As an extension of my exploration of the concept of home and building myself a home through the memories I have made, conversations I have had, and items I have collected throughout Pittsburg, IL and Pittsburgh, PA, I would like to change the lives of the participants by not only inviting them into my home to celebrate, family, friends, and home but then giving them something special to me.
Originally I came up with this idea while collecting items from some of the homes from around Pittsburgh, PA for my Place & Participation project. I met a man who told us about his family tradition of exchanging handmade gifts at Christmas time. Following this conversation, he proceeded to give me a coaster of a picture of a needlework pillow his late mother had made that his wife made for him for one Christmas. This story struck me with the family intimacy but also by the generosity of this man to give me this gift.
In response to the generosity of all of my participants and the change they have made in my life, I would like to hold a pot-luck/house warming party to welcome them into my home. I will send out thank you letters to each person who participated in my project which will also contain and invitation to party. The date is not set, but I plan for it to be on a Saturday (probably in late April or early May) from about 1-4pm during which time I invite participants to drop in, hang out, and get to know me (hopefully building further relationships and making meaningful memories). I will provide food (chili or BBQ?) and offer some small games such as cards. At about 2pm I will take the participants around a tour of my apartment, showing them my new home. Each thing will be explained in the format of a story, explaining how I acquired it, about the person I acquired it from, how it has impacted my life, why I incorporated it into my home in the way I did, and maybe some possible more personal aspects such as if I think two participants would get along or if I have a distinct memory relating to the exchange. Once the tour is over (I’m guessing around 3pm), we will continue our potluck until about 3:30pm at which time I will present each guest a gift of my own (most likely a print) in which I will encourage them to incorporate it in their home as a memory of their experience.
With this project I will exploring aspects of change on many levels. I will be exposing the role of small objects that seem insignificant individually, but actually takes on an important role of making a home your home. By draw attention to the importance of each object, I hope to not only show that these small things mean something but also instill pride in the owner over their once seemingly insignificant things. I also will be exploring change through the exchange of items. Since my participants gave me a piece of art and impacted my life, I wish to give them something in return to hopefully impact their life and become a part of their home.