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Community art project created to bridge cultural differences

Postcard created by artist for The Bridge project. Courtesy art

FRONT ROYAL – United ShenValley Artists invites community members of all ages to submit their artwork and writings to The Bridge Project, a community art project that explores and promotes connecting across differences.

Heather Davis, an organizer of The Bridge Project, said the ultimate goal of the community-based project is to use art to make a positive change.

“We started this project to make individuals think about how they connect with one another,” Davis said. “There’s so much rhetoric in the air about division. So our solution was to create a way to bring that division together.”

Through art, Davis’ hope is to celebrate the connections made on a daily basis or those she would like to make with individuals who may seem different.

“Each day we see people who are different ages, have a disability, or support a political party we may not agree with,” she said. “This is a way to bring it full circle. And what’s a better what to do it than through art?”

"Art is one way we can bring the community together," said Heather Davis. Courtesy art

“The Bridge Project” combines a wide variety of art mediums including watercolor, acrylic, photography and collage on 5×7 heavy card stock. Poetry and writings have also been submitted.

“It’s not that easy to come up with a design,” Davis said. “It’s most definitely a thought-provoking project.”

The ultimate goal of the project is to create an installation, where the submitted artwork would be affixed to the framework of a wooden slat rope bridge. Upon its completion, the installation will be displayed in various public spaces in and around Front Royal.

“We picked a bridge because we thought it was the perfect metaphor,” Davis said. “Bridges connect you with the other side, literally and figuratively.”

A call was put out at the beginning of the year and the submissions have been pouring in not only from the Front Royal community, but nationwide as well as globally.

A postcard bearing the message "Creating a better tomorrow, starts today." Courtesy art

“We already have 50 submissions,” Davis said. Davis added that their goal is roughly 200.

The deadline for submissions has been extend to March 1.

“We hope people will put on their creative caps, and participate,” she said. “Art is an excellent way to express oneself in any situation. It expresses thought, provokes emotion and can encourage change.”

The Bridge Project is sponsored by United ShenValley Artists, an outreach of Selah Theatre Project that promotes the positive power of the arts in our homes and community. For more information, visit: https://www.selahtheatreproject.org/usva or www.facebook.com/connectingacrossdifference or email Heather Davis at hdavis67@gmail.com.

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