Help Fund Community Floral Art Installation

UPDATE: We have reached our initial goal of $5000 with the help of our generous community! In order to finish this project, we are increasing the goal amount to $7000. Please consider donating to fully fund this larger-than-life community floral installation. Thank you.

"If we haven't all thanked you enough, I want to say, again, thank you Kath!!  It was wonderful to participate in stringing garlands of flowers Saturday. Your flower instillations have become HUGE influences in building and strengthening, our community.  Your heart is generous and caring.  Thank you for your work, your time, and your resources in bringing your gifts to so many here.  You dreamed it and now you are creating -  truly beautiful installations with invitations for all to reflect on what matters." - Toni Brown




My name is Kathy Gore Fuss, and I am a visual artist living in Olympia, Washington. As the death toll from the pandemic increased to unimaginable numbers, I found myself unable to work as a studio artist; I was emotionally overwhelmed. One evening while watching a special report on the PBS Newshour, one of the doctors interviewed explained the massive losses the world was dealing with; the enormity of the grief that humanity was trying to cope with. I remember writing down these words that he said – “we will need places to mourn.”
 
I decided I would create floral memorials in my hometown to honor our community’s need to pause, reflect and grieve our collective losses associated with the COVID-19 pandemic. My first installation (“A Place to Mourn”) was self-funded and completed in May 2021 in my own NE Olympia neighborhood. The site location was outdoors, on a friend’s property and near a street with high foot traffic. Fresh flowers were attached and wrapped around a stone sculpture. Garlands were hung in a circle from a huge walnut tree encircling a bench for visitors to sit, write in a journal, read a poem, and light a candle. The fresh flowers lasted 26 days, and the community members were overwhelmingly moved by the gift, gesture, and installation. I created a second memorial, “A Place to Reflect,” in September 2021 in a neglected pocket park in Olympia’s Northwest neighborhood. The installation created an opportunity for the Neighborhood Association, neighbors, and families to revitalize a valuable gathering space returning it to its original stature. I contacted twelve of my friends and art collectors to help fund this installation, and they generously responded with the $1,200 that was necessary. The responses from my community have been tremendous. Here are five comments I want to share with you:
 
“I visited your Place today, in the rain. What a gesture of human longing. A celebration of vulnerability. Thanks for your honest and loving work.”
 
“This is a beautiful project. I so appreciate that you and your wonderful assistants have created a space for quiet reflection and, as Maya Lin states in A Strong Clear Vision, a place to cry and remember. I hope you are well. You are in my thoughts.”
 
“You think of everything and act on everything. What a blessing you are to so many! Thanks. It looks beautiful.”
 
“What a nice visit I had today. Thank you for the beautiful garden and bench. Very serene. I needed it. The poem is beautiful too. You are special to have put it out there for us to have a place to grieve and grow grateful.”
 
“Very interesting, Kathy. In Judaism, we have and are taught from a young age Tikun Olam, the concept where we try to help and heal the world. This artistic concept you created fits right in that category. I will try to make it to Olympia to meditate on those special people I know plus the rest of humankind that has physically left us though their memories remain within us.”
 
Please help me continue my work to create spaces for us to heal. I will install the third piece in downtown Olympia at Childhood’s End Gallery from June 17th through July 31st, 2022, titling the piece “A Place to Pause.” I hope that as we try to engage in a new normal, we take time to pause in our lives, giving ourselves the chance to value and appreciate the connections we all have to a worldwide community. Help me transform our grief through beauty and experience.
 
I need to raise $5,000 to purchase over two hundred bunches of spray roses. An all-volunteer team will help me make 350 floral garlands that will create a shape similar to a cloud. There will be places to sit, write in a journal, relax, think, ponder, color, and read another poem underneath the floral cloud. I am building the armature with a friend as I write so we can hang everything by June 15th, 2022. Any dollar amount you can give to this endeavor helps me to extend goodwill outward into all of our communities. Thank you!
 
 
  • Ellen Oman 
    • $50 
    • 12 d
  • Ralph Drews 
    • $200 
    • 12 d
  • Anonymous 
    • $40 
    • 15 d
  • Deborah Henderson 
    • $20 
    • 15 d
  • Linda Davidson 
    • $80 
    • 15 d
See all

Fundraising team (2)

Kathy Gore-Fuss 
Organizer
Raised $2,700 from 46 donations
Olympia, WA
Erika Naficy 
Team member