Six Feet Apart

Artist

Marlana Adele Vassar

Date

2022

Location

Pittsburgh

Commissioning Organization

Office for Public Art

About the Project

Six Feet Apart is a collaborative community art project that invites members of Pittsburgh’s BIPOC communities to share stories of how the COVID-19 pandemic has affected their lives. Created by artist Marlana Adele Vassar, Six Feet Apart aims to remove barriers to creative expression by providing participants multiple ways of accessing the project and the freedom to choose how to express themselves through writing, drawing, painting, or collage.

Individuals who identify as Black, Indigenous, and/or a person of color (BIPOC) in Pittsburgh are invited to create a “Story Page” that recounts how the COVID-19 pandemic has affected their lives. From now until Wednesday, May 25, 2022 Vassar will collect these submissions, ultimately arranging them into a printed artist book. Vassar will then donate the book to the Black Unicorn Library and Archives Project, a traveling library collection that “centers the literary and artistic contributions of Black women, queer, Trans, non-binary, and gender-nonconforming people, and honors the far-reaching influence our storytelling has had on the lives of generations worldwide.”

Share and Submit Your Story

Story Pages will be accepted until Wednesday, May 25, 2022.

There are two ways to share a story. You can create a Story Page by downloading, completing, and submitting an online form, via the Online Resources section below. Alternatively, you can pick up a Story Page template in-person by visiting one of the following community locations:

Everyday Café – 532 N. Homewood Ave. Pittsburgh, PA 15208

Brew House Association – 711 South 21st Street, Pittsburgh, PA 15203

BOOM Concepts – 5139 Penn Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA 15224

Online Resources

Create a Story Page

Watch this video created by Vassar to learn how to create your own Story Page.

Download a Story Page to print at home.

Submit a completed Story Page

Upload your completed Story Page via the Google Form.

Websites

About the Artist

Marlana Adele Vassar is a Pittsburgh-area artist and University of Pittsburgh alum (2006). Largely self-taught as an artist, Vassar’s philosophy of balancing style and substance has attracted a diverse audience to her work. She weaves symbolism, surrealism, and rich storytelling into figures and patterns, resulting in works that are personal yet open to interpretation.

Vassar began her career as a graphic designer with hopes to move into game design; however, a series of personal events turned her focus to the world of fine art. Since 2008, her work has been featured nationally in museums, galleries, and public projects. Known for her lavish style and attention to detail, she has earned numerous accolades for her works. Her most recent accomplishments include public projects with the City of Pittsburgh and the Oasis Project, along with several private commissions.

About the Black Unicorn Library and Archives Project

Led by Bekezela Mguni, Black Unicorn centers the literary and artistic contributions of Black women, Black queer, Trans people and gender-expansive people and honors the far reaching influence their courageous storytelling has had on the lives of generations worldwide. Using a black queer feminist approach, Black Unicorn brings a unique experience and lens to material collection, information sharing, and community building.

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Video

Follow along as Vassar explains how to create your own Story Page.

Artist Marlana Adele Vassar standing against one of her murals

“The purpose of this project is to make art and expression a reality for everyone. Six Feet Apart is about removing barriers and pressure related to creativity and accessibility - words, text, and various materials can be used as long as it fits within the page template, and the stories can be submitted either online or in-person. Our communities are full of stories, and now everyone in Pittsburgh's BIPOC communities will be able to share their pandemic experiences in their own way.”

Marlana Adele Vassar

Image credits

Gallery, top:
(1-4) Images courtesy artist

Artist Headshot:

Artist Marlana Adele Vassar, photo courtesy artist

Related

PROJECTS

One Last Thing

This correspondence-based public art project by Deb Monti gave Pittsburgh area residents the opportunity to share, via postcard, the one thing they regret not saying or doing for a loved one before the Covid-19 crisis.

PROJECTS

The Quarantine Companion

When the quarantine began, an artist team led by Sharon Massey and Sean Derry began distributing “kits” consisting of needle, thread, googly eyes and instructions for how people could create their own companions using leftover fabric and other scraps.