Forward Flow is a community arts project created for the Ebb & Flow Festival and sponsored by a grant from Arts Council of Greater Baton Rouge. This project on view along Interstate 12 and Interstate 110 in Baton Rouge features two photographs taken by artist Lenny Foster. These images with the tag line Read, Learn, Create both feature Line4Line program founder O’Neil Curtis and members of his family reading – One image show’s Curtis and his daughter O’Nya reading on the Louisiana State Capitol while the other shows his nephew Cardell reading while getting his haircut. This project’s goal was to commission to eye-catching images that not only speak to the mission and work of Line4Line but by adding the word “Read” “Create” and “Learn” allows for the drivers along the 12-10 interstate corridor to consider the words and images to create meaning.
As part of the project Lenny Foster, flew into Baton Rouge from St. Augustine, Florida spent three days with the Line4Line program documenting a day of teaching the Artsplosion Summer Camp, activities in O’Neil’s Barbershop and the Line4Line team visiting iconic Baton Rouge locations. Foster a Black photographer who’s work has been exhibited nationally and internationally and is held in numerous private and public collections, is known for capturing the essence, either in his portraits, still lives or landscapes.
Foster writes of experience with this project “One of the most rewarding projects and collaborations I’ve been a part of, is that with the amazing people with the line4linebr non-profit. Not only was I thoroughly impressed with the organization, but was also quite moved by their heart, sacrifice and dedication to the young people and local Baton Rouge community they serve. I was honored to be asked to participate in the billboard project and it was my hope that we could achieve the desired result of having billboard imagery and message that would be seen and appreciated by many that aren’t familiar with line4linebr. My hope also is that those who view the billboards would be inspired to somehow get involved and support the non-profit or at the very least make it a practice to read with their children, young relatives or children in the neighborhood. The 24 years as a professional fine art photographer, made it possible for my work to be respected enough to be called upon and brought me to this moment to use my skills to contribute to such a worthy cause and for that I am both humbled and grateful.”
This program is a 2021 Ebb & Flow event and is made possible in part by a grant from the Arts Council of Greater Baton Rouge, funded by the East Baton Rouge Parish Mayor-President and the Metro Council.