To be vibrant, healthful citizens within our places, we must earnestly participate in the web of relationships composing these civic spaces. People are in danger of losing the meaningful connection to place that comes with communal rituals and interdependent relationships. This is due to widespread social independence, globalization, and a growing reliance on technology. I have invited individuals to engage with the ordinary gifts already existing in our local place by inspiring excitement around a communal neighborhood feast. This anticipation has been built through the tangible gifting of objects, written communication, and personal encounters.
To achieve social and personal fulfillment, we need mutual trusting relationships in which we can exercise contribution and creativity. People want to know their neighbors, to have shared experiences in their immediate environment, and to feel they belong in the places they live. The communal meal has been organized in hopes of encouraging these sensations within our neighborhood community. The feast, as well as the gifted ephemera leading up to the gathering, introduces a mediating element into the neighborhood. This mediator unites us. My work is making tangible objects and spaces that create this intercessory connection between people and place.
The completed process reveals that thoughtful, experiential communication of this manner results in the development of trust and the advent of true, reciprocal relationship. I believe the success of this type of social organization hinges on the quality of the communication on both a personal and public level. Further, to inspire a sense of individual and communal belonging, people need to feel they are participant in a compelling, enriching experience. The organizing leader must facilitate and activate an occurrence that is relevant and welcoming for all.
Awarded the 2011 MFA Applied Craft and Design Practicum Award