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Tuesday, Sep 27, 2011 - Canvassed | Art & culture

'Before I Die" mural asks San Diego about the important things in life

The interactive Candy Chang project makes its way to the Triangle Building

By Kinsee Morlan

The last time I wrote about artist Candy Chang, she was inspiring two San Diego artist to start their "This is Where" sticker project.

Now the new Triangle Building gallery and project space has constructed Chang's  "Before I Die" interactive mural. With the help of roll-on chalkboard paint, the mural asks participants to fill in the blanks and finish the simple sentence, "Before I die I want to..."

Here's what the always-eloquent Chang has to say about the piece:

It’s easy to get caught up in day-to-day life and forget what really matters to you. With help from friends and neighbors, I turned the side of an abandoned house in my neighborhood into a giant chalkboard to invite people to share their dreams in public space. Before I Die transformed a neglected space into a constructive one where we can learn the hopes and aspirations of the people around us. It’s a question that changed me over the last year after I lost someone I loved very much.

The reaction to the wall was more than I could have ever imagined. From the funny and creative to the thoughtful and heartbreaking, the responses have made me laugh out loud and also tear up. Stories from passersby hit me hard in the heart, and the worldwide response to this project has been incredible — thank you!  Due to the enthusiastic response, we’ve created a Before I Die Toolkit with a stencil and guide to help you create a wall with your community. We’ve created limited edition paintings, and you can also submit your dreams online on the project website. This is one experiment to try to make our neighborhoods more ours and remind us why we want to be alive in the world today. Together, I hope we can change the way our public spaces are designed to better reflect what is important to us as a community and as individuals.

The mural on the Triangle Building was done by San Diego artist Adrienne Jumelet. In a Facebook post, Triangle Gallery owners asked San Diegans to, "Come by and check out the wall.... add your thoughts."


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