By: Anne Geggis
“There’s nothing that heals pain like love,” Pulitzer Prize-winning photographer Carl Juste told those assembled at the Coral Springs Museum of Art Tuesday as he gave them a preview of the big dose he’s about to administer.
Juste is leading a photographic exhibition project, “The Big Picture: Resilience,” the last of five installments of public art commissioned in response to the day the Coral Springs-Parkland community suffered a wound that hit the whole country hard — when a shooter stormed Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School and killed 17 people, wounding 17 others.
The exhibition, opening on Feb. 14, is the second anniversary of that horrific day, and will show the process of healing through the words and eyes of select community members.
About 80 people came to the Coral Springs Museum of Art to watch Juste, a Miami Herald photographer, discuss the project of 19 photographs mounted on weather-proof panels. They will be displayed in the community for months, beginning with a slide show at 5 p.m., Feb. 14 at Pioneer Park, during a commemoration with clergy and other community leaders.
On Tuesday, Juste urged the assembled to give themselves a standing ovation for the project.
“I am just a conduit for all your love,” he said. “… I just jumped on your beautiful train.”
The two cities won a $1 million grant from Bloomberg Philanthropies, the nonprofit brainchild of former New York City mayor, and current presidential candidate Michael Bloomberg. The city partners’ winning proposal had asked for the funding for public art focused on gun violence and healing. The “Temple of Time” – a 35-foot structure that was built to be a bonfire to burn off the community’s grief — began the showcase a year ago.
Another work, “The Scrollathon” by Steven and William Ladd that brought nearly 1,000 people who came to workshops to make their own scrolls, is on display at the Parkland Recreation and Enrichment Center, 10559 Trails End. Another exhibit, a billboard of “Peace and Love” writ 130 feet wide and 30 feet high, erected at the Sample Road and Sportsplex Drive in Parkland, is also part of the effort.
Parkland Mayor Christine Hunschofsky, who was at Tuesday’s event, said she had been surprised at the power of these efforts, even though she’s not really an “art person.”
“This is an extremely moving way to connect with the community,” she said.
Juste explained how he and his team worked on this: “I look for the small moment that connects us all.”
The 19 panels of Juste’s project will also come with essays that can be read by scanning the accompanying QR codes with smartphones.
- Anne Geggis has been a newspaper reporter for 30 years, most recently at the Sun Sentinel. She graduated from St. Michael’s College in Colchester, Vt., with a double major in journalism and sociology.
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