Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Robin Clawson, former Craft Alliance and Stoner Arts Center volunteer, on Lucille Reed and Clyde Connell

"I took classes at and taught at the Craft Alliance through which I met both Lucille and Clyde when I first came to Shreveport," says Robin Clawson. "Both were always generous beyond belief in the cause of contemporary arts and crafts. I was on the Board of the Craft Alliance and then Stoner Arts Center for what seems like forever. For many years, my job was to book and hang shows and to organize publicity and openings for them. Both ladies donated their art (and advice and time) for every fundraising effort we made, and I could never thank them enough for always being can-do types. Without fail, they were devoted and dedicated worker-bees, not the least bit the prima donnas they could have been and deserved to be.

Lucille was so helpful with organizing the new space on Stoner to make it more studio friendly. She seemed quiet and peaceful and easy-going to me; she also seemed like a person who could move mountains with incredibly passionate ferocity.

I once went out to Clyde's place at Bistineau (have forgotten the reason...probably on business during my short directorship of SRAC...it was perhaps late '70's) and watched her point, clamor, instruct and hover about a large swamp creature while an assistant built it from native clay and fibrous plant materials and such. I remember wondering if her free-wheeling white hair was in the mix :)

She then made tea for me. We rocked on her porch, and I just remember looking at her and hoping I'd be that lively and hip when I got to be that aged. I knew I'd never live to be that pretty! Some years later, I returned to visit friends in Washington, D.C. where I'd lived for several years. It was joyous to see Clyde's work at the Hirschorn. I remember telling passers-by, 'This is my friend's work,' and being SO proud to claim her."


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