VCU art project aims to ‘unify’ during negative political climate   

Posted at 7:53 PM, Nov 17, 2016
and last updated 2016-11-17 19:55:31-05

RICHMOND, Va. -- A new art project at Virginia Commonwealth University is aimed to be a sign of unity and peace during a time of negativity and political divisiveness.

The art installation is called "The Unity Project" and features 32 poles arranged in a circle outside of the James Branch Cabell Library on the Monroe Park Campus.

Each pole is labeled with phrases or social identifiers like, “I speak English as a second language,” “I’m a parent,” or “I identify as LGBTQ.”

The Unity Project

Participants then tie yarn to each pole that speaks to them. As the yarn is added the interconnected strings forms a canopy, which demonstrates how everyone is unique yet connected with others.

The idea for the project was sparked from artist Nancy Belmont, who created the first UNITY Project art installation in Alexandria, Virginia in June.

Since then, the project has been replicated in nearly 600 cities in 21 countries around the world.

“What you get in the end is this really lovely interconnected web and what we hope that will accomplish is to provide a symbol for our campus and for our larger community, for coming together after such a really difficult and divided election season,” said Jennifer Elswick, special projects and communications coordinator for the Department of Psychology.

The Unity Project was launched Thursday and will run through Sunday.

“We’d like to invite the entire VCU community as well as our RVA community down to campus,” said Elswick.

The installation will take place each day from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. in front of Cabell Library.

For more information about the project, click here.