Martinsville, Virginia


Piedmont Arts Looking to “Mobilize” the Community

Piedmont Arts announces that it will be bringing Kevin Reese's School Sculptures Artist Residency to Martinsville City Public Schools, Henry County Public Schools and Carlisle this fall. The community-wide project, Mobilizing Our Community, will involve Reese working with students from all 19 schools for a total of four weeks, September 29 - October 10 and December 1 - 12, 2014.

During weeks one and two, Reese will work with students as they create their own models while learning skills of design and balance. Reese will photograph the models to use as inspiration for the final designs. During weeks three and four, he will return to the community with "master" maquettes or models made from the students' designs and will work with the students to fabricate full-scale mobiles.

"We intend to mobilize our community around this artist residency by encouraging businesses and individuals to adopt a mobile through their financial support," said Executive Director Kathy Rogers. "Our hope is that we will have company employees who have supported the project working side-by-side with local students, as well as interns from NCI and Patrick Henry Community College."

Once the mobiles are complete, they will be exhibited in one location for several weeks so that the entire community can enjoy them. The mobile exhibit will open with a celebration event where students and supporters will be recognized. At the end of the installation, Reese will return to Martinsville-Henry County and reinstall the permanent mobiles in area businesses and organizations who have invested in the project. In addition to a permanent mobile, each business that provides financial support will receive a sticker for their door that reads, "We've Been Mobilized!" Businesses may also elect to donate their mobile to a school or organization of their choice.

"I am thrilled and honored to bring Mobilizing Our Community to Martinsville-Henry County. Mobiles are a perfect metaphor for community: individual shapes of different sizes and colors, balanced, in relationship, creating a wonderful whole," commented Reese. "I'm so pleased that businesses are already investing in this project. As an early sponsor they will receive a mobile specifically designed for their business, connecting them to the project not only financially but artistically as well."

"Piedmont Arts is excited to bring Kevin Reese to the community," Rogers added. "He is a dynamic educator and his process incorporates art, math, physics and teamwork."

According to Rogers, the cost of the artist residency is $28,000. To date, the following have provided or pledged support for the project: Charity League of Martinsville-Henry County, Chick-Fil-A, Dominion Foundation, Hooker Furniture, The Lester Group, Memorial Hospital, New College Institute, RTI, Kathryn Ascough Smith Memorial Arts Education Fund and the W. W. Sale Foundation. Piedmont Arts has also applied to the Virginia Commission for the Arts for an Arts in Education Grant. The museum hopes to engage more businesses in the project and is still looking for mobile sponsors. Anyone interested, should contact Kathy Rogers at Piedmont Arts, 276.632.3221.

Reese served as resident teaching artist at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, DC the summer of 2012, working with 24 high school students to create an installation of mobiles inspired by the work of Joan Miro. A native of California, he is a graduate of the University of California-Santa Cruz and the Pacific Conservatory of Performing Arts. He currently resides in Washington, DC where more than 52 of his sculptures have been installed at area libraries, schools and performing arts centers.

Piedmont Arts is a nonprofit art museum and educational outreach center in Martinsville, Virginia that facilitates ongoing enrichment of the lives of the people of Martinsville, Henry County and the surrounding area, through positive exposure, education and experiences in the visual and performing arts. Piedmont Arts is a statewide partner of the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts and is accredited by the American Alliance of Museums. Learn more at