Installation commissioned by Easterseals Central Illinois, located on Peoria Riverfront Museum plaza
When I think about being very young, I remember how natural it was to take objects and make them stand in for other things. In play, there’s no disappointment that you don’t have the real objects, in fact, sometimes you prefer the stand-ins, because you invented them. Adults see this kind of pretend as cute, but it’s actually very pragmatic. If you can take objects or materials that are readily available to you and make them function as something you need, you are removing barriers—you’re adapting. Through play, young people solve problems creatively, but they also push boundaries and challenge their own limitations.
When the Easterseals team asked me to make a physical manifestation of a rainbow, it made perfect sense. In my world, there’s no reason plastic tubing and painted garden hose can’t function as beams of light. There’s no reason I can’t reorganize the colors of the rainbow, and add triangles to arcs. In the Easterseals Rainbow, I’m imagining prisms that refract light into color, and I’m suggesting that light and color are physical objects.
This installation is an extension of a drawing by an Easterseals Ambassador that shows a family standing together under a rainbow. In this drawing, the young artist makes a physical depiction of security, community, and happiness. It has been my privilege to build a destination representing the safety, love, and happiness that we all wish for each other.