‘Before I die … ‘ wall coming to Lexington

An image from the original "Before I die ... " wall in New Orleans. Photo from beforeidie.cc.

An image from the original “Before I die … ” wall in New Orleans. Photo from beforeidie.cc.

The building that holds the Arcadium Bar already boasts the iconic mural work of Herakut. For a month this fall, the property will also hold some Lexington-area residents’ deepest desires.

Lexington resident Kim Bloomfield and some friends are creating a “Before I die … ” wall where passers by can write what they would like to do, before the inevitable. The project brings to Lexington an idea that was created by New Orleans-based artist Candy Chang and replicated in more than 50 countries and many American cities, including Lexington, Mass., and Louisville.

Chang said on the Before I die website that the death of a friend prompted her to contemplate her mortality

“People’s responses made me laugh out loud and they made me tear up,” Chang wrote. “They consoled me during my toughest times. I understood my neighbors in new and enlightening ways, and the wall reminded me that I’m not alone as I try to make sense of my life.”

“I loved her story and how she created the first wall on the side of an abandoned building in New Orleans,” Bloomfield said. “I was enthralled by the idea and thought, we have to bring this to Lexington.”

The wall is permanently lined with the phrase “Before I die I want to … ” repeated many times. In the spaces next to the words, people finish the sentence. In other locations, people have written things like …

… bring all the military home …

… share God’s word …

… be a success …

… paint the Mona Lisa in watercolors …

… take care of my mom the way she took care of me …

… swim with dolphins …

Scouring boards, there were lots of “see the world,” “read the Bible,” “have an impact on the world,” and similar thoughts.

The "Before I die ... " boards will be in front of the old Spalding's Bakery building at Sixth Street and Limestone, that also boasts a mural by Herakut. © Herald-Leader photo by Tom Eblen.

The “Before I die … ” boards will be in front of the old Spalding’s Bakery building at Sixth Street and Limestone, which also boasts a mural by Herakut. © Herald-Leader photo by Tom Eblen.

Bloomfield needed a public place to put the wall up and found that at one of Chad Needham’s properties, the Old Spalding’s Bakery building that is now Arcadium, at the busy corner of Sixth Street and Limestone. Corner residents also include Al’s Bar and North Lime Coffee and Donuts.

“It gives the community a chance to be playful and thoughtful in a public place,” Bloomfield said.

The wall will go up Oct. 5 and stand through Nov. 5. After that, Bloomfield said it could go to other locations. She said she picked October because she wanted it to be out before the weather got too cold. During its display, Bloomfield said she will take pictures and post them daily on Facebook and Instagram.

Share
This entry was posted in Central Kentucky Arts News, Visual arts and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.