Garden of Hope with Artist-in-Residence Leesa Haapapuro

  • Garden of Hope with Artist-in-Residence Leesa Haapapuro

    • April 20 - May 31
    • Virtual Residency

    Making art together (but apart) during the COVID-19 Pandemic

    Kennedy Heights Arts Center is committed to providing creative ways for our community members to engage in meaningful collaborative art making, even during this COVID-19 pandemic. In this time of self-isolation and personal safety concerns, now – more than ever – we need to find ways to feel like we’ll get through this together, and that our strength comes from our community.

    With this in mind, we are proceeding with our annual spring artist residency – just a little differently this year.

    Our 2020 Creative Community Artist-in-Residence Leesa Haapapuro will be in “virtual residence” at Kennedy Heights Arts Center from April 20 – May 31. Working from her studio in Dayton, Ohio, Leesa will create a public art installation that is a message of hope from our community, to our community. This powerful message will be developed through online crowdsourcing from community members like yourself, then translated into the form of plants using “floriography”, the coded language of plants. This sculptural installation will eventually be installed on the front lawn of the Arts Center.


    We also invite you to participate in the project by creating your own garden art so you can spread the message of hope with your neighbors! Leesa will be putting together “Garden of Hope kits” (sanitized for safety) with weather-resistant materials and instructions for making a flower or plant. The kits are free and can either be picked up or delivered to your home. Once completed, place your finished artwork in your own front yard, hang on your front door, or display in your window. As we all walk around the neighborhood, we will see and be inspired by these bright messages of positivity! The floriography list will be available online and included in the kit, so you and your neighbors can decode your plant messages.

    The deadline to request a “Garden of Hope Kit” has passed.

    If you got a kit and are participating in this project, THANK YOU for participating! Please try to finish your plant creations by May 31st.

    Leesa’s artist in residence is due to officially end at the end of May, and we’d really like to encourage our participants to complete their plant creations and flower messages by May 31st and to share them with us.

    We would love to hear about and see your projects! Snap a picture & tag us on Facebook or Instagram @khartscenter, #khacgardenofhope, or text a photo, your name, and/or comments to 512.382.4913. Add your creation to this website by emailing a picture of it to:

    Eventually, once we can gather again, the intent is that community members can bring their smaller plants to the Arts Center to be added onto the art installation created by Leesa, and we’ll have a garden party to celebrate!

    Participants will discover how the process of sharing creativity and engaging in meaningful exchanges of ideas can create community. We hope that you will join us in contributing to this collaborative project.

    Have a kit, and need some additional materials? – request that HERE

    Kits will start being ready for pick up and delivery in early May 2020.

    Participation is FREE, thanks to generous support from the National Endowment for the Arts, Ohio Arts Council, and the Eleanora C. U. Alms Trust, Fifth Third Bank, Trustee.

    Leesa Haapapuro is an interdisciplinary artist from Dayton, Ohio, proficient in a wide variety of techniques from stone carving to welding to weaving. Leesa’s efforts to connect with others through her artistic practice are often radical and transformative. She has made socially-engaged, collaborative art projects and site-specific installations with more than 10 communities in Ohio. She received the City of Dayton’s Community Artist award and is a three-time recipient of The Montgomery County Regional Arts and Cultural Individual Artist Fellowship.

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