On our way back from Illinois after Christmas, Ron and I stopped in Joplin for dinner. While we were in town, Ron mentioned that he’d like to see the Wall of Hope, which is a sort of informal, interactive public art installation that’s been growing on the side of a tornado-damaged building at the corner of 20th and Main for the past few months.
With the help of my iPad (thank you, Google Maps app), we located the wall, which I photographed as well as I could under the adverse lighting conditions. I’ll let the pictures explain it:
More below the fold:
Formal, carefully constructed monuments are all well and good, but I generally find the organic, spontaneous kind more moving. They feel more personal and sincere, like the roadside descansos left at fatal crash sites.
I like the way this one invites participation from viewers and shows the role words and images can play in healing. Everybody thinks about sending food, water, and money after a disaster. Those things are important, but ideas, inspiration, and hope are equally important, and it’s easy to overlook them in the midst of a crisis. I’m grateful to the artists who started this project for putting their talent to work mending broken hearts and uplifting thought in a community that can use all the hope it can get as it rises from the aftermath of the worst disaster in its history.