To the left is a picture of an abandoned building in New Orleans. What you see on the the side of the building started out as an experiment by Candy Chang. Candy had lost someone she loved. In writing about this experiment and the impetus for it, she said, “I thought about death a lot. This helped clarify my life but I struggled to maintain perspective. I wanted to know what was important to the people around me and I wanted a daily reminder.”
Candy and her friends painted the side of an abandoned house in their neighborhood with chalkboard paint. They then stenciled the sentence “Before I die I want to _______.” and left chalk in little baskets along the walls so anyone walking by would be able reflect on their lives and share their aspirations in public space.
I stumbled upon this project while perusing the world wide web via ‘Stumble Upon’ the other day. As I looked through the
photos of various walls across the U.S. and several other countries, I came across the wall in Minneapolis. I scanned through the photos quickly, looking for the address where the wall was located, but had no luck. Upon google searching the Minneapolis project, I found that Before I Die in Minneapolis, according to the Startribune, “is on a wall at 2609 Stevens Avenue in Whittier, part of that neighborhood’s ‘Artists in Storefronts.'” The project ran April 27 through June 10 of this year (2012). So, I had missed it by a good two months.
Anyway, I know this is a departure from what I listed in my previous post concerning up and coming blog topics, but because these art projects are more time sensitive than the topics I am working on currently. Thus, I figured it would be best to post about this before other drafts.
Projects like these are always very interesting to me. So, I encourage you to look for your city on the Before I Die Project Website and go have a look. And take some pictures. Maybe even write a little something of your own on the wall for others to see. Or, if like me, you missed the project in your city, see if you can catch one in a city near you because as Candy Chang said, “it’s easy to get caught up in the day-to-day and forget what really matters to you.” And sometimes all you really need is a little reminder.