Holding hands is typically defined as an act of physical intimacy involving two or more people. Depending on your age, gender and heritage, the gesture itself can be a symbol of affection, control and respect. From the mother and child to the husband and wife and from children playing a game to protestors forming a human wall, we typical reach out for each other’s hands to show that we are “in this - together”. However, within this very act of reaching out to hold a hand lays also the possibility for something new and exciting to happen. Inspired by the formation of relationships and building of new networks, “In this - together” seeks to symbolize and depict a moment loaded with excitement for what’s next. This of cause includes the endless possibilities for love, trust, support, security, stability and togetherness that exist in our community.
During the fall of 2014, I had the opportunity and honor to collaborate with the people of West Chicago to photograph the hands that represent this community. All the hands where then cut out digitally and layered to create this mural. Close to 950 people have had a hand in this piece, so to speak. To learn more about this project and see a full list of everyone involved, please visit the City of West Chicago’s website.
This project could not have been realized without the help from the following community partners: WeGo Together for Kids, United Way of Metropolitan Chicago, City of West Chicago Cultural Arts Commission, City Museum and Historical Preservation Commission, and DuPage Children's Museum, who contributed funding, help with logistics and moral support. MY TEAM of dedicated volunteers: Mario Contreras and Diana Gabriel in Elgin, Angie Evans in Lisle, Nerissa Kuebrich in Chicago, Chris Lucero in Aurora, Brittany Nickels in DeKalb, Ali Mehdi Zaidi in London, Sarah Baranski, Sara Phalen and especially David Toney here in West Chicago. My mom, who came here all the way from Denmark to help watch my son so I could work on the project and my husband Tony Abasolo for creating this video for me.