PUBLIC ART INSTALLATION/INTERIM PARK | PROVIDENCE RI | ON-GOING/ANNUAL
Ten Thousand Suns is a summer-long botanical performance started in the Summer of 2016 in which over 10,000 sunflower seeds were planted and nurtured over the course of the summer months on land that until recently sat under a highway, with high compaction, low-organic material, and embedded with toxicity. A portion of the performance is simply the presence of the community members who volunteered to care for the field, with no other motive than “developing” a garden/park for everyone to enjoy.
The results from last year: After a long hot and dry couple of months, the first sunflower bloomed, and soon after others joined, like a slow fireworks display taking place in the coming weeks. It was now finally quite evident what we were up to all summer and the land became activated with a flurry of people inhabiting the space for a variety of unplanned intentions, including yoga, picnics, and music. The response was incredible. The simple joy that a simple flower could bring to people was the most consistent of comments I received, and one of my favorites, a young girl out with her mother on their evening stroll always insisted they go “the sunflower way.”
These responses we found rewarding, but perhaps even more so was the conversations had throughout the summer as people approached to ask about the project, and formed many new friendships we might of otherwise not of made. Simply seeing people take initiative to cultivate an idea seemed to evoke a new appreciation for what the urban landscape in Providence could be, raising the expectations for quality site-sensitive development that will inevitably one day be built on this land.
10,000 SUNS was created and directed by local Landscape Architect and RISD Adjunct Prof. Adam E. Anderson, but made possible by a team of volunteer artists, architects, students, friends, neighbors, and passer-byers. Permission and funding was granted by the I-195 District Commission and through crowdsourcing.
"Thank you for the beautiful sunflowers, still going strong! What a wonderful gift to all of us."
"Just want to say thank you for the happiness when driving home. Makes me smile."
"I am back in RI to bury my father and seeing your installation of 10,000 suns this morning brought cheer."
"Every time I walk past 10,000 Suns it makes me so happy - thanks for making it come to life."