On March 2, 2011, JR won the TED prize at the TED Conference in Long Beach, California, and called for the creation of a global participatory art project. Inspired by JR’s large‐format street “pastings”, INSIDE OUT gives everyone the opportunity to share their portrait and make a statement for what they stand for. Each INSIDE OUT group action around the world is documented, archived and exhibited online. Over 260,000 people have participated in 129 countries.

The Land Bank and photographer Fran Dwight have brought this project to Kalamazoo’s diverse Edison Neighborhood in 2017. It has the power to foster and deepen community connectedness by installing large scale portraits (36X53 in.) of neighborhood residents in highly visible public spaces. This project will simultaneously add beauty to the neighborhood and represent the array of individuals living there. This is a more public and visible way to showcase the beauty that exists here through the variety of ages, cultures and styles represented, and facilitate a collective neighborhood identity. The process supports actively and symbolically taking ownership and pride in being a resident of Edison and compliments other existing neighborhood-based arts and culture work.

Photographer (and Edison resident) Fran Dwight along with Land Bank LISC Americorps member Anna Roeder worked to take photographs of residents interested in having their portrait featured. These images were collected and curated into a group of chosen photos that will be pasted onto buildings around Washington Square. The unveiling of this project will be at the August 4th Art Hop in Washington Square event. From 5-9 PM, we’ll be showing off ‘We Are Edison’, and celebrating Edison month and with art, music, dancing, vendors, games, and more. This family-friendly event is a collaborative, fun, and interesting way to get to know neighbors. The event will be in the parking lot next to Jersey Giant SUBS on the 1300 block of Portage Street.