For the first time, KDI has been working with an artist to create a permanent art installation for a Productive Public Space. Los Angeles artist, Helen Lessick has been working since October 2011 with KDI staff in Kenya and community members from KPSP 03 to manage and create a number of pieces that will be installed at and enhance the Kiosk structure at site 3.
With an interest in soil and a successfully funded travel grant to Kenya, Helen proposed a community art project that would explore the relationships between soil health and community health focusing on the local context of Kibera. Over the past few months Helen has worked with local sign painters to interpret her sketches into permanent signs that will be attached to the kiosk doors.
The community art idea takes local input from sign painters, produce growers, and neighbors, and uses it to discuss why these images are on the kiosks. Through their involvement and understanding, community members become advocates for community and environmental health. Kibera staff gathered feedback from the community on the proposed plaque designs, content, and colors. Helen returned to Nairobi in March to work directly with the sign painters and implement the community art project as a colorful, no-cost addition to the community.
See www.lessick.net/gallery to view other works by Helen.