Fires and floods the winter of 2018 - the healing process was community-wide and the Carpinteria Arts Center was honored to help. We were part of the "Story Catcher Mailbox Project". People wrote letters of GRIEF and PRAISE to those who helped, who lost, who hurt, who rebuilt; they placed the letters in the giant mailbox at our door. The mailbox has since moved on and is doing good work with another community in answering a specific need. Click HERE for more info on the project.
Article Exceprt by Debrah Herrick:
Made in a friend’s garage of low-carbon steel, Danielle Siano’s Story Catcher Mailbox stands 7.5 feet tall on Linden Avenue in front of the Carpinteria Arts Center. Plexiglas panels divide the installation in two—one side with a slot for letters of praise and one side with a slot for letters of grief.
Siano designed the interactive public art installation as an outlet for the complex emotions stirred in the community by the two recent natural disasters, the Thomas Fires and the Jan. 9 debris flows. “It addresses the experience of hearing everyone in our community cry out for help at the same time, while not one among us was armed with answers,” wrote Siano.
Drawing from Martín Prechtel’s book “The Smell of Rain on Dust: Grief and Praise,” the Story Catcher Mailbox evokes the concept of grief and praise as two sides of the same coin. For Siano, to grieve is to feel loss for something that you loved or held deeply, a form of honoring what’s been lost, while true praise will contain grief—the seedling knowledge that everything you have will one day disappear. “Grief and praise are like light and darkness,” said Siano, “they need each other to exist."