Project Human X brings collaborative art and culture to Carbondale

By Bethany Rentfro, Staff Reporter

Project Human X is a collaborative art gallery and multicultural community center in Carbondale that allows community members to participate in the creation of the artwork. 

Project Human X was started by Marquez Scoggin and his friend Joshua Bowens as a way to bring people together in the community. 

Cree Sahidah Glanz, Scoggin’s wife, attended one of the art parties Scoggin and Bowens hosted and later became involved with the project after she did a collaborative art trip to Madagascar centered around environmental education. 

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Scoggin said their mission statement is to cultivate cultural collaboration and it is a great way to connect and meet new people. 

“All human beings, regardless of race, color, creed, whatever, has the ability to become creative,” Bowens said. “Something like [Project Human X] I think is beautiful and allows for everyone to feel wanted. It values everything and everyone equally the same.” 

Glanz said the goal of this collaborative art gallery is to bring people together from different backgrounds who share a common interest. 

“Our motive is to bring different kinds of people together,” Glanz said. “We use art as a medium to do so because we believe everybody has creativity inside of them.”

Glanz and Scoggin said they came up with this idea because they used to host art parties in their apartment and people in the Carbondale community would come over and paint. 

“We didn’t charge anybody, it was free,” Glanz said. “We wanted people to have a place to express themselves.”

The couple said they eventually decided to expand their space to accommodate more people within the community and Project Human X was born. 

Scoggin said he believes the way society views and talks about race today is very divisive and Project Human X is a way to come together and celebrate creativity. 

“Being human is the one characteristic that we can all agree upon,” Scoggin said. “Being human is how we find common ground to be able to collaborate together here.” 

Scoggin said the way things are done at Project Human X is different from most art galleries because the walls are lined with blank and painted canvases people have previously made. 

“We don’t tell people what to create,” Scoggin said. “We allow them to express themselves freely on the canvas.” 

Project Human X does community projects on Sunday as a way to build relationships and connect with people in the community. They have meditation, Family Creativity Day, game night and other opportunities for people to get to know each other. 

The project had two art shows in the Carbondale community in the past month, one at Longbranch Cafe with over 100 pieces of art given away for free. 

“Project Human X is about reconnecting the Carbondale community,” Scoggin said. “That is what we are really focused on doing.”

One experience Project Human X offers is Family Creativity Day which allows families to come together on a Sunday night and create art. 

“We invite families into our space, we give them paint materials and they create together,” Glanz said. “The kids really love it. They get really creative […] the parents and the kids learn how to appreciate each others’ imaginations.” 

Scoggin said Carbondale needs a place like Project Human X because it serves as an alternative to the bar scene. 

“There’s always conversations happening,” Scoggin said. “We hear that people feel like when they go to the bar there’s a lot of standing around and looking at people and there is an uncomfortableness not knowing who to talk to or people not wanting to talk to you.” 

Scoggin, Glanz and Bowens are dedicated to an environmental education cause and are on a mission to “Make Earth Great Again.” 

“We create and sell ‘Make Earth Great Again’ hats here at Project Human X and the action that we are taking to make Earth great again is planting trees,” Scoggin said. 

Scoggin said they are currently working with an organization whose goal is to plant one trillion trees on Mother Earth as a way to reverse climate change. 

Bowens said he thinks the climate change mission is incredible and that people must collaborate and connect with each other to achieve it. 

“It’s the only way for us to get some answers to some of these unsolved challenges,” Bowens said. “We want everyone to be treated fairly and I think that we do a really awesome job striving for that goal.” 

Staff Reporter Bethany Rentfro can be reached at [email protected]

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