BENEFITING: El Dorado Arts Council
EVENT DATE: Mar 18, 2011
HOURS PLEDGED: 400
Placerville is a rural gold country community in the Sierra Nevada foothills. The town reeks of gold rush history, and wild, wild, west memorabilia. It is quiet, quaint, and quirky, and the people here are proud, hardworking and kind.
This project is about people who, like me, live, work, and grow in rural California, specifically Placerville. This project is about living in the country on the west coast, it is about community building, and it is about the strength in culture and community ties that takes place in a small town in the Sierra Nevada foothills.
When I recently came back to town the adobe man that decorated the entrance to historic ‘Hangtown’ was no longer dangling from his hanging post, and the building where he once hung was condemned, emptied out, and surrounded by an unappealing chain link fence. The down town merchants thought that the fence was a blight on the face of down town Placerville, so myself, Sheri Hoeger, and the El Dorado Arts Council decided to do something about it.
We created an artpiece, titled ‘A Thread of Gold’, which included over a hundred and fifty community members in the making. Each person involved created a painting in response to prompts asking them to paint pictures about what they most value about their rural culture.
I facilitated mural workshops with several school groups, and community groups, encouraging students and adults to explore what it is about this country community that makes them shine. Through these workshops local community members created art pieces that show the stories of their lives. I heard adults talk of driving down the winding highways, falling in love with the river community, and comparing apple orchards to works of art, and I heard dozens of children who find it invaluable to have a place to play outside.
The goal for this project is to have the artwork from all of the participants up on panels that hang on the face of the chain link fence. When the panels are complete the first thing that you will see when you come into town is a collection of art that tells the story of who we are and what this community is worth.
So far we have raised enough money to hang four panels, which allows for about half of the collected artwork to hang. This site was created to raise the remainder of the money we need so that all of the participants can see their art publically displayed on the face of their hometown.