Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Flagg Grove School, childhood school of Tina Turner, to be saved and moved to the WT Delta Heritage Center

Owner Joe Stephens stands in front of the Flagg Grove School that will soon be moved to the West Tennessee Delta Heritage Center in Brownsville. Plans for the school includes interpretive exhibits about African-American education as well as a Tina Turner exhibit.

We are so excited to announce that the Flagg Grove School, in the Nutbush community, will be saved and moved to the West Tennessee Delta Heritage Center. Brownsville Mayor and Aldermen have voted to fund Phase 1 of the project that includes moving the school. Once at the Center, the school will be restored and become a part of the Center's permanent exhibits.

The one room school  is one of only a few remaining African-American schoolhouses in Haywood County which gives it significant historical value ... and it can be tied directly to Tina Turner's ancestry. The land for the school was bought from Benjamin Flagg in 1889. Flagg was a former slave who came from North Carolina after the Civil War. He was also the brother of George Flagg, Turner's great-grandfather. Tina Turner attended this school while growing up in Nutbush.
The building, along with other artifacts found in the school, is being donated to the Center by local restaurateurs Pam and Joe Stephens. "Pam and I wanted to save the building," says Stephens. "It's an important piece of Haywood County history." The building has been owned by the Stephens family since the late 60s.
Regarding the efforts to save the school and open it to the public, Tina Turner commented: " I'm pleased to know that children from around the world, who stop at the Visitor's Center in Brownsville, will be able to visualize what it was like growing up during the era of my childhood."
While the City will fund the initial move, the preservation work will continue through fundraising ­­efforts of the Friends of the Delta Heritage Center; a non-profit group who supports the work of the Center. Anyone wishing to help with these efforts can contact the Center at 731-779-9000, or donations can be made payable to the Friends of the Center, 121 Sunny Hill Cove, Brownsville, TN 38012.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Sonnets to Orpheus opens April 13

Lendon Noe

"Sonnets to Orpheus" is the name of the latest exhibit to be presented April 13 - June 2, at the West Tennessee Delta Heritage Center in Brownsville, Tenn. The collection of mixed media art is the work of Jackson, Tenn., native Lendon Noe and explores a series of poems written by German poet Rainer Maria Rilke depicting the Greek mythical musician, Orpheus.

"Rilke’s sonnets are filled with beautiful metaphors that to me are breathtakingly visual," says Noe. "While I don’t seek to illustrate his work, I have been immeasurably inspired by it."

Noe is the former Professor of Art at Lambuth University where she taught for 28 years. She has recently opened a studio and gallery at DCA/DCPR in Jackson and is a partner and instructor with Silver Creek Workshops.

"My work hovers between realism and pure abstraction and I am attracted to many different media and techniques."

Noe began as an oil painter but explains that she now does a lot of drawing, incorporating acrylics and inks, collage and image transfers. Inspired by nature, many of the works in the Orpheus collection depicts trees and nature.

" I look for poetic references and metaphors involving all kinds of plant life and birds."

The public is invited to a special exhibit opening and reception Friday evening, April 13, 6-8 p.m., to meet the artist and learn about her inspiration and interpretation of the sonnets.