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An Evening with St. Lawrence Place and Dawn Staley

August 18, 2015

The Columbia Museum of Art and St. Lawrence Place have been partnering for seven years. The partnership involves weekly art lessons on the St. Lawrence Place campus and at the CMA, a monthly teen program, and summer camps.

This past spring, the CMA took on a special project proposed to us by the staff of St. Lawrence Place. They wanted the kids to make a piece of artwork for USC Women's Basketball Coach Dawn Staley, who is a great supporter of St. Lawrence Place and frequently visits the campus, bringing kids shoes for Christmas and at their back to school event. 

The education staff here at the CMA came up with an idea to have the St. Lawrence Place students create a painting, not with an ordinary paint brush, but with a basketball. The kids bounced, rolled, and passed the ball all over the canvas, creating a unique mixture of colors. The project not only allowed the students to be creative, but also let them use alternative tools and collaborate with their peers while creating this painting. 

The painting was presented to Coach Staley at the St. Lawrence Place Back to School Night. That night, parents and kids of St. Lawrence Place participated in fun games such as hula hoop contests, bag races, and the popular tug-of-war. We joined in on the fun, only to be defeated by the strong-armed school kids of St. Lawrence Place.

(It was a 20-3 person advantage to the students.) 

Coach Staley received her painting at the end of the night and was very thankful. She told the kids, “You all were so creative, be sure to use that creativity for the rest of your life to be successful. Thank you so much for this.”


The Columbia Museum of Art’s partnership with St. Lawrence Place is made possible by generous grants from The Lipscomb Family Foundation and The Nord Family Foundation.