I had the idea to write this article to document everything that happened around this “movement” called Panda Projects which helped to stop and look more carefully at the things that were in front of my eyes and I was missing. I used to be running all the time, for a reason or other I never had time to connect wtih the present. Besides connected me with people who were far away bringing joy and I was glad with each message of happiness that they shared with me. I am grateful that so many people, all over the world, have joined to all my games.
In September 25, 2020, I made my first publication on networks with the title Panda Projects, inviting friends from all over the world to play, fulfilling a slogan: share photos of spring for those from the southern hemisphere and autumn for those from the north. The game was a success, probably because at the time travel was limited, and I think many started to do the same thing as me: observe a little more what was happening around and capture that moment in a photo.
Seeing the enthusiasm of everybody, this project was followed by another one of exchanging photos: one of traveling with the eyes 🙂 the asigment was to find photos of cities and nature . Many joined and the result is in the article I wrote a sometime ago.
Meanwhile I had more ambitious projects in mind :). I knew that many close people were artists, some professionally and others doing it as a hobby. Having an idea and bringing it down to reality, oddly enough, requires a great effort, discipline, significant willpower and above all time.
The big question was: How to invite people to participate in a project that was not entirely clear? It was something so new that I had no way of showing anything because there was nothing done, nothing to show at all. Also my skills with technology were not the most advanced. Just a secon!! I’m not saying I’m a genius now 🙂 , but during all this time I took a few more steps in this world that sometimes seems hostile to me.
However, two people trusted me: Paola Montivero Araya @paomontiveroaraya and Cecilia Rodriguez @ ceci.arte_ to whom I told what I wanted to do and they were carried away by the call. They both felt safe and trusted me from the very begining, kicking off a totally new section, where the main characters are the artists who participate.
For me that show of confidence had (and has) immense value and I will always be very grateful for that 🙂
After them, 19 more people joined this project that I love called Artistic Friends and that its fourth season will begin in October. At first it was people who were closest to me who participated and then others came that I did not know, but when preparing their materials we began to have more relationship and that was another plus in my life.
In March 2021 I started to play with the idea of sending letters to the world and I looked for Easter as an excuse painting some rather strange rabbits that were in colored envelopes with a printed panda 🙂 The idea was to surprise but at the same time test whether those cards arrived at their destination. I called that project Smiles because the slogan of this game was that whoever found a letter in their mailbox had to take a photo smiling as a return. I never thought that those letters would bring so much joy and that the smiles would be so spontaneous :).
Because the letters were arriving, I was encouraged to take another step and I started a new project: Smiles 2 (not too original;)) this time with photos of flowers that I had taken in some of my walks around where I live.
Not being able to stay quiet, I came up with two projects in which I did not know the people who would receive the cards. One was Mother’s Day, which here in the United States is celebrated in May. I chose a home for the elderly that is in the neighborhood where I live. I went to talk to the person in charge and asked her for the names of all the moms that live there. So I prepared a card for each of them with their names and selected pictures of flowers, making sure that they were all different. It was a hard project because I had to prepare 50 cards, but the joy I had of being able to distribute them (because Linda was kind enough to let me do it) and seeing those happy faces were the reward for so much effort 🙂
I did not take any photos of the ladies, because I want to respect their privacy; but here I show you part of the work done.
Another totally different project was that of July 4, Independence Day in the United States. And for this I chose to make cards with pandas in the colors of the American flag and distribute them to the businesses in Camas, which is the community where I live. Most of the businesses are run by their owners and after such a difficult year due to the pandemic, I wanted to have a little celebration with them. And I was lucky that they also wanted to celebrate with me 🙂
And of course my neighbors and friends received their Patriotics Pandas too 😉
July also means Independence in Argentina, so pandas also came out for places where Argentines live around the world and obviously also for my country 😉
August arrived and in Argentina, Uruguay, Paraguay and Peru Children’s Day is celebrated, so it occurred to me to ask my friends for photos of when we were little and they joined again from different parts of the world, although the date meant nothing to them . I think everyone finds it fun to have something to celebrate 🙂
Coming to the year of the panda, the project that is underway and in which some have already begun to receive their letters is called Summer in the PNW (Pacific North West) and it is a collection of photos of trips we did around the state of Washington and Oregon.
Some were slightly longer trips like Lopez and Orcas Islands, Cannon Beach, Manzanita or Cle Elum. Others, on the other hand, were just day trips to wineries, fields of lavender or roses or much closer: just watch the sunrise from the window of the house 🙂
Here I show you some of the photos that are traveling the world right now.
I am very grateful for the way you have accompanied me throughout this year, participating in games and sending me messages of love and affection. We’ll see what new things come to mind to keep playing 😉