Call for Community Participation: Always with Us

Literary Arts
Organization Writers & Books and Artist Julie Chen
Deadline September 30, 2023

Always with Us: A Community Remembrance Project. Have you lost a loved one who still feels ever-present in your life? Do you keep a treasured object that reminds you of your loved one? Perhaps something soft and comforting– a coat, sweater, scarf, hat? Perhaps you also keep something intangible: stories, favorite sayings, or a voicemail recording. Do you wish to share memories of your loved ones with others?

Julie Chen, Writers & Books 2023 Artist in Residence has been working with what is left behind by people and places. Julie invites you to participate in a community installation in remembrance of those who were closest to us—gone, but still always with us. Community members are invited to lend soft objects; write stories from memories; and submit audio recordings of, by, or about the departed for Julie to form into a dynamic and sensorial “cloud” installation.

What might I contribute to this project about my loved one?

Participants will lend soft objects (clothing, scarves, hats, plush toys, etc.) to the project, which will be returned after the exhibition. Objects will be secured with clips and safety pins (no cutting, glues, or adhesives). Efforts will be made to return all objects in their original state.

Participants are also welcome to submit any or all of the following:

  • a brief narrative about the loved one and the object’s significance (250 words maximum)
  • quotes or short sayings of the departed loved ones (textual or  recorded)
  • a voicemail recording left by the departed
  • a video that includes the voice of the departed

Submitting. Requests for participation are reviewed on a rolling basis until September 25, 2023. Fill out the Google Form linked below to request participation and receive a response by September 30. We may not be able to accept all requests, due to space limitations or the challenges of specific objects.

Selection. Selected participants will receive a schedule for dropping off objects and meeting the artist at Writers & Books.

If you have audio you’d like to submit and need help recording it or transferring recordings from  a source, such as a cellphone or video, we will make arrangements to assist you at Writers & Books.

When can I view the installation? Community participants are invited to a sneak preview on Friday, November 3, at 5:30 pm, a half-hour before the public opening at 6 pm.

How do I get my precious objects back? Expect pickup to begin the week of November 27. Details are forthcoming.