Family and friends, colleagues and mentors gathered yesterday at Artspace to celebrate the life and art of Frances Louise Drew. The paintings that will be on exhibit starting March 7 truly proclaimed her presence among us. Several of her evocative, meaningful poems were read, and special memories were shared.
We learned from her sisters that the family called her Louise, that she not only was a visual and literary artist, but that she also played the piano, the drums, saxophone, clarinet and guitar, that they and their father would sit and draw when they visited their grandmother's home on Sundays. I remembered Frances' story about this house: that she was fascinated by the random patterns, colors of its newspaper covered walls.
Henry Price reminded us that Frances was the editor of her college yearbook; he brought copies of those yearbooks and we looked at her young lovely face full of promise. He termed her, Shreveport's Van Gogh. She continued on that academic road to achieve a Master's degree, and was ABD, "all but dissertation" in her goal for a doctorate in Curriculum Theory. Luberta Meyers shared some memories of Frances in high school and on the winning baseball team. June Phillips brought a 30 minute video of an Artscene interview; how wonderful to hear Frances' voice talking about her work.
Her colleagues in the Willie Middlebrook Residency project, Kathryn Usher and Jamie Sanders, were present. Kathryn brought photos of the kiosk that Frances & Barbara Abbott created. Joel Blue sent a wonderful poem that was read. Jane Heggen related how Frances' generous and welcoming ways made her feel. The Pamoja Drum Circle provided just the right rhythms for us to Remember Frances, her generosity to her family, friends, church, and community. It was a very special day at Artspace.