Parking (Lots of Love) Art Installation
Sometimes a parking lot is more than a parking lot. It’s history. It’s life. It’s love. Its story just needs to be excavated. Such is the case at the 297 Alexander Street parking lot downtown, the site of the first house inhabited by Anna and Frederick Douglass in 1848 when they moved to Rochester with their 4 kids. A fifth would be born the following year. The Douglass family welcomed freedom seekers into their home there, a stop on the Underground Railroad. Today this remarkable piece of history has fallen victim to the 1954 blades of bulldozers and urban renewal. But Rochester artist Shawn Dunwoody and Hinda Mandell, associate professor in the School of Communication, RIT, are committed to telling the story of this address through community collaborations in the city of Rochester. They seek to commemorate its provenance through art, storytelling and love. This is a dynamic partnership between CES, RIT’s College of Liberal Arts, University of Rochester, and Edison Tech, and with help from the Office of the City Historian.
Photos courtesy of Hinda Mandell.