Date of Award
“Mothers’ Sacred Bond” is a community art project inspired by Baltimore city’s self-proclaimed African nationalist “cultural community” of the 1970s to early 1990s. The project evolved over a 12-month period, beginning in August 2019, from the idea of researching leadership practices of that community to an environmental art installation that will be fully erected in Gwynnvale Park in Baltimore, County, MD, in April 2021. The intention of the project is to provide a focal point in the community for individual and collective healing and contemplation of relationships between human beings, the earth, and natural elements while fostering a consciousness of respect for all beings.
The pivotal element of the installation is a 6-foot avatar made of wicker, glass beads, copper wire, and canvas patches and representing mitochondrial Eve, the most recently acknowledged matrilineal ancestor of humankind. During the project implementation period from January through September 2020, community members, two arts organizations, and a multimedia production company have become involved in presenting and making the avatar art piece available to the public. In addition, representatives of local environmental protection agencies are involved in planning for the installation’s complete construction next year, which will include a small labyrinth, herb garden, the avatar mounted on the banks of Maryland’s historic Gwynns Falls stream in Gwynnvale Park. The primary methods employed to implement project plans included a rigorous creative process and building relationships with personnel responsible for the management of Baltimore County natural resources, parks, and watersheds in the creation, placement, construction, and maintenance of the environmental art installation. This project also demonstrates how artists can support initiatives, policies, and programs of city and county environmental agencies through collaborative planning and creative contributions to parks, public trails, greenspaces, and the sustainability thereof.
Matt Kolan, Ph.D.
Professional Affiliate Coach
Partlow-Myrick, Lenett Marie, "Masters Project: Mother's Sacred Bond" (2020). Rubenstein School Leadership for Sustainability Project Publications. 26.