Participants from left to right: Lendon Sadler, Judie Anderson, Phil Carlin, Sue Delves, Bob & Connie Ratzel, Norma Flynn, Audrey Peeples and Stephen Thomas
Neighborhood Magic 2015 – 2016
In 2015 I was commissioned by the Beverly Area Arts Alliance to create a public project for the Beverly Art Walk on October 3, 2015. I proposed to interview eight residents over the age of 70 about their important life moments, write poetry and work with an eight-person choir to compose the poetry to lyrical form. To exapnd on the public engagement durint the art walk I also built eight public sculptures inspired by each person’s story that acted as mailboxes throughout the day. The public were invited to mail their own important life moments and Carron transformed them into poetry on the day. For Beverly Art Walk, we started the performance at Ridge Historical Society with a roundtable conversation about important life moments. After some delicious food provided by Ellie’s, the public were invited onto the trolley bus to travel the length and breadth of the neighborhood visiting the important sites selected by the eight participants.
The work embraces the civil rights movement, issues of how people fought for integration, a women’s collective called Women Mobilized for Change Collective 1966 to 1974, the gay rights movement and race relations in America. The work enlivened the local and national history of America told through the eight participants. The project also had a lasting impact on the local community connecting seniors with a support network that carries on to this day. The artist, became a conduit through which deep and meaningful connections were made and expanding the knowledge of local history to the current generation.
To view a video documentary on this performance: https://vimeo.com/242292059
I published a limited edition book with all the poetry from this project that includes an essay by the curator Susannah Papish. The edition is currently sold out but there is a copy at 6018North and the Joan Flasch Artist Book Library.
In 2016 Ridge Historical Society invited Carron aka The Queen of Luxuria to return. She proposed a public engagement project where the public were invited to post their important moments into the sculptural mail boxes from April 8 to May 8, 2016. She responded by writing poetry inspired and posting it to their home on a hand made print. To read more about this project and see the poetry created please visit the blog at neighborhoodmagic.tumblr.com