In the last few months, countless people have lost their jobs, their livelihoods, their loved ones. The overall personal toll of the coronavirus is still too early to measure. Fortunately, one element of this global pandemic in which we are seeing a positive increase is the number of PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) available—especially in hotspots like New York City. This is partially due to the sheer stick-to-itiveness of, among other sources, creative minds, small businesses, and dedicated humans. And one such collaboration in particular.
New York-based commercial pop-up venture Wallplay has put together a grassroots public health art project. The initiative, made in partnership with the workspace building at 25 Kent, one of the premier addresses in Williamsburg, has turned the once heavily populated site into a creative hub. Only this time, the product is life-saving masks.
Following the mandatory public closure of Wallplay’s exhibitions at Brooklyn’s 25 Kent building, the group decided to retool. With a massive empty space available and a heartfelt idea, the creative forces were determined to bring some idle hands together for a noble cause.
“Masks in the Wild” was created with a singular goal in mind: to eliminate the stigma and fear surrounding wearing a mask in public spaces.
25 Kent is now a fulfillment center for artist-made PPE. Elaborate mask-making tools and materials are being packaged into convenient kits, on-site, and meted out to local artists in the hopes that they will create expressive and vibrant protective gear that not only utilizes their creativity but more importantly, keeps them safe.
What’s more, artists are encouraged to gift their creations to essential workers, family, and friends. A local idea with a massive reach. Just what we need.