FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Piñata Anchor of Hope

Sherri Wood sherri.wood at
Thu Mar 31 14:57:45 EST 2005

March 31, 2005 								
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Piñata Anchor of Hope
CONTACT: Sherri Wood, 919-599-7770, daintytime at or 
sherri.wood at
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The ?Anchor Piñata of Hope? April 15 ? September 30, 2005
A temporary public art project for downtown Durham by Sherri Wood

Opening Reception and Performance: Friday April 15, 5:30 ? 6:30pm; 
Anchor?s Away: 6:00 pm sharp
Off the roof of the Mr. Shoe Building, 122 W. Main Street, Durham
Into the former Woolworth?s lot below (corner of Corcoran and Main)
Tax-deductible donations are encouraged. Rain Date: Earth Day Festival, 
Saturday, April 23, 2pm sharp

The Piñata Anchor of Hope is currently hanging at the Durham Arts 
Council until April 15th. Eight feet tall, it is covered with over 700 
tissue paper flowers made by SEEDS and See Saw Studio youth and other 
members of the community.

On April 15th, as part of the 3rd Friday Culture Crawl, during a public 
reception from 5:30 - 6:30 pm, the Piñata will be filled with flower 
seeds and soil, will be tossed, at 6pm sharp, off the Mr. Shoe 
Building, 122 W. Main Street, into a prepared garden bed in the former 
Woolworth's lot below.

Intended to spark the imagination, the ?Piñata Anchor of Hope? will 
serve as an allegory for hope in the midst of loss. It will be an oasis 
of beauty and a geo-psychic "anchor" in the midst of the transitory 
upheaval being created during streetscape construction in downtown 
Durham, which began in March. Once the piñata anchor is 'planted the 
garden will be maintained through the end of September. As the piñata 
disintegrates the flowers will grow.

Earlier on April 15th at 11 am, there will be an artist procession 
carrying the Piñata Anchor of Hope from the Durham Arts Council, down 
Main Street to the Mr. Shoe building where it will be prepared for 
planting.  All Durham artists, poets, musicians, dancers and creative 
individuals are encouraged to join with noisemakers and costume.

The reception/celebration/dedication will include a community potluck. 
People are encouraged to bring food associated with the theme of seeds, 
festivals and piñatas such as fruit, nuts, popcorn and candy. Stone 
Circles and durham3 poet, Carol Lautier, will participate in the 
reception/dedication of the piñata along with a community band to be 

Durham artist, Sherri Wood, initiated the temporary public art project 
and has involved organizations throughout Durham to realize it, 
including the City of Durham, Downtown Durham Inc, SEEDS, SeeSaw 
Studios, ABCD Durham, Durham Culture Crawl, durham3 poetry project, 
Play Matters, The Scrap Exchange and the Durham Arts Council among 

After school youth programs, SEEDS and SeeSaw Studios are participating 
in two joint workdays to help create the piñata and the garden bed. The 
first workday was held at SeeSaw on March 16th. Over 30 youth from both 
organizations came together and had lots of fun while making tissue 
paper flowers. The second joint workday is scheduled for Wednesday, May 
4, from 4-6 pm, at the former Woolworth?s lot. The groups will work 
with the artist to create an edging around the garden out of small bits 
of streetscape destruction debris. The shape of the garden bed will be 
determined by the random sprouting pattern of the scattered piñata 
seeds, which should be evident by early May.

The ?Piñata Anchor of Hope? has evolved through many layers of thought. 
  On a personal level the anchor is like the soul of the artist?s 
recently dead mother and is about her struggle for imagining hope in 
the midst of loss. On an institutional level, as artist initiated 
public art, it is about creating new pathways of flexibility within 
institutions by moving an idea originating outside the institution into 
acceptance and by facilitating cooperation between institutions to 
achieve this. On a political level its about facilitating an 
opportunity for people to participate in a gift economy through the 
sharing of resources to fund, create, promote, celebrate and realize an 
open festival event for the community. On a theoretical and spiritual 
level it's an investigation into the nature of festival and its 
potential role in bringing our society in tune with wholeness and the 

The resources needed to realize this project include approximately 
$1300 in out of pocket costs and 1000 hours of time by the artist. The 
project budget of $4500 includes: cost of materials, publicity, 
maintenance, landscape consultant stipend and artist stipend. 
Tax-deductible donations are encouraged to support the ?Piñata Anchor 
of Hope?. Checks can be made payable to Play Matters, a 501(k)3, 
non-profit charitable organization dedicated to supporting grass roots 
arts. Donations will be accepted on the day of the event or can be sent 
to Play Matters at 2412 Huron St., Durham, NC 27707. Limited edition 
letter pressed posters by Horse & Buggy Press are offered while 
available for donations over ten dollars.


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"Piñata Anchor of Hope" workday with SEEDS and SeeSaw Studios at SeeSaw 
Studios, March 16, 2005

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"Piñata Anchor of Hope" letter pressed poster by Horse & Buggy Press - 
limited edition - available for donations over ten dollars

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