Here in Little Rock, one of my art teacher friends had
a custodian at her school who made drawings. His name
was Eddie Lee Kendrick. His drawings were mostly about
religious subjects with an occasional drawing about
his life. He was "discovered" when an Arts in
Education administrator went to his custodial closet
to ask about a mop to clean up a paint spill. When she
opened his door she said she almost forgot to
breathe...his drawings covered the closet from floor
to ceiling. After he retired, my friend would invite
him to come to the school and make his art. He would
sit at her desk in the hallway working while the
children watched. My friend wanted to buy a drawing
from him, I don't recall if he even let her pay him
(he gave away most of his work- many pieces to
children at the school) but he did tell her that she
couldn't take the drawing she liked with her because
it "wasn't finished,I have to put on the glitter". For
Mr. Kendrick, glitter represented the "holy spirit".
The Arkansas Arts Center had a show of his work here a
few years ago. Mr. Kendrick died of cancer before the
show opened. I was lucky enough to work with the arts
center and my friend who had known Mr. Kendrick on
curriculum supporting the show. It was very cool to
experience the work first hand, to talk to his family,
etc. The night Eddie Kendrick's show opened here, the
Arkansas Arts Center had one of the most wonderfully
diverse crowds in attendence...The choir from Mr.
Kendrick's church performed...it was an amazing
night.The exhibit was also shown at the New Orleans
Museum of Art. Some of his works have been in other
shows around the country. Maybe some of you have seen
I worked at a Girl Scout camp in the summer when I was
going through college. You think glitter in the
classroom is tough, try glitter in the woods with
sweaty kids. I hated glitter too until I worked with
Eddie's art. Now I sort of like it...I even use it on
my own work from time to time.
"When you have the Pope and the Dixie Chicks against you, you can't be long for the White House"
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