On Tuesday, Mayor Tim Keller and city leaders from the Department of Arts and Culture opened Lost & Found: Stories from the Pandemic, a temporary public art installation and community engagement opportunity at Civic Plaza. Lost & Found is a space for the community to reflect and share stories or photos of loss and learning since March 2020.
The temporary public art installation features more than 500 black and white paper flags designed by nine local artists. The flags represent various situations; thoughts, emotions, types of loss, hope, challenges, victories and more felt during the pandemic.
“A lot has been lost over the last 18 months. No one felt this more deeply than those who experienced the personal loss of loved ones,” said Keller. “But we, as a community, also found strength and resiliency to step up for one another and push forward. We are on a strong path to recovery today because of our community’s efforts. This space is where we can honor both the hardships and determination that defined our experiences through the pandemic.”
“When thinking about a design for this project, I started reflecting on our shared experience and everything that happened over this past year,” explains artist Kate Coucke. “I wanted to include relatable commonalities and symbols of our collective challenges as well as representation of my own perspective.”
Other artists involved in the exhibit include Susan Roden, Celine Gordon, Bette Yozell, Diane Palley, Emma Eckert, Manuel Hernandez, Jakia Fuller and Lauren Smith.
Community members can get involved by sharing their own stories of lost and found. From September 1-14, Lost & Found attendants will collect stories and/or photos that will be used in a larger video project documenting the local impact of the pandemic that will be shared with the community. Attendants will accept written stories and printed photos. They will also be available to transcribe spoken stories and/or record short videos. In-person hours will be 5:30-7:30 pm on Saturday, Sept. 4, Sunday, Sept. 5, Saturday, Sept. 11 and Sunday, Sept. 12.
In-person delivery of stories and photos to attendants at Civic Plaza is highly encouraged as it is part of the overall experience of using this shared space to share and reflect. Alternatively, community members can send their stories/photos via email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The goal is to collect at least 550 stories/photos (which is the number of days between March 13, 2020 and September 14, 2021).