Richland art students sketch and paint pieces for Moonstruck: Photos by Jennifer Shertzer

Richland art students sketch and paint pieces for Moonstruck: Photos by Jennifer Shertzer

A few residents of Woodbridge — “a little sliver of a neighborhood between Lake Highlands and Richardson,” resident James White calls it — have teamed with students from nearby Richland College to promote art and culture in our community. White and his neighbor Mark Williamson (with support from Woodbridge’s homeowners association) spearheaded the Moonstruck project, for which they collaborated with Richland art professors, including Vicki Mayhan and Jennifer Rose, and students. Participating pupils sketched, painted and created movable three-dimensional pieces in preparation for the late-October event held at the pond-side park in Woodbridge. Richland and Woodbridge communities gathered to showcase and observe the works, all “focused on cultural celebrations of the full moon as well as the madness that the moon inspires,” according to the official announcement. A small jury of Woodbridge residents with artistic backgrounds awarded three students, based on their pieces, a scholarship prize. The Woodbridge neighborhood is nestled in an architecturally and florally aesthetic enclave, however, due to its location abutting one of Dallas’ densest, crime affected and economically struggling areas — Forest-Audelia — Woodbridge has seen its share of struggle. White — not an artist himself, but a patron of the arts, he says — hears a fair amount of complaining about crime, vandalism and other issues. He wanted to find a way to “proclaim the neighborhood’s assets,” he says. “Physically, we have these attractions: there are transit stations nearby, and trails and parks here in the neighborhood and, of course, one of our biggest assets is Richland Community College,” White says. “Richland has an arts program that people should know about — visual arts, theater arts, they are impressive. We thought, ‘let’s help this community college to really be for the community. And let’s let the community know the good things they are doing.”

The October Moonstruck night served as a preview for the Richland Arts Festival, which takes place Nov. 3- 7 at the college, located on Walnut at Abrams.