It was a great pleasure to build a new art installation this year, in our chaotic 2020. I received a community arts grants – Arts Fund – from Bronx Council on the Arts to partner with NYPL – New York Public Library. But as we know, New York City became the epicenter for the Covid-19 pandemic during March/April and all of the public libraries in the city swiftly closed down for health and safety reasons. So I was left with a grant but nowhere to build my program. Thanks to the amazing adult librarian Nina Maness she put me in touch with PSS – Presbyterian Senior Services, who to their credit recognized the advantages of swiftly approving our new partnership! So under the guidance of Michele Chapple, (director) & Nelly Sarante, (program coordinator), I began work on an outdoor installation with the help of their senior members.
And so “Plastic in the Air” was a joyous and beautiful program and I enjoyed so much the camaraderie and positive vibes of the PSS Davidson Senior Center. In these troubling and difficult times, I could bear witness to the power of art, particularly free public art programs and how the community needs healing and action and visually enhanced environments to affirm our creative natures. There were two sections to the installation – a fence area and a tennis net area strung between two shady trees.
On the day of our public event celebrating the program, members were able to attach plastic strips with the names of those they lost during the pandemic, it was a powerful moment, and one that I will cherish.