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Community art project makes deconstructed house a home

Join free community art workshops this weekend and next.

“Yield: Keeping a House" in Bear Creek Park / contributed by Zoe Cinel
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Home is where the art is for “Yield: Keeping a House.”

The permanent sculpture installation, created by Zoe Cinel and Eric Anderson in fall 2020 for Art4Trails, features a deconstructed house with a roof holding a time capsule, and separated walls featuring domestic objects and globally recognized symbols.

Soon, community members will also have a chance to add their own details to the sculpture, located in Bear Creek Park near Mayo High School.

The artists explain their focus on the home, a place they describe as both personal and universal: “In these unprecedented times, our homes have become our gyms, classrooms, offices, and playgrounds. They used to be places for the community to gather and now they are enclosed, solitary, and safe spaces. ... Our hope is for people to find again a sense of safety, care and belonging within the outdoor public space.”

At two community workshops (Saturday, Aug. 7, and Saturday, Aug. 14), participants can tour the installation and paint their own patterns on tiles that will be added to it. Everyone is welcome, and materials will be provided.


“Yield: Keeping a House" in Bear Creek Park. Contributed / Zoe Cinel

“We hope that transplants, immigrants and people from communities that are not commonly represented in mainstream media will feel compelled to join us,” Cinel said. “By creating individual tiles, each participant will add their own personal story. When each of these tiles are next to each other, connections between the different patterns start being obvious, showing that after all, we are humans and our cultures will always somehow relate to each other.”

Anderson said the patterns and time capsule represent, respectively, perceptions of museum art versus public art; preservation versus participation.

Between them, Cinel and Anderson have participated in a wide range of creative endeavors. Cinel, originally from Florence, Italy, is a curator at the Rochester Art Center, and her interdisciplinary works have been screened, exhibited and performed at venues like the Walker Art Center, the Minneapolis Institute of Art, and Italy’s Festival della Creativita.

Anderson, a Rochester-based artist and writer, has had his interactive installations at institutions such as the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History and the Center for Research and Interdisciplinarity at the University of Paris.

Cinel and Anderson will be joined by Nicole Nfonoyim-Hara, a Rochester-based writer and anthropologist who works as the diversity program director in the Office for Diversity at the Mayo College of Medicine and Science.


“Yield: Keeping a House" in Bear Creek Park. Contributed / Zoe Cinel

Nfonoyim-Hara, who will incorporate writing and poetry into the workshop, said the experience will encourage participants to tell stories about their homes.

“There are many different ways in which we tell our stories of home,” she said. “By creating patterns and sharing their meaning and significance, participants are participating in an aspect of storytelling.”

Though the pandemic hasn’t made community creativity easy, the workshops based on the “Yield” sculpture aim to facilitate it.

“At its core,” Anderson said, “ 'Yield’ is an invitation — to collaborate, to congregate, and to consider those around us.”

The community workshops are free, though participants must register in advance at rochesterartcenter.org. Lunch will be included at Bear Creek Park’s covered picnic shelter.

If you go

What: “Yield: Keeping a House” public art workshop

When: 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 14


Where: Bear Creek Park, 1237 Marion Road SE, Rochester

Registration: Free, but preregistration is required at https://rochesterartcenter.org/yield-community-workshop-registration .

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