The Only Wall We Need...

…is a wall that promotes positivity, collaboration, and brings beauty to the space it’s in.

That was my idea behind creating the “Brite Eyes” interactive stitch wall. It’s a simple idea, essentially a life size cross stitch board mounted on a frame. I’ve done a handful of public art installations featuring this simple idea but the “Brite Eyes” wall is the largest yet and the first time I’ve left it in a public space for an extended amount of time.

It’s a rogue mission, I didn’t ask anyone if I could leave it in the park it currently lives in, I just did it. Hoping to activate a public space in a new way and maybe even bring a smile to someone’s face.

I left it on a Saturday evening a few weeks ago. I’ve made a few visits to check on it, every time walking away with a smile on my face. Since leaving it, most of the strings have been used and collectively the community has started to add their own briteness to this board by adding their individual creative touch.

The most memorable encounter I had was on a Sunday afternoon. I walked up and added a few stitches of my own. A woman sitting on the bench in the park asked if I had created the board (I had my fluorescent yellow shoes on, dead giveaway that I might be responsible for it, lol). I said “yes” and asked if she had added her stitches. She said no, but said she was going to.  She went on to say how much she loved the piece and how it made her smile. She said she tries to keep the park clean and she loved how it brightened up the space.

In the middle of us talking, another man walked up and started looking at the board. He didn’t say much, but I invited him to add his stitches. He did and even smiled for a few pictures.  

The woman came over, she had a cane and mentioned she was partially paralyzed on one side of her body. Together with her on one side of the board and I on the other we added a few stitches together.

After talking awhile, we wished each other well and went on our way. And as I looked back, I saw another man on a skateboard go through the park and stop in front of the board. He didn’t add his stitches, but it did catch his eye enough to make a pit stop.

The “Brite Eyes” wall symbolizes more of what we need in this world. A world that collectively works together, supports one another, and uplifts one another. It doesn’t matter who you are, what you do, who you love, where you’ve come from, or what you look like. What matters is that you are here, you matter, you are loved, and you love back. That is the only wall we need. #staybrite

Current location of the Brite Eyes Wall: Fireman’s Park, Logan Square, Chicago, IL (intersection of Milwaukee/Kimball/Diversey)

Amie Kesler