At this time, SDC is involved in three ongoing projects- The Labat Project, The Katrina Collection and Six Degrees: West to East. These projects are discussed below. At the request of the Board of Directors of one of the venues for the "Journeys" exhibition which completed a three-state tour in 2015, "Journeys" will go back on tour in the summer of 2016. Dates are still being finalized, and more information will be posted as it becomes available.
The Labat Project
The Labat Project is currently in the second stage of its evolution. The project is an intensive look into the history of the Creole culture of coastal Mississippi. The project centers around the life of Celestine Labat, a Black Creole woman born in Bay St. Louis, MS in 1898. Gordon befriended Ms. Labat during the last two years of her life, and conducted an oral interview with Ms Labat, who died in 2002 at the age of 104. The first stage of the project, an 8’ x 10’ art quilt titled “Labat: A Creole Legacy” was completed in 2002, and has been acquired by the Smithsonian Institution for inclusion in their permanent collection. The second phase of the Labat Project constitutes a traveling exhibit of eighteen panels, each of which displays images from the Labat family archives and portions of Celestine Labat's oral history. The first stage of the project, an 8’ x 10’ art quilt titled “Labat: A Creole Legacy” was completed in 2002, and has been acquired by the Smithsonian Institution for inclusion in their permanent collection. In 2011, Six Degrees Consortium teamed with the Katrina Research Center at the University of Southern Mississippi to present the second phase of the project. The project was made possible by a generous grant from the Mississippi Humanities Council and the support of the University of Southern Mississippi. The exhibition traveled to several venues in south Mississippi and Louisiana during 2012, ending its initial tour at the New Orleans African American Museum.
The Katrina Collection
The Katrina Collection was initially exhibited in Bay St. Louis/Waveland, MS, ground zero of Hurricane Katrina. Since 2005, the series has traveled to dozens of venues across the United States. The series now comprises over 1000 works of art, and pieces may be found in the collections of former President and First Lady Jimmy and Rosalyn Carter, ESPN announcer Jon Miller, singer Faith Hill, and Good Morning America co-host Robin Roberts. Public collectors of the work include the Safeco Corporate Collection, Waveland Ground Zero Museum, Katrina Research Center of University of Southern Mississippi, Art Across Arkansas, Mississippi Humanities Council, and University of Virginia.
Six Degrees: West to East
Six Degrees: West to East is an evolving body of work that explores cultures unfamiliar to most Americans. The artist’s intent is to build bridges across cultures by portraying other peoples in an empathetic light that focuses on common experience. The series numbers over 200 pieces to date, and is comprised of photographs and collages. Presently included in the collection are works that originated in Haiti, Cyprus, Turkey, Israel, Palestine and Morocco. In light of the world situation and tense relationships between the West and the Islamic East, of particular interest at this time is a concentration on Islamic cultures.