Artistic Collaboration & Community Engagement
by: McKenna Quatro and Sara Dotterer
This installation piece was created through collaboration between Washington and Lee University art students McKenna Quatro and Sara Dotterer and Rockbridge Area Prevention Coalition. “Alternatives,” created with a variety of fibers and other materials, is symbolic in its representation of community. The hanging circles emulate various social circles that we often find ourselves seemingly “trapped” within; the actual fluidity of the hanging circles indicates the reality of openness and communication within a community as a whole. Additionally, the piece itself is active within RAPC’s mission regarding substance abuse prevention among Rockbridge youth. The piece repurposes a public space, reimagining an existing environment and making it new and creative. The artists hope that the installation will call attention to a free and accessible community space, thus providing an area for fellowship and recreation (or an “alternative” to substance use). At the back of the installation is a box of to-do lists—viewers are encouraged to take one home for personal use. The lists provide additional “alternatives” and offer easy and creative ways for youth to use free time. The light bulbs hanging throughout the installation indicate the figurative ‘light’ within all individuals and communities, as well as the artists’ aim to ‘bright light to’ the issue of substance abuse in Rockbridge County. Finally, the words stitched into the fence on either side of the installation are themes drawn from the Serenity Prayer, a mantra often used in substance abuse recovery programs. The artists hope viewers will be encouraged and empowered by these universal themes of serenity, change, courage, and wisdom that are cultivated through creativity and community.
Special thanks to:
Scott, our friend at Lexington Building Supply
Rockbridge Area Community Services