14 September 2011

borders and crossroads

my new work, borders and crossroads, has just been installed in Goddard Riverside's new Bernie Wohl Center at 647 Columbus Avenue in New York. the piece honors Bernie Wohl, who was my first teacher of a particular approach to community work, when we worked together at South Side Settlement House in Columbus, Ohio.  and, for many years, we worked together in New York. Bernie was a colleague and teacher, and became a member of my family.  he left the planet a few years ago, and we all still miss his presence.

so, it is a piece about journeying, and a meditation on ways of transport. how do we get there from here, really?  where many see borders as barriers or obstacles, some learn to embrace crossroads and to see opportunities.  

it may be through the hand of an artist (in this case, a detail of a Barbara Chavous sculpture i photographed). or through extended dialogues with others (at a community meeting in La Colama, Tipitapa, Nicaragua). work is always necessary, digging deep with passion and sweat.  we may travel by taxi or boat or on foot, but always with other people.  it's a solitary journey, but a social one, too.


Asma said...

I will cross the Brooklyn border with passport in hand and journey to NYC to behold your exhibit. It has already inspired me as I build curriculum for the fall. Thank you.Asma

Amir Bey said...

In the photo, the larger rectangular shape above the small blue one at the bottom makes me think of a dinner table, something I didn't see when looking at the original.

ellenfoto said...

happy you have that passport, Asma--thank you!

that's so interesting, Amir, yes i see what you mean. it's true for me also, i keep on seeing new things, from distances and closer.

Michele Buono said...

we are so fortunate to have this amazing artwork hanging in our office. It also warms my heart to have Bernie in the borders of the piece.

The concept of borders as barriers/obstacles vs. crossroads and opportunities resonates deeply both professionally and personally.

many, many thanks for sharing your art with all of us at the Bernie Wohl Center

CG said...

OMG it's moving...on my computer screen...i must see the original and follow where it's going.