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See Potential in See Potential
Maybe I read too many haunted house books as a kid, but there's always something about an abandoned building that makes me shiver. It's so sad to see a storefront, once some entrepreneur's hard-won dream, empty and shuttered; depressing to visit a city neighborhood and realize there's nowhere to buy an apple. So I love this photography project envisioned by Emily Schiffer, called See Potential.
A public arts initiative, See Potential seeks to take vacant lots and abandoned buildings and transform them with large-scale photographs portraying healthy food shops or community gardens. According to the website, "In the South Side of Chicago, a lack of access to affordable, healthy foods is holding a community captive to circumstance."I love the idea that these large photo installations not only create striking images, transforming dilapidated buildings into art galleries, but also encourage the community to appreciate the potential of where they live (and get involved themselves by contributing photographs and ideas). Here is art that not only comments on a problem but seeks to transform it. It's gutsy, it's exciting, and it's a call to action to see the potential in even the most depressed of places.
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