Description In Natchitoches, Louisiana, Magnolia Plantation stands as a grand reminder of American slavery and the prosperity cotton and tobacco afforded the pre-Civil War American South. The oppression of the slaves who cleared the land, constructed the plantation house and store, and planted and harvested the fields left Magnolia plantation riddled with ghost stories. The 5000 acre plantation was established in 1830 by Ambrose Lecomte II and his wife, Julia Buard, to expand the family's cotton production by using slave labor. Up until the 1970s people were still picking cotton by hand. In 1994, the plantation was donated to the National Park Service who preserved the haunted historic site that was falling into ruins.Leg stocks still stand on the property that were used for public punishment, humiliation and starvation. Journal entries from plantation foremen and members of the Lecomte family describe the hunting of escaped slaves into neighboring states. Though some still insist that the slaves at Magnolia were treated humanely, lingering artifacts reveal the haunting truth.
I.M. Spadecaller, Tampa Bay Member Since March 2010 Artist Statement Matthew Schwartz (AKA Spadecaller) is a grateful survivor who conveys his convictions and serenity through visual art, poetry, and video.
As a child, he was trained in traditional oil techniques and later attended The School of Visual Arts in New York City (1970-71). During the 70's up until the late 80's he exhibited acrylic and oils in New York, and presently resides on the west coast of Florida.
Since the advent of image editing software, he has turned more to creative digital hand painted images and photos striving to fuse these into an art form worthy of the distinction traditional painters deserve.
Spadecaller showcase his digital paintings, poetry, and other mixed media images by creating videos; these are available for viewing at: http://www.youtube.com/user/Thespadecaller.