There's a lot I want to do before I die, although most of it is pretty ordinary and boring. I'd like to visit all the continents and see as many natural wonders and man-made marvels as I can. I'd like to see my kids safely and happily into adulthood; to finish writing at least one of the books I haven't even started yet; to learn how to make sushi without getting rice stuck to everything; and to go to the moon. I'd also like to write all of this down in some public space where it can be documented, and I can see it as a reminder to me and everybody else that the clock's ticking. But where?
Artist Christina Miller of Horn Lake has partnered with the UrbanArt Commission to bring an international art project called "Before I die I want to ____________" to Memphis. Miller and a team of assistants will create an oversized chalkboard and install it along the wall of a former antiques store on Monroe at Avalon. Memphians are encouraged to chalk up their desires on the board, and a community storytelling event is scheduled to take place Sunday, November 10th.
"Before I die" was inspired by Candy Chang, a New Orleans-based artist who was only 15 when her mother died with many unfulfilled dreams. Stirred to action by her grief, Chang painted an abandoned house with chalkboard paint and encouraged neighbors to express their desires. She has since taken the project to other cities and handed it off to other artists to encourage its proliferation. Today, there are 375 "Before I die" walls in 60 countries.
Chang's book Before I Die, a celebration of those walls published by St. Martin's Press, becomes available this week.
"Before I Die" Community Celebration at 1605 Monore at Avalon, Sunday, November 10th, 2-4 p.m.
Light refreshments served. Free.