Garden of Hope public artworks by Leesa Haapapuro

  • Garden of Hope public artworks by Leesa Haapapuro

    • On view this summer
    • Kennedy Heights/Pleasant Ridge

    Thank you to everyone who participated in the Garden of Hope, our 2020 Creative Community Artist-in-Residence project with Leesa Haapapuro this Spring!

    Leesa was in virtual residence at Kennedy Heights Arts Center from April 20 – May 31. Working from her studio in Dayton, Ohio, Leesa created four public art installations that serve as messages of hope from our community, to our community. These powerful messages were gleened from online submissions from community members, and translated into the form of plants using “floriography”, the coded language of plants.

    The four sculptural installation sites are:

    Kennedy Heights Arts Center (6546 Montgomery Road)

    Woodford Paideia Academy (3716 Woodford Road) – this has since been removed. You can view pictures of it HERE.

    Pleasant Ridge Branch Library (6233 Montgomery Road)

    Pleasant Ridge Montessori (5945 Montgomery Road)

    A special THANK YOU to our volunteer “Master Gardeners” (Mindy Burger, Michelle Reeves, Diane Roketenetz, Grace Severyn, Carrie Shotwell & family, and Joanie Weidner) who helped create some of the larger plants that make up the installation at Pleasant Ridge Montessori. ​

    We had a wonderful response to our Garden of Hope kits, distributing a total of 86 free kits, which allowed community members to participate in the project by creating your own plant art to spread the message of hope with their neighbors! Completed plant arrangements now adorn front yards, front doors, and are displayed in windows. Take a walk around the neighborhood, and be inspired by these bright messages of positivity! View the interactive map to find other people’s creations. The floriography list is available online here, so you and your neighbors can decode the plant messages.

    In conjunction with Leesa’s giant daisy installation at Woodford Paideia Academy, we also distributed 70 free daisy making kits for kids through our “Creativity Kit” program through Cincinnati Public Schools’ lunch pick-up times at the school. 

    Thank you for joining us in contributing to this collaborative project! Eventually, once we can gather again, the intent is that community members can bring their smaller plant creations to the Arts Center to be added onto the art installation created by Leesa, and we’ll have a celebration of our “Garden of Hope.”

    UPDATE: We are continuing our theme of Garden of Hope by planting Black-eyed Susans for JUSTICE in the front lawn of Kennedy Heights Arts Center to show our solidarity and advocate for an end to racism.  Pick up a free black-eyed susan kit on the front porch of KHAC, make it at home, and plant it in the front yard of the Arts Center. 

    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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