Emily Sloan: To Whom It May Concern

Emily Sloan left a message for you…and you, and you, and you, and, well, everyone. For To Whom It May Concern, her outdoor installation at Lawndale Art Center, the artist spelled out the words “Thank You” and “To Whom It May Concern” using pebbles and mulch, respectively. “I was thinking of thank-you notes, things like that. I even did it in Edwardian font,” Sloan says of the piece Thank You, which is just outside the entryway to Lawndale. At the time of our visit, the pebbles had already started to scatter and the “y” was fading away, but Sloan says that’s the intention.

In an empty lot next to Lawndale, Sloan spelled out “To Whom It May Concern” repeatedly in a typewriter-like font using dirt and wood mulch. “It’s kind of like healthy graffiti,” she says. The mulch will eventually be blown away, but all the products are natural, so no harm, no foul. The words in the lot are visible from Sloan’s third-story studio at Lawndale, and she says people pull over all the time to take a second look. She adds that the phrases are meant to capture your attention but push your imagination. “It’s to you, but I don’t know exactly who you are, or [who’s] going to experience it.” The works are on view 24 hours a day — until they fade away — outside Lawndale Art Center, 4912 Main. For information, call 713-528-5858 or visit www.lawndaleartcenter.org. Free.
Nov. 21-Jan. 10, 2008

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