As an active student leader on campus, I have a great desire to build an inclusive community at MICA. I have been struggling with the feeling that while many people get involved, some still end up falling through the cracks. This feeling is what inspired a project where students, faculty, and staff were invited to anonymously share their feelings towards the MICA community. The project was an interactive installation where participants submitted one word on a small slip of paper describing their feelings about the community. They then put their word in a box while retrieving someone else’s word that was previously submitted. Finally they “wrote” the new word in the grass with paper letters, which was then photographed. This installation took place in the Commons Building lawn, a space that is open and accessible to the community. It was important for the process to be anonymous because of the pressures one may feel while expressing feelings that may not fit the expectations of MICA or the MICA community. By removing the individual from their word, they are liberated to express what they truly feel. Having the words exhibited in a public space gives everyone the opportunity to
reflect on a diverse collection of opinions, and engages a broader understanding of the community. My work asks questions such as: What makes them feel this way? Why don’t I feel this way? How can I come to an understanding that we both feel something different about the community? This installation has helped me continue to explore my interest in the hesitation inherent in expressing true feelings relating to community.