Candy creates interactive street art. Her “Before I Die” wall garnered a lot of attention — and contributors. Folks wanted more.
So she decided to create a website explaining in detail how others could replicate the wall.
Here she tells how it all started: “It’s easy to get caught up in the day-to-day and forget what really matters to you. After I lost someone I loved very much, I thought about death a lot. This helped clarify my life, the people I want to be with, and the things I want to do, but I struggled to maintain perspective. I wondered if other people felt the same way. So with help from old and new friends, I painted the side of an abandoned house in my neighborhood in New Orleans with chalkboard paint and stenciled it with a grid of the sentence “Before I die I want to _______.” Anyone walking by could pick up a piece of chalk, reflect on their lives, and share their personal aspirations in public space.
“It was an experiment and I didn’t know what to expect. By the next day, the wall was bursting with handwritten responses and it kept growing: Before I die I want to… sing for millions, hold her one more time, eat a salad with an alien, see my daughter graduate, abandon all insecurities, plant a tree, straddle the International Date Line, be completely myself… People’s responses made me laugh out loud and they made me tear up. They consoled me during my toughest times. I understood my neighbors in new and enlightening ways.”
Candy’s how-to page reads, in part, “Once you’ve created a wall, you can share your wall here by creating a mini-site! A mini-site is a page where you can post photos and responses and document the story of your wall. It’s super easy to use, absolutely free, and no technical skills are required. Visit the Budapest mini-site to see an example.”
Everything you need if you’re going to create a “Before I Die” wall is here.
Photo: Before I Die