Just Walls Public Art
In 2021, I was awarded a Big Ideas grant from the Greater Columbus Arts Council which partially funded the creation of Just Walls Public Art. My idea was to create and install beautiful audience-targeted art in public assistance agency waiting rooms. I had been volunteering among new immigrant and refugee populations bringing them to medical offices, pantries, job services, etc. As an artist, I was appalled at the dreary waiting room spaces. These places exhibited a lack of concern for the people they served through their lack of color and art.
The first agency I created art for is WIC (a Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children which provides federal grants to states for supplemental foods, health care referrals, and nutrition education for low-income pregnant, breastfeeding, and non-breastfeeding postpartum women, and to infants and children up to age 5 who are found to be at nutritional risk.) The WIC clinics in Franklin County in Ohio see the most clients of any system in the state.
These busy clinics are filled with internationally diverse families and are busy with toddlers and children. WIC asked me to create art that would be attractive to the children, as well as the parents. I designed a family of giraffes, and other animals, that are decorated with mosaic-like patterns which reflect the ways animals are decorated in countries around the world. The trees are based on African baobab trees and their trunks are decorated with patterns from Africa, India and Central America. All the art is printed on commercial-grade self-adhesive vinyl.