By: Jen Russon
New York artist Kate Gilmore is preparing to roll out the “yellow” carpet for thousands of walkers, each clad in a specially designed, silk-screen T-shirt. The large-scale interactive public art installation and performance piece is aptly titled The Yellow Walk.
The 26-hour long performance kicks off at the end of the week, with the hope local members of the community find peace, comfort, and solidarity, walking alongside professional performers, up and down the Art Walk in Coral Springs.
The Yellow Walk is the third offering in a five-part public art installation series, intended to provide healing support in the aftermath of the 2018 Parkland shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas.
The event, sponsored through the Power of Art program, and $1 million grant from Bloomberg Philanthropies, is already attracting pledges to participate from Douglas families.
Katherine Guerra, 17, of Parkland, came with her mother, Jenny, to paint big yellow hearts on the backs of the pink tees they will wear as participants in The Yellow Walk this weekend.
Mother and daughter said they recently returned from a medical missionary trip to the Galapagos Islands, where they like to volunteer since Katherine took a break from attending Marjory Stoneman Douglas after the shooting.
Watching her daughter impress a heart shape into a silkscreen T-shirt, Jenny said the teen is finally ready to return to school in January. That volunteering in Ecuador had been therapeutic for them both.
“You have to give back more than what was taken from you,” they both remarked when asked what drew them to the idea of working alongside others – either by volunteering or producing art.
Staying active and opening yourself up to companionship along the way, are central to the cathartic purpose behind The Yellow Walk.
When Susan Krisman, director of development for Coral Springs, introduced the artist Kate Gilmore at a city commission meeting Wednesday, she shared her belief that people tend to heal faster when they are up and moving.
On Wednesday, Krisman and Gilmore invited everyone attending the city commission meeting to take a walk to the Power of Art T-shirt station, set up on the ground floor of the city hall’s parking garage.
The first 1,000 people to ask for a shirt will receive one free of charge; the heart on its back matches the long yellow carpet that will soon grace the entirety of the 800-ft long Art Walk on NW 31st Court.
The Yellow Walk begins on Friday, November 8, at 2 p.m. and will continue until 10 o’clock that evening. It will resume again from 2 p.m. to 10 p.m. through the weekend of November 9 – 10.
- Jen Russon is a freelance writer and English Language Arts teacher. She has published two novels to Amazon Kindle and lives in Coral Springs with her family.