FLOW Tuscaloosa brings together flows of art, history and environmental concerns – Tuscaloosa Magazine | Candle Made Easy

FLOW Tuscaloosa’s name can rise through numerous levels. In its most direct sense, as an interdisciplinary group inspiring appreciation and protection for the Black Warrior River and its tributaries, this literal river refers to the movement of energies or matter through currents.

Flow can also refer to constant change, to progress; a movement of people working towards a common goal. It can refer to abundance or suggest a cause for an effect. Psychologically, the flow state indicates being fully engaged, energetic, and hyper-focused; in the zone.

In the roughly three years of FLOW Tuscaloosa’s existence, the group of artists, historians, environmentalists, activists, educators and other advisors have dug deep, with efforts increasing this spring and summer.

On May 21st, a magnificent array of lights shining through colored paper—guided and designed by FLOW Tuscaloosa’s school and public workshops over the past few months—created a kaleidoscopic parade of lanterns along the Riverwalk, shining through the greenery in man-made visions , not seen since The holiday-themed Tinsel Trail moved to Government Plaza last year.

FLOW Tuscaloosa, an interdisciplinary group that aims to inspire through art projects to care for the Black Warrior River and other waterways, hosted a series of paper lantern-making workshops that led to the May 21 Lantern Parade along the Riverwalk.

The symbolism was intentional and direct, said FLOW co-founder Julia Brock, an assistant professor of history at the University of Alabama.

“Through a kind of participatory art-making, we’re asking people to see places in a new light,” she said, “to pay attention that places are a little different.”

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Her FLOW partner, artist and educator Jamey Grimes, leads workshops at the Dinah Washington Cultural Arts Center, the Druid City Arts Festival and in public and private schools, city and county, guiding participants to understand the history and ecology of the waterways of to symbolize Tuscaloosa.

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