VCU community launches the ‘Unity Project’ public art installation

RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) – Thursday morning, VCU community launches a public art installation called, ‘Unity Project’ in hopes of unifying the community in the aftermath of the election.

VCU’s Director of the Center for Psychological Services and Development, Beth Heller is one of the organizers who thought the interactive public art project would bring a sense of unity for both the Richmond community and the University.

“We both saw this on Facebook mid-summer so we had an immediate response that we need to do this at VCU,” Heller said.

The installation consists of 32 poles labeled with identifiers, such as ‘Parent’ or ‘LGBT,’ and participants tie a pink yarn around each identifier, creating a giant colorful canopy.

“What we hope this will do is help us both recognize our uniqueness as we loop yarn around the poles that identify us,” Heller said, “but what we’re going to have when we’re done is an interconnected canopy that shows how really even though we celebrate our individuality, we really are connected in multiple ways.”

Heller said there was no better time than now, especially with the divisiveness seen across the country after the Presidential election.

“Let’s come together,” Heller said. “We know that people with feelings are running high right now. We know that a lot of people are scared and anxious and we believe that if we come together as a community, we are going to be able to heal and we’ll be able to move forward and work together.”

The ‘Unity Project’ now sits in front of the James Branch Cabell Library and more than 50 volunteers will be out Thursday through Sunday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. helping those who want to participate in the interactive project.

Virginia Commonwealth University, Division for Inclusive Excellence, Department of Psychology and Partnership for People with Disabilities at the School of Education all participated to bring the project to life.

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