Before I die…

Before I Die

This is one of my favorite public art projects (I linked to it before) and I was excited to see that they put one up locally. The original was added to the side of a house in New Orleans by a woman who lost a friend to Katrina.

The installation is a chalkboard with open-ended lined sentences that start with the words “Before I die I want to”. It’s an example of open source art; that is, anyone can put one up, and at any given moment it can be modified by the viewer. The art is constantly changing.

The project challenges you to pause and consider what matters to you and what you would like to do while you’re still around. It’s a collection of hopes, dreams, and irreverent attempts at humor.

What I appreciate most, however, is the framework upon which all this occurs, and how like-life the board actually is. Periodically all of those comments are simply wiped away, and the writer’s thoughts become just a chalky film that the next person will scribble over with their own thoughts.

This one is in Lexington, KY, but you can build your own or see others around the world through the project’s website: