Artist Statement: New Haven can be the most misunderstood place. It’s a small, vibrant and sometimes complicated town with big issues, and big heart. When you try to do something, anything really, whether educational, musical, community-focused, artistic: people want to join in and support you. Beluma Arts wanted to tap into that energy: we think public art is important, transcendent and fun. So we brought the artist Candy Chang’s “Before I Die” project to New Haven, in the form of a portable chalkboard. The responses to our moveable BID chalkboard were slow at first, people weren’t quite sure of us or our intentions. But word of mouth and social media helped and soon enough, farmer’s market shoppers were seeking us out, grasping for chalk, bringing their kids, sharing their wishes and hopes and gripes and dreams. The surprise? When we finished and packed up our board for good, a number of people asked about where we’d gone, when we’d come back, and how we could make BID NHV a permanent fixture. So we’re working on it.
Our co-founder Valerie Belanger will present some of the photos and the story behind Before I Die NHV at Pecha Kucha tonight (Wednesday, January 30th) at 6PM at Bentara. For more info about Pecha Kucha, check them out online: http://pkn-newhaven.org/