100 Kingston High School students participated in a collaborative 'Happy Spot' project with artist G. Riley Johndonnell (a.k.a. 'Uncle Riley') and P.U.G.G. (the Pop-Up Gallery Group*) in which they united to create a mobile public art installation of 100 flowers.
The front side of the spots feature flowers using 'INT-O yellow' (International Optimism Yellow), a color with a cause. The color was created by Uncle Riley, the Pantone Color Institute and
to shine a light on Depression and help brighten neighborhoods with Optimistic art. On the back of the flowers, students have written 100 ideas for how to brighten midtown Kingston.
As a return gift to the many KHS students who shared their creativity and ideas, the mayor's office welcomed the flowers on the lawn of City Hall and to pop-up in surprise locations throughout midtown in honor Mental Health Awareness Month (May).
*The Pop-Up Gallery Group (PUGG), which has been supported by the City of Kingston's Office of Economic and Community Development, is a work-based program created with the intention of teaching gallery management to students. PUGG and advisor, Lara Giordano, collaborated with Uncle Riley on "Pollination" in efforts to expose students to the positive social art movement outside of school walls and to see what happens when community members unite to "Turn Optimism into Action"
A FEW OF THE 100 IDEAS FROM KINGSTON HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS
"More trees and flowers planted in midtown"
"I would love to see more artwork around Kingston"
"More hiking walking trails"
"...more community events to bring our city together"
"I think... more people should pick up garbage..."
"...I'd like more colorful public art and more events, like festivals, to bring the community together"
"Free Wi-Fi everywhere"
"Host more student events"
"I think Kingston would be better with more artwork"
"More community projects"
"More out of school education programs for real life education"
"Community building events so less people see "bad" neighborhoods instead of "different" [neighborhoods]"
"Better support of the small local stores"
"Make Kingston more colorful"
"More hang outs for teens"
"...more programs for kids and... more artwork around town"
"More community events with the purpose of...getting to know each other. Like block parties"
"More parks and gardens"
"More activities for young people"
"[We] need something similar to Central Park"
"More artwork on buildings that look plain"
"I'd like to see more trees and flowers planted"
"More community...art programs"
"I would like to see more flowers and plants around Kingston"
"A bus that goes from the high school to the library"
"Community vegetable garden"
"an area in Kingston (like what the Berlin wall has become) where artists can make something interactive"
"Saying "Oh Hey, how are you today?" Being kind can go along way. We can be the change that lets people of all ages feel welcome. Decreasing the percentage of depression and suicide ..."