Uprooted & installed again: collage commission 6

rootedtogether.overview             Well, the decision was made to uproot "Rooted Together" and move the collage to the adjacent wood-paneled wall. The wood frames it nicely but I wish the metallic lines didn't intersect the piece. If I had known it was going to be placed there, I would have made the collage as one piece, rather than on four panels.Most people will never know it wasn't intended to go there though. And the client is the ultimate "decider." Hopefully many people, strolling by, will enjoy it. This location does allow people to approach the collage more closely for a look at the details."Rooted Together," close up on modular wooden wall.

Finished and installed: collage commission 5

"Rooted Together," original collage by Janice McDonald                The art consultants, Noyes Art Designs, have hung the collage in the surgical waiting room as planned. Unbeknownst to them, outlets for a flat screen television were installed late in the process and the area is now compressed. I'm not happy with how it looks — the lines of the white tree trunks are confused by the adjacent white boxes.  RToriginallocation_7441Still, people seeing the work for the first time at the grand opening tell me they were drawn into the work and didn't even notice.Over 7000 people attend the grand opening and most all the commissioned artists were there to discuss their work, including me. What a beautiful hospital. The views of the mountains are stunning.There is talk of adding another television, to the two already in the room, and moving the collage to the wood-covered wall about ten feet away (you can see a bit of it at right in photo). It seems that there will not be even one area of the waiting room where someone can get away from the visual stimulation of 24-hour news coverage! The wood wall also has a grid of silver detailing which I think may not relate well to the grid structure of the collage panels... But we'll see.


when we think we are keeping a secret
that secret is actually keeping us."

– Frank Warren, founder and curator of PostSecret

I've had a postcard collection since childhood. Perhaps that's why the exhibition, PostSecret, held such allure -- however, these postcards were created and sent to share secrets. 

PScard2 “Courage can be more important than artistic training or technique in creating meaningful and lasting art."

Frank Warren started the project in 2004 by handing out blank postcards to strangers and leaving them in public places. Each card invited people to anonymously share a secret: something that was true and had never been shared with anyone before. He has now received over half a million postcards, some of which have been included in exhibitions and best-selling books. A show of about 400 of the postcards is on view at the Foothills Art Center in Golden, Colorado through June 26, 2011.

"PostSecret creates this model of a safe, non-judgmental place to share your secrets where you don’t feel weird or different or strange or alone.”

PSpostcard1 Some of the cards were carefully designed, others simply words, but all shared a secret -- whether poignant, shocking, or hilarious. Most were quite touching, some easy to relate to, others reflecting difficult experiences -- all heartfelt. Each postcard becomes a piece of personal artistic expression and the overall installation is quite emotional to experience.

I was also able to attend Frank Warren's amazing lecture about the Post Secret project and his mission to raise awareness about suicide prevention. Besides sharing his story, he showed postcards that were not able to be published in the books and allowed the audience, many of whom were in tears, time to express their secrets. His project really highlights the ability of creative expression to be an incredibly positive outlet for healing.

The PostSecret blog, the largest advertisement-free blog in the world, continues to showcase incoming postcards, an ongoing communal art project, with over 445 million views. The next exhibition will be at MoMA in July. I recommend a visit to this project in one of its many forms -- via blog, book, or exhibition -- it's truly thought-provoking and eye-opening. And perhaps you'll want to submit a secret of your own.