Saturday, May 12, 2007

By the numbers...

I have been thinking about noting the numbers involved in the High Water Line project, and after shifting 3,000 pounds of chalk - yep, you heard that right, 3,000 - now is as good a time as any!

I have had sort of a critical mass of community board meetings and parks meetings happening as the project and the summer holidays (for the community boards) rapidly approaches. So here are some of the numbers so far:

3,000 pounds of chalk moved from the truck into storage
208 ounces of pigment
444 paths drawn on my community walk map
13 community boards
8 community board meetings (so far)
9 parks department representatives
4 DOT representatives
2 NASA scientists
8 grant applications (so far)
50 miles of biking (approximately) the line
10 miles of walking the line
2,000 action packets
2 websites (new one coming soon!)
1 press mention (so far)

And we won't even go into budget and expenses yet...

It seems that a lot of what public art making requires is just plain old persistence. I have learned on this project what it really means to sell your idea and how not to take no for an answer. Don't get me wrong, there have been several times along the way where I have just thought - ugh! why am I even doing this? Then I pick myself up, dust myself off and plow on ahead. I do know that it is going to continue to be a hard process, but it is something that I am really passionate about, and when I do find people who are really excited about the project (the audience at Community Boards) or just plain super helpful - many of the people in city agencies - it can be a great boon to the spirit and buoy me back up again.

Speaking of people excited about the project, I am looking for volunteers to work on the project - so if you love talking to people about climate issues, and want to go for long interesting and meandering walks around NYC - contact me!

There are a couple of more hurdles to clear - the biggest of which is finding space to mix the chalk and pigment. If anyone has some outdoor space, studio space or storage space that they aren't using, don't care if it gets dusty and has access to power - definitely let me know! Special bonus if it has a loading dock. That would certainly be easier than shifting 3,000 pounds of chalk each month.

Top photo of natural pigments, courtesy of The Real Milk Paint Company.