Tavares Strachan Launches Together Project 

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Tavares Strachan Launches Together Project 

Internationally renowned artist Tavares Strachan is launching Together, a far-reaching community engagement project in Telluride, Colorado informed by his long-term collaboration with local residents. The project is conceptually grounded in an obliquely simple message: WE ARE IN THIS TOGETHER. As a call for unity, the project gestures to a utopic provocation, but for the artist, it is a call to action. The Together project will incorporate philanthropy, social engagement, conversations, and sculpture.

Tavares chose the phrase WE ARE IN THIS TOGETHER to ground this project five years ago. But at this particular moment in time, the universal abstracted text has taken on new significance as a truism for our new local, national and global realities. In early March 2020, the discussion surrounding the Together project pivoted as the President and every company, organization, entity and individual invoked the phrase. The local Telluride community turned to this text as a banner for this particular social moment. This prophetic public proposition is more than a work of art. It will serve as a historical marker and as an umbrella for ongoing community work to mobilize and effect change in the way only art can do.

The project will culminate in a text-based neon sculpture, WE ARE IN THIS TOGETHER, which will be sited publicly on the slopes outside of Mountain Village. This sculpture is a call to arms: an anthem for our political, social, economic, cultural moment. This universalizing message is humanist and grounded in the idea that collectivity, unity, integrity, and identity are inextricably bound. This is a mode of address-typical of Strachan's lexicon-that acts as an effort to mobilize community and societal change, and make a gesture of solidarity. This is the first site-specific contemporary art project produced by The Telluride Foundation, working in collaboration with the Ah Haa School for the Arts and the town of Mountain Village.

The text aims to be a physical manifestation of a greater, community-wide Together project that elucidates the themes behind the work: equality, democracy, and other core tenets of humanism. Strachan's interest lies in shifting perceptions about place, emphasizing the people and the work here, illustrating the diversity of the local and surrounding communities, and creating tools to aid neighbors in need.

"This project seeks to bring the community together and to add to the narrative of Telluride. I was interested in shedding light on local issues around housing, climate, food, education, and immigration. It is about coming together to research and address some of these questions at a local level that resonates more broadly in our current climate. In this moment of nationalism, it is particularly difficult to manage global issues without zooming in on local issues," said artist Tavares Strachan.

"The artist has created a text based sculpture that encapsulates the ethos of our work in a profound way. We are proud to be a partner in this project. When a community comes together to address issues toward a common goal, they can solve their most difficult challenges," said Paul Major, Telluride Foundation.

Working with The Telluride Foundation, the Together project will include philanthropic efforts including fundraising for local food banks. To join us in these efforts, we encourage you to help the larger Colorado community one meal at a time: FEEDING COLORADO.

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