The Power of Art Public Artworks, Coral Springs and Parkland, FL
Client: City of Coral Springs, FL
Location: Coral Springs and Parkland, FL
Selected Artists: David Best, Kate Gilmore, Carl Juste, Steven & William Ladd, and R&R Studios (Roberto Behar and Rosario Marquardt)
Pictured Above: The Temple of Time by David Best, 2019. Photos courtesy of the City of Coral Springs.
Scrollathon by Steven and William Ladd, 2019. Photos courtesy of the City of Coral Springs.
The Big Picture: Resilience photojournalism workshops by Carl Juste and C.W. Griffin, 2019. Photos courtesy of Jennifer Kay/IPC Visual Lab/For Iris PhotoCollective.
The Yellow Walk by Kate Gilmore, 2019. Photos courtesy of the City of Coral Springs.
Peace & Love by R&R Studios, 2020. Photos courtesy of the City of Coral Springs.
In the weeks following the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, the Cities of Coral Springs and Parkland, Florida applied to Bloomberg Philanthropies’ Public Art Challenge – an initiative that provides U.S. mayors the opportunity to receive a grant of up to $1 million in funding for temporary public art projects that address a civic issue impacting their communities. The two cities, whose residents together make up the student body at MSD, were seeking ways to help their residents respond to the tragedy and were hoping that public art could aid in the community’s healing after the shooting.
Via worked with staff from both cities and the Coral Springs Museum of Art to develop a winning proposal, inspired by Healing with Art, the art therapy program begun by the Museum in the immediate aftermath of the shooting. “Inspiring Community Healing After Gun Violence: The Power of Art” is a curated series of five large-scale temporary public art installations. The artworks were all designed to be created with the community and provide a variety of opportunities for people of all ages and backgrounds to participate in socially engaged public programming and cathartic experiences.
Via worked with the Cities and the Museum to realize the projects, including coordinating with artists on development and realization of their concepts and working with the team to further develop community engagement opportunities and workshops.
The first artwork installed was The Temple of Time, built by artist David Best, his Temple Crew, and hundreds of community members over two weeks in January and February 2019. The Temple was open to the public daily for three months as a place for people to come together and leave messages and tokens. In May 2019, it was burned in a ceremonial fire with thousands in attendance, releasing some of the pain into the night sky.
In April 2019, brothers Steven and William Ladd’s Scrollathon project engaged 900 participants in hands-on workshops over a two -week period to create a large-scale Scroll landscape mural. Each participant made a work of art that they associated with a personal story and shared that story with the group, demonstrating how contemporary art can become a lens for personal storytelling and giving participants an opportunity to be vulnerable and courageous. Each participant also contributed additional mini-scrolls to the collaborative artwork, Growth & Strength, which is now on view at the Parkland Recreation and Enrichment Center.
Beginning in the summer of 2019, Carl Juste led a multi-faceted photo-documentary project called “The Big Picture: Resilience” for The Power of Art. Juste, an award-winning photojournalist for the Miami Herald, and his collaborators from Iris PhotoCollective, led a four-part workshop exploring the use of photojournalism as a form of self-expression and exploring ideas around healing, resiliency, bearing witness and capturing history. Fifteen community members participated in the workshop and learned to create their own images and tell their own stories. Images they created became part of a catalog and installation shown in the Pine Trails Park in Parkland beginning on February 14, 2020 and on view through May 2020.
For three days in November 2019, Guggenheim Fellow Kate Gilmore transformed the Art Walk in Coral Springs into an interactive performance installation called The Yellow Walk. Each day performers from the Coral Springs and Parkland communities walked continuously in shifts along an 800-foot-long yellow carpet. The public was invited to join in and walk alongside a performer in companionship, signifying that we never walk alone. Community members also participated in workshops to create 1,000 hand silk-screened t-shirts for The Yellow Walk.
On February 14, 2020 Peace & Love by Roberto Behar and Rosario Marquardt (R&R Studios) was unveiled. This 130’ “social sculpture” is made of tens of thousands of artificial flowers spelling the words “Peace & Love” and is meant to be a beacon of compassion and care for the community. Community members participated in workshops with Roberto and Rosario at the Coral Springs Museum of Art to help place flowers on the frames and construct the sculpture. The work was on view at a prominent entrance to Coral Springs outside of the City’s Sportsplex through May 2020.
For more info on the program see: www.poweroa.org