Tag Archives: community

(he)art bombing: downtown library

13 Mar
Vancouver Roots & Shoots members at the library

Vancouver Roots & Shoots members, showing off their hearts at the library

We are slowly catching up with the blog, and we have a couple of (he)art bombings from February to tell you all about.

We were contacted by one of the Vancouver, WA, chapters of Roots & Shoots to do a (he)art bombing together. These kids are all grade-school age and work together to plan and execute service projects that will benefit the community. It’s great to see caring and involvement being fostered at such a young age. We decided to (he)art bomb the downtown library since it’s an important part of their lives and a busy place where lots of people will see the message of love that these kids are sharing.

hanging-heart

It was an amazingly sunny day for the middle of February. After a brief discussion about installation art and Love is a Radical Act, we set the kids loose to do their (he)art bombing. We gave them ideas about where it’s easiest to hang hearts, but we also gave each kid complete control of where they were going to hang their hearts. Aside from a little adult supervision and assistance, this was their project.

heart-in-tree

hanging-heart-on-fence

heart-on-sign

heart-on-fence

Great job, everyone! Keep on sharing your love with the community and your families!

why (he)art bombing is rad

7 Feb

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We know folks enjoy our blog and the photos we post. We appreciate all of our readers – and thanks to the magic of the internet, we know you are all over the world. It’s awesome.

We’ve had a great time planning and carrying out (he)art bombings and documenting them, and we have more plans up our sleeves for future (he)art bombings, both big and small.

But, given the limitations of two people working in real life versus the reach of the internet, very few of you out there have the opportunity to join us when we do a (he)art bombing event – you’re probably many many miles away or have a busy schedule or, you know, there’s lots of reasons. It’s cool, that’s life. But we still really want folks to participate in the project by purchasing their own hearts and planning their own (he)art bombing in their corner of the world.

I’m sure lots of you think that sounds like a great idea, but maybe you don’t know just how great it is. I mean, seriously, doing a (he)art bombing ends up being way more gratifying than you ever expect it to be. This can happen in two ways – let me share them.

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1. You get to enjoy your work over and over again.

I can’t tell you how delighted I am when I see that hearts we have hung months ago are still around. It’s so simple, yet there’s a real satisfaction in knowing that you’ve added beauty and a positive message to a space where potentially thousands of people have seen it.

Recently I got savvy enough to check out what kinds of Google searches were leading folks to our blog. One of them was “what are the hearts around the olympia capitol building.” That means that we sparked someone’s curiosity with our art. If you know anything about being an artist, you know that it can be very hard to get someone’s attention with what you make/do, let alone get them to invest any time into learning more.*

All this is to say, with a public (he)art bombing, you get to create something lovely and lasting that really does have an impact. Which leads me to…..

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2. You really do make a difference in others’ lives.

This can happen in two (or maybe more) ways. As mentioned above, if you do a public (he)art bombing, people will see it. They will notice. They will react.

We have had the privilege of receiving some lovely private messages from folks who were truly touched by our hearts. I would like to share a few excerpts:

“…it made my heart sing…”

“I hope that you receive something beautifully unusual & inspired out-of-the-blue soon, too!”

“I came across one of your ‘installations’ and felt the universe was sending me a love note…”

You can see other kind notes from folks in the comments on this blog and on our Facebook page. We appreciate hearing from every one of you – it’s incredibly encouraging to know that we’ve had a positive impact on someone somewhere. We look forward to creating more of these moments in the future.

But there are some (he)art bombings that are more private – or at least meant for a chosen person/family, not just for the world at large. There a great example of this in our post about Maria’s (he)art bombing at a friend’s house last fall. Another example happened recently when someone bought some hearts from us and hung them around Olympia specifically in honor of two friends getting married.

Kelly and I did a (he)art bombing a while ago that we haven’t really talked about and I’ll just share the basics here. A friend died of cancer not too long ago at a tragically young age, leaving behind a wife, young kids, family, and many friends. When it was clear that he didn’t have much time left, we (he)art bombed his house as a symbol of our love and support. And really, what else can you do in that kind of a situation, besides show your love?

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All this is to say, you might be surprised by just how good it feels to do a (he)art bombing. We are continually surprised, in a delightfully pleasant way.

*If all of this is interesting to you – the idea of making an impact in your community through art – we encourage you to look up “street art” as an entry point to learning about other ways people are making art within the public sphere. A specific example of art made to directly affect a community that you may want to read about is Carrie Mae Weems’ project Operation:Activate.

weddings in olympia

26 Dec

After reading about the upcoming December 15 weddings in Olympia in the capitol rotunda, we decided we had to make a day trip up to Olympia to be part of history and congratulate the happy couples.

The weather outside was very cold and crummy, we arrived a bit late, and we didn’t know what to expect – but inside the capitol it was warm, welcoming, and busy with happy people.

the capitol rotunda

the capitol rotunda

card-front

program for the day

program for the day

Every so often we’d hear cheers from one of the balconies, signaling another couple finally getting their wish to legally marry. We hopped from floor to floor taking photos and passing out hearts, but there was no way to catch everything that was happening. And, in a way, it’s pretty cool to get to say that there was so much going on that there was no way to see all of it.

(Note: the lighting in the building is, shall we say, rather subdued, so we also had a hard time getting really good photos of what was going on. We regret we don’t have more to share, but we did find one nice album online and a few photos with an article in The Olympian, and would love to share any others we come across.)

near the end of a Native American ceremony - these ladies also provided the amazing cakes at the reception!

near the end of a Native American ceremony – these ladies also provided the amazing cakes at the reception!

another view of the rotunda

another view of the rotunda

the 0:00 wedding of ten couples

the 1:30 wedding of ten couples

onlookers as another couple gets married

onlookers as another couple gets married

a beautiful couple and their family and friends

a beautiful couple and their family and friends

a generous and delicious assortment of cakes at the reception

a generous and delicious assortment of cakes at the reception

It was a lovely afternoon where the spirit of love and community, even amongst those who had never met before, was clearly felt and expressed. One newlywed couple even invited us to their wedding dinner!

On our way out, we did a little replacement (he)art bombing since our hearts from October had disappeared one way or another. This time we were able to hang them in an act of celebration.

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christopher’s poem

11 Dec

This poem was read by our friend Christopher Luna just before we cut our lovely wedding cake. We appreciate the ways that our creative friends helped to make our wedding beautiful, personal, and unique.

Christopher_weddingpoem

jenney’s poem

11 Dec

I did not come to you perfect.

Perhaps I was born perfect

as all children are thought to be,

but I was not destined to stay

complete in my innocence,

secure in my fragile,

sublime, and

undisturbed  youth.

Like you, I was picked

Up from the riverbed,

Smooth and pure

And gleaming,

and

Chosen for something

Other than a lifetime

Of soft experiences

And mild exchanges.

I was perfect but I

Was reimagined as

A plaything and

Hurled without

Warning into a

Brutal and extensive

Reckoning with the

world’s  dark teachers:

Bigotry and Ignorance,

Intolerance and Hate.

I wanted to stay perfect.

Pink and mewling,

Tender and untested,

The milk of love

fed to me

In a sweet

And unremitting

Stream.

Instead, I was cracked

Against the rocks and

Shell-scattered,

Bloody and pulsing,

Twisting in the ache

Of my soul’s deep and

Unrequited needs.

I wanted to be perfect,

But I couldn’t be perfect.

Damaged and betrayed,

Bitter and haunted,

I had to struggle onward

And gather my wreckage

And recreate a place within

Myself where I could construct

A stable and gentle pathway to

A greater identity and peace.

I did not come to you perfect.

And you did not want me perfect.

You wanted me bold in all my

Mess and glory, unapologetic

And unashamed, secure in my own

Worthiness , brave and unafraid.

You wanted the warm and rhythmic

beat of me,  the rich and fragrant

earth of me, the full and unchecked

power of all my intensity and heat.

You did not want me perfect,

You wanted me attentive and listening,

Able to hear your words and carry

Them, unresisting to their weight.

You wanted me decent and forgiving,

Fully present and awake,

released from self-defeating memories

of vindictiveness and blame.

You did not want me perfect,

You wanted me consistent in my

Kindness and unreserved in my regard,

Able to see your beauty clearly

And be at ease with your mistakes.

You wanted me to cherish the inner

Child of you but respect the inner

Warrior, to rejoice in my day to day

Life with you but forgive my moments

of restlessness and fear. You did not want

me perfect, you wanted me whole and flawed and

healing, able to look back and recognize my

story as the fuel  for my integrity and

strength.  You wanted me relaxed and amused

and laughing, able to look at this sometimes strange

and unjust  world as a playground of

delight.  You wanted me

treasured and connected,

guiltless and accepted,

sheltered in the care of you,

confident in the truth of you,

empowered by my trust of you,

dancing to the music of my

fierce and boundless pride of you.

You did not want me perfect.

You wanted me safe and loved and protected.

You wanted me as I wanted you…

As you are.

 

– Jenney Pauer

domestic violence awareness month at ywca

15 Oct

Earlier this month, we were invited to pass out hearts and share about Love is a Radical Act at the YWCA as part of their Purple Lights Ceremony, an event that raises awareness about domestic violence in our community and beyond. We were happy to share the message that with all of the hurtful relationships out there, we should always celebrate all families that are truly loving and supportive. Please, if any of your relationships are hurtful, do what needs to be done to fix it or leave.

 

installation event: love art gallery

3 Oct

We appreciate the warm welcome we got on Saturday at Love Art Gallery, both from owners Ruby and Ted and from the artists and community members who stopped by. We also appreciate the live music that was provided by Andrew Grade.

a table full of hearts ready to go

choosing the perfect hearts

one of the families that helped hang hearts

our fabulous guitarist and a statue that already had its own heart

dressed for the occasion

puppy love

we made sure to fancy up the surrounding area too

double love!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

installation event: uptown vancouver

3 Oct

What a lovely turnout on Friday for our first proper installation event. The community in downtown/uptown Vancouver is very strong and supportive, and we felt it as folks took hearts and hung them all over. Once again, a big thanks to our friend Anni for being our photographer for this event. And, of course, a big thanks to those who participated.

happy art-lovin’ community members

getting things started

ladders are oh so helpful

loving the love!

making the railings fancy

hearts are tasty as well as attractive

poet + installation project = ❤

a new and spontaneous addition to the project…..

…..writing messages on the hearts

we got a message that someone else found one of these special hearts

look closely, you’ll see a tiny heart

hearts: from greg

30 Sep

Local artist Greg hung two hearts on one of the most iconic blocks in Vancouver. Thanks, Greg!

hearts: from mari

29 Sep

Today we did our first big public interactive event and it was great. It was an excellent example of community, friendship, and love. We also appreciated the generous donations of many of the folks who participated – we are well on our way to having gas money to make a trip up to Olympia and Seattle in October with Love is a Radical Act (details coming soon)!

Early on, Mari took one heart and quickly went a couple of blocks down, hung it at a bank, took photos, and came back and showed me. I asked her to send them to me and she was kind enough to do so.

She also took another heart and ended up hanging it further into downtown – I love that she managed to get it hanging on a blank wall.

Thanks everyone! There will be photos of the actual event posted soon. In the meantime, we look forward to the next installation event at Love Art gallery.