New York Scar Stories
When the exhibition, HIDE, opened just over a week ago, we offered an unusual opportunity for the public to take part in artist Nadia Myre’s ongoing artwork known as The Scar Project. As I discussed in my 2-22-10 blog entry, Myre has be adding to this project since 2005, holding workshops for individuals to write about a scar, be it physical or emotional, and then depict that scar story on a canvas with materials she provides. The response to this workshop at NMAI was overwhelming. The gallery and every chair was filled, so we brought in more chairs and spread the tables out so more people could participate. After an initial flurry of activity as Nadia introduced the project, passed out blank canvases and the participants settled in, the room became almost eerily quiet as everyone began diligently working. It seems as if most people had already planned their scar canvas, and a few people worked for the entire 3 hours without a break. More people arrived and filled in seats as they emptied. By 4:30 Nadia had 30 new stories and canvases to add to the installation.
The stories were as diverse as the imagery, speaking about lost and found identities, cancer, death, abuse, 9/11, family, broken relationships, home, divorce and healing. The new canvases are now hanging in the gallery on a separate wall and you can read the stories in a separate binder on the reading table. It was thrilling to witness the response and enthusiasm of our visitors and now the Scar Project contains a small piece of the hearts and minds of New York City.