The Wall of Keys

Submitted by Susan Lenz


Client: the artist

Location: Columbia, SC, United States

Completion date: 2016

Artwork budget: $2,000

Project Team


Susan Lenz

Mouse House, Inc.

Public Art Agent

Annabel Rainbow

Through Our Hands


Individually, each key might be regarded as a simple trinket. Collectively, the Wall of Keys confronts viewers with countless human desires for real and imagined locations in life. One cannot help but to wonder which characteristic, quality, condition or special place is most sought. Which one key is most important in anyone's personal journey? This installation has been mounted in several locations over the past three years and can cover as little as 40 sq. ft to more than 100 sq. ft. Each key sports a handmade tag suggestive of many abstract human desires.


The goal of this artistic installation was to transform an existing wall into a location for contemplation, to stop viewers for a few introspective moments, and to present a textural surface that went beyond the function of an ordinary architectural wall.


The artist has collaborated with several hosting organizations in order to successfully transform a wall into a site-specific installation meant to engage a viewing public. This process included defining the size of the wall, the traffic patterns envisioned for public viewing, and the interaction of the work with other, nearby artwork made by other artists. The artist conducted a Facebook and blogging initiative that invited the public to suggest words for the individual keys' tags. Many of the suggestions were brilliant. Hundreds were used.

Additional Information

This installation is meant to conform to any temporary, site specific location but could also be incorporated in a permanent project.