Well friends, yesterday I installed the AS IS portraits under the clearest of blue skies, but today the rain just keeps coming!
Ready for the good news? All but two of the portraits have been removed! I can't tell you how happy it makes me to see the "If this is you, this painting is yours to take" signs taped to otherwise blank brick walls! I swung by each installation site on my way into the studio this morning. The only painting still on the streets is the one installed in front of the Corcoran! I hope that this means that there are some happy folks out there.
It has been so touching to witness the thoughtfulness of DC residents! One shop owner writes me to say that he and his staff are working hard to find the employee whose portrait I had have painted. Another says that he has moved an unclaimed portrait inside his store to spare it from the elements.
A portrait of a street surveyor was originally installed against a dumpster, but someone has thoughtfully moved it under an overhang of the American City Diner to keep it dry. I rounded the corner this morning to check on it at the same time as the garbage truck. As I jumped out of my car to grab the little box of project explanation cards off of the dumpster, the driver rolled down his window. "Hey!" he shouted "Are you the one who has been painting all those pretty pictures of people? I saw one on Connecticut yesterday. It's GONE now!!" Then he flashed me a thumbs up as the truck hoisted the dumpster into the air.
One hope for this project was to ignite conversation about the power and the gift of notice. Residents caring for portraits of other community members. People searching for the subjects of unclaimed paintings. Average people taking notice. I couldn't have hoped for more from this project!