Pathway to Poetry

Submitted by Diane Bush

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Client: West Flamingo Senior Center, The Arts Factory

Location: Las Vegas, NV, United States

Completion date: 2015

Artwork budget: $50

Project Team

Artist

Diane Bush

DBA Associates

Public Art Agent

West Flamingo Senior Center

Clark County

Overview

A temporary public art project that was created off location, allowed the community to get involved, had easy installation, and removal. Cheap plastic barrier fencing was used for a grid to hang dangling laminated paper poems, phrases, and words, to draw the public closer, for examination and inspiration. A multi-generational poetry slam was incorporated into the project as a performance element.

Goals

The first goal was to gain publicity for the poetry class at the West Flamingo Senior Center, and the second goal was to create a multi-generational experience for the community, while providing a colorful and engaging temporary public art work. We designed a moving mural (the wind created movement of the hanging words) which was designed to draw people closer to the point where they would stop to read the words, phrases, and even whole poems on the "flags". An open poetry reading was also scheduled with a skateboarding group, and the seniors, where each read their poems.

Process

We used social media to encourage the public to join seniors at our senior center to make the hanging word "flags", and attach them to our portable fencing. Members of the poetry group already belonging to the center brought family members, making it a multi-generational affair. Several weekends were devoted to making and attaching the word "flags". About 50 individuals from the community volunteered their time and effort to make the "Pathway to Poetry" .

Additional Information

The mural lasted longer than we expected. After about six months it was eventually taken down. Because the fence faced north, there was little fade. The public were seen engaged with the installation, and the volunteers enjoyed making new connections, while all working together towards a common goal. The installation received beneficial newspaper coverage.