What is Mind the Heart! Project

Welcome to Mind the Heart! Project. Please press the links below if to you wish to see:
A selected portfolio of works 
Recent partnerships and CV
An interactive map that shows what it means to let strangers dictate where you go
An archive of posts 
A deeper understanding of the artistic concepts, materials and practices

And now a little background:

Mind the Heart! (est. 2009) is a worldwide art project by Israeli artists Maya Gelfman & Roie Avidan. The project engages communities with the aim of getting audiences to be fully present – Be Here Now. This is achieved through tangible street art, community interactions and lectures: all based on the values of mindfulness, interconnectedness and inclusiveness.
The art is always context driven, it reflects not just the artists’ point of view but also the direct influence of the place, time and people there.

In the past decade, the project has reached more than 100 cities across 5 continents: from New York to Bangkok, Sydney to London, from the Israel National Museum and the National Cathedral in D.C. to orphanages in Kenya and Uganda.

In July 2017, Gelfman & Avidan embarked on a year-long experiment across the USA, with Serendipity the leading force. The premise was: if being present is about Being Here Now, the artists chose to maximize that Now by cutting away the past and the perceived control of the future. After giving away all their possessions, home and studios, they placed themselves completely in the hands of the unknown: letting strangers dictate the route, schedule and daily experiences, all the while committing to the creative process in which they not only created their own works but also invited communities to actively participate in the project. * You can see selected works here and here

Serendipity has proven to be an incredible force. It led the project to hundreds of spaces and numerous partners, including 5 exhibitions, two museums and dozens of lectures. A selected list of recent partners includes: City of Houston TX, City of Portsmouth NH, City of Decatur GA, City of Truth or Consequences NM, Hillary Clinton Children’s Library in Little Rock AR, Rice University TX, Halcyon House D.C., Washington National Cathedral D.C., The Smithsonian D.C., The ARC West D.C., State University of Kennesaw GA, University of Central Arkansas, The New School Atlanta GA, Savannah Country Day School GA, Atlanta Center for Civic Innovation GA, Building 98 in Marfa TX, Creative Discovery Museum TN, Re-imagine End of Life CA
* Here you can find a comprehensive list.

MTH project has been featured in numerous media outlets – print, online, television and radio – as well as in two international art books in Germany and France. Recent coverage includes Culture Map Houston, Atlanta Jewish Times, Street Art NYC and for all you Hebrew speakers: Israel Today.

Through this website we strive to weave the project’s journey and core values into one visual story:
How a simple wish – to encourage passersby to be mindful of themselves, their surroundings and their neighbors – grew to become a worldwide art project.
It all started with a question we asked each other: “At the end of the day when you go to sleep, what five things needed to happen that day so that you to say: this was a good one?” The answer led us to dismantle our lives as we know it in pursuit of these core values of meaning and joy and has now evolved into a 365/24/7 quest across America.

Our talk encompasses all these stories and touches on subjects such as: using mindfulness and sensory input as means to create something new, art as a catalyst for change, finding your own core values, serendipity as a leading force, fine art vs. street art and more. These subjects are relevant to a wide variety of audiences and the talk is tweaked as to fit the audiences age, background, context, education, etc. We’ve done it in universities, companies and galleries, from rocket scientists to DACA Dreamers to art spaces to churches to ex-cons in back alleys. If you’re interested in our talk for your organization – please do not hesitate to contact us:
603-957-9345 or mailtheheart@gmail.com

Selected Works

Our actions take physical form through tangible interventions aimed to get us back to the moment. In these art works we deal with various themes: the power of choice, using sensory input to create something new, the cyclical nature of things, the need to acknowledge wounds in order to heal and interconnectedness of matter. We place them not only in the realm of the art world but also in the realm of daily life. But ‘White cubes’ or ‘gray streets’, private spaces or public spaces, all works are done in the same method – they are site-and-time specific. That means that they convey a specific experience in a specific moment in time by taking into account what comprises a place – the architecture, color scheme, textures, time of day, season, the people passing by or lingering on. Every detail, every encounter, impacts the final piece. That also means that the works are not preconceived but handmade on-site as with tangible materials such as yarn, duct tape, treated foam and found objects. Unlike the streets or gallery walls, when we create them in nature they are not left behind. Rather they become a zen exercise in letting go. Once the creation is done they are given a moment to exist before being documented and disassembled.