Student Lizette Rea is shown using a jigsaw in the AVL DesignBuild Studio in Asheville.

Clemson architecture student Lizette Rea trims a piece of the U-LEAF Community Stage. Rea and other Clemson students will unveil the new stage design in Asheville Saturday.
Image Credit: Photo courtesy of Tyler Martin

ASHEVILLE, North Carolina — Six Clemson students in architecture, construction science and management and landscape architecture will roll out their design for a new portable community arts stage Saturday in Asheville.

Unveiling is set for 11:30 a.m. as part of the LEAF Downtown AVL festival in Pack Square Park. The festival runs Saturday and Sunday and is sponsored by LEAF Community Arts in Asheville. Organizers describe the festival as a “family-friendly, 100 percent free, non-ticketed event.”

A photo of the team posing on the completed stage.

The team finishing up the U-LEAF Community Stage.
Image Credit: Doug Hecker / Clemson University

“The U-LEAF Community Stage is an unfolding, mobile stage that performers will use throughout the festival, and afterward LEAF Schools and Streets will keep the stage on wheels to use in neighborhoods throughout Asheville,” said Doug Hecker, associate professor of architecture at Clemson and adviser to the student designers.

The new stage will be readily accessible to arts education programs, under-served communities and collaborative partners in the Asheville area with the goal of providing opportunities for artistic expression to young and emerging artists.

Student Julia Chapman seated at table in studio, working on architectural model.

Clemson architecture major Julia Chapman works on a model of the U-LEAF Community Stage.
Image Credit: Photo courtesy of Tyler Martin

For the past three years, students from Clemson’s allied design programs have participated in the Asheville-based design studio AVL DesignBuild, which is a program of the Asheville Design Center. Clemson students participating in the studio this year are:

  • Melody Bazzle of Charleston, senior architecture and construction science management major;
  • Stephanie McConnell of Houston, Texas, senior architecture major;
  • Ashley Davis of Anderson, senior architecture major;
  • Julia Chapman of Little Mountain, South Carolina, senior architecture major;
  • Lizete Rea of Sinaloa, Mexico, senior architecture major; and
  • Allison Chan of Columbia, sophomore landscape architecture major.

LEAF — originally the Lake Eden Arts Festival — has been in existence for 20 years. This year marks the first for the new festival in Asheville.