Objects. Things. Chances are pretty good that you have specific items in your possession that you have held onto for years.  Items that have made it through every cross country move and survived all sorts of opportunities to land in a yard sale. For various reasons, we choose to hold onto these things. It’s these types of objects, especially ones in which we associate with a loved one or significant event, that are rich with meaning and highly valued.  Valued not in a monetary sense but, valued by the memories and feelings that resonate within us when we see the object. These types of objects have the ability to transport us, to take us back to a specific time and place. There is a story to be told with these objects. Stories that can only be told by the ones that have a deep, personal connection to them. So I ask you this, what is that object for you?  Maybe it’s knife your pops used while he butchered meat in the deli butcher shop he and your ma owned when you were in grade school.  Maybe it’s a book that you and your sister would read together when a thunderstorm rolled through and neither one of you could sleep.  Or maybe it’s a quilt that had been lovingly pieced, sewn and passed down to you from your grandmother.  I think you get the point.  These types of objects bring back all sorts of vivid memories and are highly treasured.

It is this thought in regards to objects and storytelling that has prompted us to develop our first community-wide collaborative project.  It is our hope at Farwell House that our neighbors in the Frederick community will participate in a project we are calling, “Object of My Affection” (OOMA). This three-phase project, led by local artists, will focus on each participant choosing a physical object that holds great value and importance in their life.  Phase one will utilize photographers and writers to document and capture these stories. Phase two will involve the construction of a multi-use barn by community members and local experts.  Phase three will be the opening celebration of the exhibition in the newly-constructed space.  The ultimate goal of this project is to involve our community in the sharing of their stories and to provide an opportunity for all of us to become actively involved in creating and building a space that will be used to foster connections between artists and community members now and in the future.

Currently, we are planning to begin the first phase of OOMA later this fall (2017).  For now, if you find this project interesting (and we hope you do), you can become part of the initial dialog by sharing your story below.  Consider these questions as you craft your response.  What is your object(s)? Why does this object possess great worth to you? Where did it come from? How did you acquire it? Was it a gift? What is your connection with the object? What is your connection to the person you received it from?  I think you get the idea here.

Feel free to share this post with others in the Frederick community that you believe would be interested in becoming involved. We at Farwell House are really excited about this project and the opportunity to learn more about our neighbors that call Frederick, Illinois home.  Onward and Upward my friends.