On Friday, Sept. 21, faculty members at The University of Toledo will transform an ordinary parking spot into a temporary public place as part of PARK(ing) Day — an annual worldwide event where metered parking spots are turned into public parks.
Associate Professors of Art Barbara Miner and Arturo Rodriguez and Associate Lecturer of Art Karen Roderick-Lingeman will share a metered parking spot during the event, which will take place from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Adams Street between 12th and 22nd streets in Uptown Toledo.
Miner and Rodriguez will print “plantable posters.” Each of the newsprint posters will contain seeds from local native prairie plants. Visitors to the event will receive information on how to plant their own prairie using the posters.
Roderick-Lingeman will set up a table and invite people to create clay “bones” for another art movement: the One Million Bones Project. Through this movement, thousands of people across the country craft bones while becoming informed about global genocides.
To participate in the Million Bones Project, no artistic experience is necessary, and all materials will be provided. In June 2013, bones from all over the country will be taken and laid together in an installation in Washington, D.C., to represent the mass graves resulting from the genocides.
Jeanne Marie Kusina, coordinator of participatory learning and research, and a visiting faculty member in the UT departments of Philosophy and Women’s and Gender Studies, is coordinating the University’s Million Bones Project.
During PARK(ing) Day in the Glass City, there will be several parks put together by other groups, including the Toledo School for the Arts.
The project has grown since its conception in 2005 when a San Francisco art and design studio converted a single parking space into a park and photos of the art piece went viral on the Internet.
In the past, parking spaces nationwide have been converted into several different public spaces, including free clinics, bike repair shops, political seminars and even wedding ceremonies. Last year, which was Toledo’s first involvement with the event, there were 27 different parks.
The mission of the event is to call attention to the need for more urban space in communities and to generate debate on how public space is allocated. Once the event is over, groups will tear down their parks, and the areas will again be nothing more than metered parking spaces.
For more information on PARK(ing) Day, visit uptowntoledo.org/parking-day.php. For more information on the One Million Bones Project, contact Kusina at email@example.com and go to onemillionbones.org.