McDowell awarded grant for “creative place-making.”

Chris McDowell

CED’s Chris McDowell (Materials Reuse Program) and doctoral student Kira Hegeman (Lamar Dodd School of Art) have been awarded an Arts in Community grant from the Athens Cultural Affairs Commission, the volunteer agency that administers AthensClarke County’s public art program.

Their project will be the construction of a communal oven and shelter in the Pinewood Estates North mobile home park on U.S. Highway 29 North, a community populated largely by people
from Mexico’s Michoacan state. Many of those residents have experience in both building and using the earth, sand and straw structures known as “cob” ovens, according to McDowell, who teaches Design Build laboratories at the University of Georgia’s College of Environment and Design, and who will lead a group of students (LAND 4911/6911) and Pinewood Estates residents in construction of the oven.

McDowell and his students have been involved with previous projects at Pinewood Estates — a mural and a garden gate — and McDowell said the communal oven project is the latest effort in a sustained presence in the community. Read More.