I applied for a residency with The Laundromat Project because a major part of my work involves social engagement. I believe art needs to interact with people within daily life, so as artists we have to take initiative to make our work socially engaging.
The Laundromat Project was right up my alley in terms of creating art that engages and is activated by the general public, in a space that everyone has access to: the local laundromat. During my residency, I created the prototype for what would become a larger public art project titled Got the Power: Boombox as Community Music. I held workshops at my local laundromat in Washington Heights to work with neighbors to collect and record music and sound recordings that have personal significance to them. The collection of sounds and songs ultimately became a series of musical mashups broadcasted through my project.
The LP gave me a great opportunity to actually experiment with some of my ideas in a public forum where people weren’t used to engaging with art, and I learned a lot from that. Find out more about my project with The LP, and more about my recent projects here.
As Kerry James Marshall once said, “every time you show your work you have to earn your audience’s attention.” Join me in helping The LP continue to bridge artists with their communities and neighbors through collectively raising $40,000 by October 31 by making your donation below.
The LP really helps people understand that art is something that should be part of daily life and is for them.
Bayeté Ross Smith
2010 Create Change Artist-in-Residence