The Old Harrington Schoolhouse, St. Simon's
Oil on Linen Panel
(c) Kelly Medford, 2012
This painting done of the only original black schoolhouse left on the island was awarded the St. Simon's Landtrust award. It was truly an honor and priviledge to have the opportunity to paint on the island. I have many stories to tell and will do a follow up post next week.
While I was painting on this site an old man rode up silently behind me on his bicycle causing me to jump when he said hello. He told me about the schoolhouse and that many well known people attended this little one room place. Now that it is in almost complete disrepair, the St. Simon's Landtrust has purchased the school and the surrounding land to start renovations.
For me, this poor little schoolhouse seemed to be the heart and soul of the island, a remanant of what the place may have used to look like. I was called to paint this place, not for the Landtrust painting contest, but in an attempt to capture some of the old beauty of this magical place that seems to be fading away slowly. I was in search the entire week for places that seemed to capture some essence of this place unknown to me. I was constantly drawn to these older buildings nestled in the woods that blended into their surrounding landscape and seemed to grow out from the ground like the millions of oaks that canopy the entire island.
I can't believe my time is up already and I'm headed home. I loved every minute of my time painting here in the U.S. I have a lot of work to do when I get home, but I come to it with new eyes and a lively spirit. Having seen and painted some of the south, I'm going back to Rome to see it new all over again. And I can't wait to see what there is to paint.