Yard Art Day is September 3, 2012 and is the creation of local artist Deborah Triplett. Yard Art Day offers artists of all mediums and experience the opportunity (and encouragement) to display a work on art in their front yards (windows, balconies, etc.) for one very special day. Keep reading to learn more in a Q&A with Deborah and Communications Intern Katie Culclasure.
What was the inspiration for Yard Art Day?
I was thinking about a project I had recently seen in New York where you can upload images, and artists would be chosen to have their art installed all over time square. Then I thought it would be great if there were something like that in Charlotte, and then from there I started thinking about flash mobs, and then I thought about how I could do an art flash mob. And I also have to tell you I’m a big supporter of front yard culture versus back yard culture. I’m also a photographer, working on an exhibit where I’m hanging photographs from trees, so all of that melded into yard art. I’ve also loved visionary artists, and junky art in front yards, and it kind of makes you think about what dictates art. I think there should not be any parameters for what dictates art. Then I thought what if there was just one day where everyone could participate for one day by putting their own creation in their front yard. Without even thinking I formed a group on Facebook and by the next day I had between 200 – 300 members. Then within 48 hours I had over 600, and it’s just grown from there.
Are you surprised at how quickly the idea has spread?
It seems to have really caught on, and everyone seems to love the idea. It’s about the joy of creation, not creating a piece that will end up in a gallery. It’s just about playing for a day, remembering that moment as a child when you weren’t worried about what others were thinking. So I was initially surprised at the response but as it’s gone on I understand the psychology of why people love it so much.
Yard Art Day is part of the Quasimodo Project, which will be held during the Democratic National Convention. Can you provide some insight on how you think it will be perceived during that particular week?
Its going to be for one day only, which is Labor Day, September 3.The original idea was not to have it during the DNC, but Manoj Kesavan (one of the Quasimodo Project leaders) asked what about Labor Day? I liked the idea of holding it on Labor Day, because that is when everyone who works is supposed to play. Especially now, since I’ve been told that some of the city fathers want this to become an annual event in Charlotte. That was always my intent. Part of the reason I wanted this to happen during the DNC is because to the outside world we have an image as a banking town and I very much want the press and visitors to see there is a lot more going on in Charlotte other than banking. I want them to see that we have a strong artistic community.
What are some of the outcomes you are hoping for once the project is complete?
As a city, I want people’s perception to have changed. Not only for the people who do not live here, but for the city’s citizens as well. But mostly, if I don’t get anything else out of that day, I really just want people to be joyful and have a fun day, and if that’s all that happens, that’s great. It will just be great to have one day where you can be expressive, where you don’t care what anyone else thinks.
How can Charlotte residents become involved, if they are interested in participating in Yard Art Day?
They just need to contact me, because I could sure use the help! Anyone can feel free to contact me by email, at firstname.lastname@example.org