Photo by Emily Schwank, Raincliffs Photography
Department of Public Words’ first First Friday at the Murphy was a huge success. A big thanks to everyone who came out and to everyone who helped us get the new space ready. We couldn’t do it without you. Also, a huge THANK YOU to Emily Schwank who captured the event with her amazing photography. Throughout the evening as people flooded in Emily observed people walking in together and asked them, “Do you know each other?”. Many of them responded that they did. She continued by asking, “Is there something on this wall of messages that you feel that this person needs to know?”. Their responses ranged from little giggles to a tear welling up in their eye. She had one of them turn their back as the other selected a message and then repeated the same for the other person. Without either seeing the messages chosen she would instruct them to back up to one another for a photograph and then captured their reaction when she asked them to show each other their messages. It is a powerful thing to see people sharing what they may have needed to say for years. Hugging, kissing, smiling, laughing, and tears of joy all happened.
Photo by Emily Schwank, Raincliffs Photography
It is our purpose at the Department of Public Words to empower people to words they may not have the voice to say, but through our encouragement we provide them with a priceless opportunity to share their heart.
In addition, Autumn Keller of ISIBEAL studio created incredibly Beautiful Moments in our studio and around the Murphy.
Autumn Keller of ISIBEAL studio
See a sneak preview of the First Friday photos here.
Come be awesome with us. First Friday, August 1st from 6-9pm at our brand-new studio in the Murphy Arts Center.
Click here for your free ticket to be awesome.
Click here to RSVP on Facebook.
Department of Public Words is happy to announce that we have a new studio space at the Murphy Arts Center in Fountain Square. We can’t wait to see how we will grow in our new space.
Our executive director, Holly Combs, is in the running to talk at TEDxIndianapolis this year. Her “What’s Your Label?” talk is number 25. Click here to vote.
YOU ARE BEAUTIFUL photo by Matthew Hoffman
On Sunday afternoon we loaded up and headed out to Winamac, Indiana by way of Logansport to install this YOU ARE BEAUTIFUL mural consisting of more than six hundred self portraits drawn by the students and faculty of Eastern Pulaski Elementary School.
Dave and Holly at work
For the first two hours, we didn’t know how this was going to go. With every new installation or mural comes new challenges and learning opportunities. This time around, we learned how to install the letters using an old school, one man lift and new school, industrial strength double-sided tape to hold the letters in place for drilling. Where there’s a will, there’s a way.
A ray of hope
While we were struggling to figure out how to make it work, Holly sent up a prayer, and a ray of light shone down.
Matthew Hoffman, the man behind the message and the message behind the man.
Matthew Hoffman, who originally created the You Are Beautiful project (You-Are-Beautiful.com) came down from Chicago to help us with the install and to speak to the students.
Holly Combs spoke to the students as well, and led them in a 1… 2… 3… YOU ARE BEAUTIFUL!
After the convocation, Matthew handed out silver foil YOU ARE BEAUTIFUL stickers to every student and teacher. What a beautiful way to end the school year!
Matthew hands out stickers to the students.
Read the front page article in the Pharos-Tribune.
Department of Public Words worked with students at Warren Central High School through Arts for Learning to produce this 10′ x 18′ installation. In the words of a student who participated in the project:
“To me, this mural is a chance to prove to students that they can be heard. Having a part in this project has made me more certain that I want to be an artist. I want to be able to leave my mark, my legacy somewhere. With this mural, I have accomplished that goal. Seeing the mural will be the highlight of my high school career. To work with the artists, Holly and Dave, was an incredible experience in learning how this type of art works. If I could do anything again, it would be this. Helping to create this work of art has been the best moment of my young life.” – Hannah Reed (WCHS Student)
Click here for more about Warren Central’s ELO program.
We are truly BETTER TOGETHER. This graphic was created for Indy Metro to illustrate the goal to improve member care and to build better community.
Today we painted this mural at the Wheeler Mission Center for Women and Children with the wonderful people at The Indianapolis Art Center. We painted with volunteers from several area high schools and had a great time working together.