Wish Lantern

Beverly Sheffield Park - by the Pond
Lighting Ceremony

NEW DATE: Sunday, February 28th 2016, at 6:00 PM

In Asian cultures many community festivals utilize the lantern as a symbol of hope, love, the spirit, and contemplation. Inspired by these traditions, artist Teruko Nimura worked with area residents to create origami wish lanterns that was used to create an illuminated corridor along the bridge at Beverly Scheffield Park . Working primarily through the Northwest Recreation Center and the Asian American Resource Center to hold workshops in origami folding, the origami pieces created by community members include their written wishes and will be threaded onto solar string lights. The project reflects the artist’s understanding of the residents desire and appreciation of community gathering spaces like recreation centers, libraries and parks alongside their concern that the rapid growth and densification could put the existing communal environment at risk.

"Because this is a public project with an emphasis on community engagement, I was trying to think about different ways that people come together. Traditional festivals, ceremonies, and rituals, are ways that people connect with each other from year to year, and generation to generation, that are common through out the world. An example that I really love are the lantern festivals of Asia where cities display hundreds of lanterns in a public space. Light has all of these associations that are very hopeful - spiritually, historically."
"I am intrigued by that feeling of warmth and protection that you can get from a beacon of light surrounded by darkness. I wanted to re-create that for the community of District 7 and Austin. I wanted them to experience that kind of communal, hopeful feeling, that I feel lantern festivals represent. I utilized origami because it is a way of doing an activity together that connects generations. It can connect people too if you are teaching somebody. I wanted to use origami as a way to interact with the people of the district. By asking them to write their wishes on the actual paper that we’ll then fold the lanterns out of, it is like a ritual that gives their wishes tangible and dimensional form."
"When they come together in the final piece the whole piece will be one giant energetic wish - lit up, and alive with the light."

Origami workshops will be held on the following dates
September 3rd – 6pm to 9pm, Asian American Resource Center.
September 7th – 9:30am to 11am, Labor Day Parade, Brentwood Neighborhood Association.
September 13th – 12pm to 3:30pm, VIVA! Streets Festival
October 3rd – Asian American Resource Center’s 3rd anniversary celebration.

Special thanks to the people and organizations that made this project possible: Wells Mason and Lyn Conlee, BMC Wood; Yvette Wilson and Hanna Huang, Asian American Resource Center; Christa McCarthy, Northwest Recreation Center; Stuart Wallace, North Austin Creatives; John Halaburt, Brentwood Neighborhood Association; Janice Jaescke, Gullet Elementary; Councilmember Leslie Pool's office; Henry Levine Design; Meg Davis, Millwood Neighborhood Association; Trail of lights
Forklift Danceworks; McCallum High School

ARTIST: TERUKO NIMURA

Teruko Numura is a visual artist with a diverse practice including drawing, painting, clay, mixed media sculpture, installation, social practice and performance. She is interested in the ways that collective memory, perception, and identity are formed through shared events, ritual, and ceremony. Teruko received her BFA from San Francisco Art Institute and her MFA from The University of Texas Austin. She has also been a fellow at OxBow School of Art and included in New American Talent with Juror Nato Thompson.


FINAL EXHIBIT SLIDES


 

Council Member: Leslie Pool


Updates from District SEven:



Teruko Nimura image courtesy of nationalartsprogram.org