(Most of these pics are from our latest visit, but a couple have floated in from previous…)
Make any list of restaurants that make your heart happy, that makes your little light shine, and Pie Lab either already is, or should be on it. That’s because Pie Lab is a good place, devised as a Project M start-up as a place that people could have good pie and good conversation. And it’s not easy to be confrontational over a piece of lemon meringue.
Project M’s founder, John Bielenberg, “has won more than 250 design awards in his career, and became an AIGA Fellow in 2008. The San Francisco Museum of Modern Art has acquired six of his design projects, and staged a solo exhibition of his work in 2000. In 2009, John was awarded the Washington University Skandalaris Award for Design Entrepreneurship in St. Louis. He went on to receive an honorary doctorate degree from Maryland Institute College of Art. John was also awarded the 2011 NASAD Citation for outstanding work and overall impact in the fields of art and design, as an author, educator, social activist, and designer. He has been featured in the ID 50 and teaches at the California College of the Arts in San Francisco.”
In regards to Project M, it’s “an immersive program designed to inspire and educate young designers, writers, photographers, and filmmakers by proving that their work—especially their “wrongest” thinking—can have significant impact on communities.”
BTW, if you remember that there were some early issues with Project M here — with a poster design that came across as lacking taste, and especially in regards to the Buy-A-Meter project which brought about shame for some because they ‘outed’ that one-in-four households in Hale County weren’t hooked up to municipal water — it’s all seemed to work out. Buy-A-Meter was successful and raised over $55k. Pie Lab prints cute posters and t-shirts that are shipped out everywhere, they’re supported by the community, and hosted a bake-off and printed a little cookbook. It’s been written up everywhere from the NYT to Fast Company.
So there’s that. It’s easier to love something that tries and stumbles a little and redeems than something that’s always been perfection, and Pie Lab is easy to love. It’s teaching people working skills, it’s getting people downtown, and it’s getting people talking face-to-face.
And John Bielenberg was in part inspired by Sambo Mockbee and the Rural Studio. So planting it here was kismet.
Well, I’ve written all this about it and haven’t even mentioned the obvious — savory pies, sweet pies — crazy-delicious:
Another big plus: artist showcase. In this example, baskets by Mary Jane Everett who’s originally from Mississippi and learned to basketweave at Arrowmont School of Arts and Crafts. For a time, she worked in a studio in York and now lives in Newbern, here in Hale County.
Yes, yes, yes: