When I went to Guatemala with VCU for the first time as a student, I was struck by the kindness of the people there. When I returned for a second time, as a teacher, we went to different part of Guatemala and I was fortunate enough to witness a cultural artistic phenomenon.

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This carpet of flowers existed  for one day only in Antigua, Guatemala, in honor of the Catholic celebration of  Corpus Christi.  In this collective act of celebration, community members lay out flowers, pine needles, dyed sawdust and fruits and vegetables to create an artistic and beautiful ‘carpet’ that paves the way for the holy procession to walk through the town. All of my fellow travelers, students and professors alike were equally struck by not just the beauty of the carpet, but also by the way that the people of the community came together with such conviction to create something so beautiful and so temporary.

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Young and old members of society worked collaboratively to create a geometric marvel that stretched for miles through the town all the way to the church.2013-06-02 11.17.39

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Upon returning home to the United States I found myself wondering if such an extravagance of collective creativity could happen in our community, outside of Guatemala. Could a labor of love like this be created by other communities under other circumstances in other lands?2013-06-02 11.08.52

 

 

Just a tiny bit of internet research led me to realize that these impermanent carpets are created in an array of countries by a variety of cultures for to celebrate their faith, beliefs and histories.  Click on the link below the image to learn more about these flower carpets specific purposes.

onam-pookalam-designs-30 Onam Pookalam from India.

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Flower Carpet in Brussels

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Sawdust carpet in Mexico

This led to the idea of creating an impermanent carpet that connects communities and stretches throughout Richmond, filtering its way to other cities all over the world.  Could this be done in different places, on the same day?  How could we do this? Well, through the magic of the Internet of course!

We in Richmond invite you, all over the world, to join us in creating a temporary carpet of connection on October 14th, 2014. On this blog, you will find resources to help you bring this concept into your classroom, home or business. Please check our minimal guideline list, and contact us to let us know, who is going to join us in our mission to visually and artistically connect schools, families and cultures all over the world.

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