|Location||Trip Time||Travel Type|
The two-story brick masonry building you see here with the bottom half painted white, is the Robin Whitfield Studio. Robin’s pioneering and compassionate spirit manifests in many ways. She is a remarkable artist who bought this building over 25 years ago, when everyone else was fleeing downtown. Why? Because, in the fashion of artists all over the world, she needed space. Here was ample space with greenery behind it—and she could afford it. She has been improving it and the town as a whole ever since. Robin is now a well-known painter whose work appears in galleries throughout the Southeast. She regards her work as visual poetry, a way of holding visual and spiritual conversations in the language of color and shape. She works on paper with traditional watercolors and with pigments gathered from the wild, especially from Chakchiuma Swamp, another site on this audio tour. As the principal steward of the swamp, she says, "My mission as an artist and human being is to spend as much time as possible in natural systems, particularly on public land. I hope to inspire others to go outside and explore these wild places!" Robin travels the state and beyond, exploring wild places and leading educational expeditions discovering the flora and fauna of our waterways. Some years back, she realized that the swamp on the edge of downtown Grenada was rapidly becoming a dump in which furniture and machinery were being abandoned. She organized a contest to choose a name for the swamp, and presto, it became the Chakchiuma Swamp. Some time later, the city of Grenada, the swamp’s owner, wanted to clear-cut it to help fund a budget deficit. Robin negotiated with the city and single-handedly raised much of the money they needed. She then secured a lease on the swamp area for a nonprofit organization she founded, called the Friends of Chakchiuma Swamp. You can visit the group online through the weblink on the app screen for this story site. Since then, Robin has continued to paint the swamp in all its glory. One of her most popular series is called the "Seasons of the Cypress." Each of 12 panels depicts a different month in the swamp, and they fit together as a beautiful whole. If her studio is open, you'll find them for sale as gift cards, along with many other original items. If her studio is closed, check availability at RobinWhitfield.com. Across the street from Robin's gallery, you'll see Molly's Place Bar & Grill, which offers outdoor live music in the courtyard. You’ll find a link to its website on the app screen for this story site.
Download this tour to your phone