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 uses site-and-time-specific pieces as means to ‘being present’. Through tangible street art, public actions and lectures it strives to get a moment from unexpecting passers-by, to bring them Here Now. The art is always context driven: it relates to a specific experience by reflecting not just the artists’ point of view but also the direct influence of the place, time and people there. The works 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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
Our actions take physical form through tangible interventions aimed to get us back to the moment. We place them not only in the realm of the ‘art world’ and the ‘white cubes’ but also in the realm of daily life and the ‘gray streets’. In these site-and-time specific pieces we strive to reflect not just our point of view but also the influence of the place, time and people we met there. In this spirit, the works are not preconceived but handmade on-site with tangible materials such as yarn, duct tape, treated foam and found objects.