prettying-up New Orleans
I blogged awhile ago about a project in Hampton Roads, Va that is trying to make their area a more beautiful place to live by allowing local artists to express themselves on boarded up and broken homes and buildings. Well, after I blogged about it I was introduced to an artist who is doing something similar in New Orleans.
Candy Chang (hip name, no?) is a public instillation artist, urban planner and designer which means basically takes the streets on New Orleans and transforms them into something to stop and take in. There are many GREAT projects you can check out on her site HERE but one that caught my eye was Before I Die. She took an abandoned building and transformed in into a public chalk board where people were encouraged to share their hopes for the future and what is important to them by admitting what they want to do before they die. The house holds confessions such as,
"before i die, i want to look into the eyes of my soulmate, live in mexico, and find my calling."
The link to the Before I Die project is here with many pictures of the project like the two at the top of the page which was shot by Candy Chang.
Another interesting project she did was I Wish This Was where she, with the help of the Du Mois Gallery, created stickers that resembled name tags. You know those awkward ones you have to wear at weird gatherings you don't want to be at. "Hello my name is..."? Well, these are far more rad. They read "I WISH THIS WAS..." and the blank spot is up to you.
She made the stickers for sale to all New Orleans folks allowing them to fill out what they desired to be built back up in the rubble. The one above simply reads "a home." The project was started because the city is still vacant and very badly needs things.
Candy Chang reveals that the city is STILL without a full-service grocery store. Awful.
People left these (easily removable) stickers all over the city expressing what they wish they city would build back up in place of the abandoned homes and shattered streets. All the proceeds go to the neighborhood projects in public place for New Orleans. Check out that project page and more pictures of what New Orleans wants here, including "Brad Pitt's home" and "a comic book shop."
All her projects are well thought out and many politically empowering. Check her out, you will not be disappointed!! Trying to keep your eyes open to the beauty and INTERESTED in people, art and culture!!!