By Tia Lynn Ivey
A new mural is underway at the Madison-Morgan Boys and Girls Club. Athens-based Artist Broderick Flanigan is currently painting the piece to reflect the “five pillars” that serve as the core programming for the club. Those pillars include The Arts, Character and Leadership Development, Education, Technology and Career Development, Health and Life Skills, and Sports, Fitness and Recreation.
“It’s important to share and promote positive energy among our youth and community,” said Flanigan. “I hope they are inspired. I hope that they remember and recognize these pillars and carry them out to become a positive force. I was honored to be able to display that and further my artistic reach.”
Flanigan, 32, has been involved in art all his life. About five years ago he decided to make a career out of his artistic talents. Two years ago, he opened his very own studio in Athens, called Flanigan’s Portrait Studio. Flanigan’s Portrait Studio, Athens First United Methodist Church and The Madison-Morgan Boys and Girls Club all sponsored the cost of the mural to make this project possible.
Flanigan believes art cannot only convey lessons to onlookers but can be an enriching activity to steer young people down a rewarding path.
“I’ve had a passion for the arts as long as I can remember,” wrote Flanigan. “From a young age I can recall watching my mother draw and sketch for hours at a time. She was not a trained or working artist. It was just something she did in her spare time. Her interest rubbed off on me and began to grow and develop. My passion for visual arts grew to the point where I opened my very own art gallery and studio space.”
Flanigan’s studio helps unknown artists find a place to display their artwork as well as to create opportunities for youth to take art classes.
According to his bio, “Flanigan is a Freelance Artist and entrepreneur that specializes in bringing peoples’ personal narratives and his art together. Charcoal and Graphite Pencil are his favorite but is adept to various two dimensional media ranging from pastel to oil paint. After finishing high school at Clarke Central in Athens Ga in 2002 he realized his passion lies in visual arts and began preparing himself for a career in that field. He is the founder of Flanigan’s Portrait Studios. Broderick is a 2011 graduate of Georgia Southern University with a BS is Kinesiology. Broderick’s vision is to inspire others to pursue their dreams and to do more of what they love!”
“I hope my work can make a difference in these kids’ lives,” said Flanigan.
According to his bio, “Broderick carries out this mission by staying active in his church which is Ebenezer Baptist Church West. He is the Coordinator for the Foster Parent Program, which reaches out to college age students in the community to connect them with a church home while living in Athens attending college. Broderick is also a part of the Music Art Drama & Dance (MADD) ministry at Ebenezer where he has appeared in many small stage productions.
Outside of Church Broderick serves as Vice President of a local Non Profit, Chess and Community. Through this organization he utilizes his skills in art to help mentor children of all backgrounds from age 10 to 18. Chess and Community challenges kids to deal with impulsive behavior as our motto is “Think Before You Move” which applies to Chess and Life.
Broderick’s work has been featured most recently in the Oconee Cultural Arts Foundation (OCAF) black history month exhibit. His work has also been featured at Lyndon House (Lickskillet Artist Market), Chess and Community Conference, Ebenezer Baptist Church West (program flyer), as well as at various schools around Clarke County.
Broderick also gives back to his community by donating some of his work for causes that are dear to him. These include but are not limited to Art for Autism (Georgia Southern University), Community Connections (Athens, Ga), Equal Justice Foundation, and Chess and Community. He is also a member of the Athens Art Council.
Broderick is the proud father of one beautiful daughter by the name of Zaria Flanigan. She is one of the main forces that drives him to do what he can for others. He wants her to be able to see a firsthand example of an ordinary person doing great things through faith and hard work.”
To find out more about Broderick Flanigan and his art studio, visit his Facebook Page at: https://www.facebook.com/flanigansportraitstudio.