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‘Community healing’: ABQ Artwalk First Friday features installation ‘Because of 2020 I Feel … ‘

The art installation titled “Because of 2020 I Feel …” will be part of ABQ Artwalk First Friday on July 3. (Courtesy of Amy Bell)

The year 2020 has had its challenges, and people have reacted to it in various ways, often expressing themselves through art.

@IGersABQ is teaming up with Groundwork Studio for an art installation titled “Because of 2020 I Feel …” It will be part of ABQ Artwalk First Friday from 5 to 10 p.m. Friday, July 3. The art walk will also showcase curbside artisans and feature poetry. Artisans will be spread out to observe social distancing. Eventgoers are asked to wear masks and not congregate in groups larger than five.

The “Because of 2020 I Feel …” art installation can be found at Sixth and Gold SW. Visitors will be able to share their feelings on large chalkboard pallets. They can also interact digitally by visiting groundworkstudionm.com/2020-makes-me.

“The chalkboard idea is inspired by an artist named Candy Chang, and she created the ‘Before I Die …’ chalkboard, which is a global arts project, and so we thought that’s a really great idea and thought we could provide a similar prompt that was related to the current situation that is open-ended and encourages reflection and allows for that discussion of basic human emotions without judgment,” said Amy Bell, founding principal at Groundworks Studio, a local landscape architecture and planning firm.

An outlet of expression outside the social media realm is the purpose of the chalkboard.

“We want to be able to provide a platform that is outside your regular social media for people to be able to express themselves and maybe there is a relationship to somebody else’s response, even though you don’t know that person, but definitely the idea is it will hopefully will allow for some initiation of community healing and communication for people to get out what they need to say and nobody’s going to know you said it, so you got it out,” said Jessica Roybal, founder and one of the moderators for @IGersABQ, an Instagram community for Albuquerque.

Reading about what others are feeling at this time can serve as a conduit to help people cope.

“The ability to read about other people’s feelings during this time is an important part of the healing process,” Bell said. “So understanding both how we’re not alone in our feelings but also how other people’s experiences and challenges may be very different from our own, because we’ve all sort of been in our own little bubble. Everyone’s experience, I think, is very similar and very different in a lot of ways.”

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