Client: Town of Needham
Location: Needham, MA, United States
Completion date: 2015
Artwork budget: $200,000
Needham Public Schools
Sited at the town High School's entrance, two curved stainless steel shapes create a portal for entering and leaving (30'x10'). The wave-like lines of text use actual community voices and local handwriting to state the community’s commitment to the emotional health of each of its citizens. Quotes are taken from the historical and contemporary life of the town.
It was vital that the work be visible and interacted with every day as students arrive and leave. We had a number of site options and chose the most visible and most highly trafficked.
As with all my projects community involvement was key to the project's success. I worked with/ trained a group of students and community volunteers to research, interview, edit and propose texts to an advisory committee for the work. We interviewed more than 1500 citizens about the role that mental health plays in the community, and we researched more than 300 quotes from the historical town record which spoke to the same issue.
Additional quotes from the work: "All I needed to do was listen - that’s when things started to happen." "We carry invisible wounds from the battles we’ve fought." “I was looking for any clue I could find that there was someone out there like me.”