July 16th, 2016 was an emotional day. It wasn`t about having wine and viewing art. It was about connecting with one`s emotional side, appreciating that we all have flaws, and relating to one another. The day revolved about positive and negative emotions, secrets, and confessions. Nicole Bello (Artist Bello Ame) painted works based off of anonymous confessions that people have submitted to her. We gathered confessions by posting a white board in the bathroom during her last art show and inviting people to write in a open Google Doc through Facebook. We mostly received confessions that were unexpected, deep, and moving such as "I`m with a person I don`t love," "I want to change my gender," or simply "I love myself." Each submission was inspiring since the public was confident enough to share a part of themselves with us and this sense of openness was depicted during the show.
In terms of setting up the space, my goal was to make the viewers feel like they were in a setting that was private and secretive, as if they were reading a diary that wasn`t theirs. To convey these feelings, I covered the the whole ceiling with confessions that people have submitted. I wrote the introduction text, painting labels, and ceiling confessions all by hand to make the text seem more personal. Each painting was labeled with the confession it was based off of and placed with other works it related to either in theme and/or color.
To emphasize the theme of confessing, I invited artists to perform poems and songs that were personal. To include the audience into the show, I invited the visitors to share their confessions as well. The audience anonymously wrote their confessions on a piece of paper, I then collected them, and handed them out to a random person. Then everyone got the chance to come up to the mic, read the random confession they received and simply respond. The results were so moving and emotional. Many people gave advice and related to the confession on some level. The environment felt so open and comfortable that many visitors ended up talking and connecting with one another. Curating the art and the events of this show was satisfying because I know that I was part of the process of deeply impacting the visitors. Nicole Bello and I didn`t simply display art for them to look at but we gave them a deep art experience that hopefully impacted how they viewed one another and the world.