Public Art Projects - Buddha Board & Barbara Bernath

I am thrilled to announce the launch of a series of pop-up, large-scale, interactive, public-art-projects I'm spearheading in collaboration with the local company, Buddha Board.

For these fleeting-art-installations, we have up-scaled the company’s typically small, solitary Buddha Boards and transformed them into large, interactive, social-objects created specifically for public engagement. The vision and mission is to push this magical-medium into a whole new scale and scope, and to remind us all about the power of art, and the beauty of creating and sharing in an ephemeral zone.

If you have never experienced a Buddha Board – they are sublime – a paint brush dipped in plain water turns into temporary jet-black-ink when it hits the surface. Drawings come easily, images appear boldly and instantly, then disappear in minutes as the water dries.

When set up on a large scale and in a public place, it means hundreds of people can engage in novel and simultaneous ways, moving from solitary experiences to engaged-visual-dialogues, over and over on the exact same pristine surfaces. Images, gestures and words coming and going, rising and falling, emerging and fading, using nothing more than the simple elegance of water and human imagination.

PROJECT #1: The Art of B-Being @ The Vancouver Art Gallery / Spring 2017
The first project I designed with Buddha Board and brought to The Vancouver Art Gallery was a sleek, modern, zen-inspired lounge. There, hundreds of participants flowed together over a Family Fuse weekend to paint a never-ending river of personal-expression on a huge, gorgeous, black and white, floor-to-ceiling wall of meticulously-gridded Buddha Boards. It was so satisfying to create a space where people of all ages and abilities were drawn into such an active, yet meditative, creative zone.

PROJECT #2: The Eternal Painting Circle @ Folk Festival / Summer 2017 

The second project I designed with Buddha Board transpired at Vancouver Folk Music Festival where the massive music-crowds could disperse over the weekend and relax in the grass near the ocean and paint on large Buddha Boards perched in an ancient sacred-circle on classic-wooden-painting-easels. It was a dream to design a unique context where people could create endless amounts of art under a canopy of trees and filtered sunlight and dip into a little Art History, Plein Air Painting, and the bliss of creating spontaneously in Nature.

PROJECT #3: Word Up! @ Word Vancouver Festival / Autumn 2017

The 3rd project I designed, called 'WORD UP,' was a pop-up, participatory, street-based, urban-activation inviting people to dip in and play with words on super-sized Buddha Boards attached whimsically to Ron Terada’s permanent art installation, “The Words Don’t Fit the Picture.”

Participants were encouraged to use the street-setting and the dual nature of Buddha Boards to go public and private, both outward and in. I posted two basic questions: “What are you ready to let go of” and “What are you aching to let in." The public could enjoy writing thoughts and feeling guaranteed to fade within minutes. The project was an invitation to step up, share, and RELAX. It was a public reminder that nothing lasts forever, all of life is in constant change. Take a risk. Express yourself. Write on! A beautiful tribute to the celebration of personal expression, public communication, and the primal power of the handwritten word. xox

Although all of our pop-up, participatory, public-events are designed specifically to celebrate the impermanence and all things LIVE – they are amusingly well-suited to having a forever-home in the digital realm, where images and animations created in person can be further shaped, looped, posted, shared, and celebrated online.

We welcome you to join in our interactive fun. xox