Candy Chang is an artist and designer living in New Orleans and out of all her amazing projects this one is my favorite! taking over a wall of an abandoned house in her community, Chang painted the side of the house with chalkboard paint and stenciled the sentence “Before I die I want to _______.” the responses were naturally all over the board.
some notable mentions: eat salad with an alien, tell my mother i love her, abandon all insecurities, be completely myself, evaporate into the light, see equality, plant a tree, sing for millions… and my personal favorite: swim in a pool of golden retriever puppies!
the project was just as much about getting to know your community members as it was a work of public art. the project was so popular, that many cities and communities decided to replicate it – from Amsterdam, to Brooklyn, to Lisbon and beyond, everyone was participating. the project is about sharing your dreams, anonymously or not.
the civic center created a “Before I Die” toolkit” that includes a 39″ x 50″ stencil, step-by-step instructions, a 10′ long headline template, two boxes of colored chalk, gloves, and some chalk holders. if you’re interested in creating one of these for your community, they make it quite easy for you. it yields a huge reward for the price of $85.
Chang seeks to better communities, far and near, while giving people a chance to participate in something and be heard. the before i die project encourages us to reflect and hopefully help us improve ourselves!
All photographs belong to Candy Chang.