 30th between 1-5 pm in the Dudley Gallery, the glass triangle on the courtyard.  The studio has been working with three schools in Lee, Macon, and Montgomery Counties and has been exploring the question: What can a school ground be? We would welcome your thoughtful critique on the work.

You are invited to the Exhibition Opening of Re-Imagining Schoolyards:

 an Auburn University, Master of Landscape Architecture Collaboration

With Notasulga School, D.C.Wolfe and the Fews School.

 Discussion and Reception to be held

 at the Shiloh Rosenwald School in Notasulga

 December 8th 2012: noon-5:00pm.

 7 Shiloh Road

Notasulga, AL 36866

 Hosted by the Shiloh Community Restoration Foundation, Inc.


Paper Making for Rosa Parks 100th Birthday!

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Paper Making for Rosa Parks 100th Birthday!

The scarlet paper-making pavillion became a crossroads of hands-on civic engagement, as wishes inspired by Rosa Parks life works were drafted and handmade paper was created for the posters that will broadcast these wishes as messages, as art across the neighborhoods of Montgomery in honor of her upcoming 100th birthday.