2021-24: Constellation is a project that began with individual conversations on grief, loss and hope with five friends. The shared experience informed an artwork that attempted to hold these exchanges in memory. The project eventually broadened by inviting a wider community into the exchange to share their own stories of loss on a virtual platform. This widening of the conversation in turn shaped the artwork into a piece that held a greater collective history.
In its visual form Constellation is a 5x8’ wall piece constructed from aluminum mesh with mixed media applied to the surface. Names of those who have passed on into death or otherwise are written onto areas of the work. These include names given from the original five participants that started this project. And also include names submitted by the public through an online forum. To present names across the work evokes the influence of those who are memorialized, bringing into focus their lives in the immediate moment.
As Constellation is presented in different sites across the US, in-person visitors are invited to write names onto the artwork of whom they wish to remember. Accompanying stories were recorded in this project and are displayed to read on-site and an opportunity to leave one’s own story is available. Constellation acts both as a reflective encounter and an object that holds an active and on-going narrative. In engaging with remembrance the encouragement of hope and peace is offered.
A joint project of the Ministry in the City HUB and Walls-Ortiz Gallery at City Seminary, the Creative Community Care Virtual Residency brought together socially-engaged Christian creatives from New York City, Indianapolis, Chicago, Los Angeles, Charlotte, and Corsicana (Tx) for peer mentor support, learning, and sharing. In 2021, residents developed local projects in their respective cities, exploring creative practices of care in the context of community. Projects engaged the concerns and questions of the pandemic period (mutual aid, care re-imagined for social distance, etc.) at the intersection of the arts, learning, faith, and the city. In 2022, the resident pairs offered public online workshops. In 2024, a traveling group exhibition will be on display, starting in Santa Ana, CA.