Friday, October 11, 2013

New Haven artists' public project highlights violence in city

NEW HAVEN -  Local artists Nick Pfaff and Hannah Plotke are five days away from the close of their kickstarter campaign, which aims to fund a public art project in New Haven that will shed light on the plight of gun violence in New Haven.

Nick says the point of the project is not art for art’s sake. It’s a chance to bring a community together, to collaborate on what would be an interactive sculpture dedicated to the memory of the victim’s of New Haven’s gun violence. The installation will be a memorial where people can reflect and express themselves creatively at the same time.

Working with Artspace, the plan is construct 12 trees out of cedar trunks and mountain laurel branches. These not-so-artificial trees would then be painted silver and the branches adorned by sculptural ornamentation -- artificial leaves, in a sense -- produced by students of the New Haven Public School system and participants in youth programs. Once the installation is in place, the public is invited to draw, write and paint on the tree sculptures.

The location chosen is a neglected pocket park on Chapel Street, tucked behind a bus stop. Downtown New Haven is a neutral space that serves as a confluence for all walks of life, and this installation stand in a place where every New Havener who chooses can put unique fingerprints on the sculptures, creating an ongoing dialogue and non-traditional memorial through art.


The project will come this December, the end of the year -- a time to look back at the things that have happened, and to have hope . It’s not about fixing anything -- there will always be hardship-- but this project is about being brave in the face of it, and bringing positivity into the world, healing through the common ritual of art.

 But art isn’t free. There are only five days left before the kickstarter fundraiser ends. Nick says they’ve already raised about $1,000, short of their $2,000 goal. If you would like to see these sculptures erected in New Haven -- if you would like take part in an interactive art memorial, or help make it happen -- then donate. Thank you for your gifts.

Editor's note: This post was contributed.




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