Lea Foster and Yaseen Benhalim activate Dealey Plaza last Saturday with Islands of LA.
Guest blogger Lydia Regalado is an arts educator, crafter and blogger who writes about people who gather to make things.
If you caught the first hour of today’s episode of Think with Krys Boyd, then you heard the discussion about public spaces and community here in North Texas. Last Saturday, a small group and I ventured to one of these spaces here in Dallas to participate in L. A. artist Ari Kletzsky’s project Islands of LA. Dealey Plaza is not really known as a place to hang out here in Dallas, but that’s exactly what we did. We braved the wind and cold and actually discovered a place to commune and inject a little bit of “color” on a dreary spot in Dallas. The idea of Islands of LA is to utilize a public space for community interaction and activities. I drive by Dealey Plaza quite a bit, but I never thought about having a picnic there. I never really see people hanging out besides a quick trip to look at and photograph the old Texas School Book Depository Building. The Kennedy assassination seems to have stained Dealey Plaza with a somber and negative vibe, but it actually is a lovely space and comes alive with human contact.
Our expedition included a listening activity and recording of the sounds of the space, but upon completion we were compelled to get up, explore and activate the vast space. Dealey Plaza is quite spacious and can hold large groups. Though there are no trees, it’s the perfect place for a picnic and people watching. Tourists are always in view because of the historical context of the space, and it’s fun to watch people pose and interact. The island is big enough to tumble and maybe play a game of Frisbee, though I would be leery of traffic. One of our expeditors brought his juggling pins along, while others of us sat and drew and took pictures. This was a great adventure and experience, as it brought me closer to some people of my community that I otherwise would not have known and made me realize the beauty and possibilities of my city. Look for another Islands of LA event late next month, coming soon to a traffic island near you!
Next up: Valentine Pendants with F is for Frank.
This Sunday, Feb. 1, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., the F is for Frank design studio is holding a workshop that will teach part of the pewter casting process. Participants can create a pendant, magnet or key chain for their special valentine. The price for this two-hour workshop is $50, which includes two castings of your design. All supplies are included, all ages are welcome but space is limited. Call or e-mail for reservations: 214.749.0709 or [email protected]