Two copies of the sixteen letters were distributed in downtown Augusta, Georgia, on April 4, 2015, as a First Friday event and part of Free Art Friday. For the second volume, two copies of the sixteen letters were distributed in downtown Augusta, Georgia, on November 6, 2015, as a First Friday event and part of Free Art Friday.
Two artist books document the letters and the locations of the distributed letters. Framed collages feature copies of the letters paired with event photographs.
Augusta is the oldest city in Georgia; a consolidated city-county with a population of 197,350 (2013 estimate) and the center of the CSRA (Central Savannah River Area), population 709,433 and growing.* All population centers should be vibrant, lively hubs- the “heart” of their communities. Yet Augusta is a small city overwhelmed by a sprawling suburbia that quickly transitions into the country. It certainly has its gems: the downtown hugs the southern bank of the Savannah River with a quirky mix of restaurants (running the gamut from locally sourced, fusion tapas, Asian, Mexican, Italian, and long-standing community favorites including a café featuring slices of cake the size of your head), museums, art galleries and schools, antique shops, boutique shops (used books, new and vintage clothes, outdoor grilling, outdoor sports), classic department stores, barber shops, hair salons, pawn shops, tattoo parlors, and of course bars and nightclubs of the alcohol, hookah, and dance varieties. Still in evidence is the flight to the suburbs, loss of industry, and a slow economic recovery. Despite the challenges, many plucky residents open new businesses, start initiatives to clean the streets, and create cultural events. The Love Letters build on the momentum of a few citizens by calling on more residents to display their civic pride and work together for a better community.
*United States Census Bureau, retrieved 02-03-2015.
15CS1_Love Letters from Augusta to her Citizens, installation in downtown Augusta, First Friday Artist’s Row event, 04/07/2015, and 11/06/2015. The November letters had an additional keepsake- an original 4×4 in magnet collage.
Love Letters from Augusta, 2015. Paper, photograph collage. 15CS_1_C01 through CO9
Love Letters from Augusta to her Citizens, vol. 1. Artist’s book.
Love Letters from Augusta to her Citizens, vol. 2. Artist’s book.