While monitoring all of the installations for Providence Art Windows last week, a woman named Jenny stopped and helped artist David J. Delay at the 203 Westminster site, and inquired about what the project was. Jenny is an enthusiastic woman who had an interesting story herself. Jenny is an advocate for the homeless, finding shelter, transporting and giving hope to many. She asked if I could sit down for an interview for the homeless newspaper Street Sights, and talk about the project with one of the staff writers, David. I agreed, and I met her and David this past Friday outside of Tim Horton's on Westminster Street.
I work down the street from Tim Horton's, at the Arts & Business Council of RI. I had passed by David almost every day I was Downtown working, and he seemed to be a person of note, giving advice, his writing being interrupted by the many who stopped by his table trying to find Jenny. I had met David briefly last year when my husband Erik Gould started a photographic project on the economic crisis, and we had visited the tent cities that had recently cropped up in the area. I always try to pass by with a smile when I see him.
So now, last Friday, we sat down together to talk about Providence Art Windows as a free, open art project that is available for anyone to look at 24hrs a day... at least that was the premise of the original story. We had a little time before Jenny arrived so I wondered about David's story. He is living at a Vet's center, writes constantly and finds it to be his salvation to keep writing. If he is writing, that is all he needs to be content. When Jenny arrived, we started to talk about piece(work) and I think they will talk about the project as they asked for my picture in front of the last panel. Erik came along to introduce himself and talk about his project,and we were invited to attend a editorial meeting to learn more about the paper.
This meeting and interview inspired my current panel, which will go up tomorrow. I have been reading a lot of negative information about the homeless in the major papers of the region, and I decided to give the voice of my current panel to the people who come to David's table. I cut up a pair of old Carhart's (a la Gee Bend quilt style), and gave them to David to collect individual stories or positive messages from individuals he knew. Some of these requests I got to make in person(a particularly nice one is from Paul H. Botelho), but for others David carried the pieces of cloth and some Sharpie pens in his rucksack.
I will be adding these pieces tomorrow, from 11AM-12PM. This section may grow, with different colors, but for now each piece is stacked upon each other, at least 12 so far. Not all are signed, as not everyone felt comfortable to do so. I know most of these individuals by first names only. BUT-I think viewers will find some of the commentary insightful and/or hopeful.
Many thanks to David, Jenny, Dave, R.W.M., Paul, May, D', RAM, and anonymous contributors.