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 and practices
And now a little background:
Mind the Heart! is a worldwide art project by Israeli artists Maya Gelfman & Roie Avidan. The project uses site-and-time-specific pieces (street art, public actions and lectures) to deal with various themes through a lens of mindfulness: im/permanence, the power of choice, the cyclical nature of things, the need to acknowledge wounds in order to heal, and interconnectedness. It began in 2009 in Tel Aviv and has since reached more than 100 cities across 5 continents: from New York to Bangkok, Sydney to London, from the Israel National Museum to orphanages in Kenya and Uganda. The project’s symbol – a red yarn heart – is a facilitator of connection. To the moment, to where we live, to our neighbors and ourselves as a part of a bigger picture.
In July 2017, Gelfman & Avidan embarked on a year-long experiment with them as the guinea-pigs, across the USA – a social-artistic performance with Serendipity and the unknown. The premise was: if mindfulness 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 of their possessions and home, they placed themselves completely in the hands of serendipity for a full year, letting strangers dictate their route and schedule. Wherever they went, they not only created their own works but also invited communities to actively partake in the project. This year-long performance led the project to hundreds of spaces and partners, including 5 exhibitions, two museums and dozens of lectures – from alleyways in NYC to farms in Montana, from churches in the Texas desert to the National Cathedral & The Smithsonian in Washington DC. You’re welcome to see some examples of works from this journey here and here.
A selected list of recent partners: 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