In 2018, I set out on this quest to create an art adventure that encourages participants to explore the world around them with wonder and curiosity. This ever-evolving adventure now provides a way to build unique connections between participant and the area.
No matter when you join the adventure, I always hope you make safe choices so that you may learn, have fun & feel more connected to the world that surrounds you!
The first iteration of the Curiosity Passport, in the Kansas City metro, is more than just an art installation, more than just a scavenger hunt. It fuses art with adventure. It encourages participants to join in a scavenger hunt for letterboxes hidden around the area. It has two components (both may be experienced independently from one another):
1. The art installation of Eco-Art Curiosity Boxes representing each landmark in the project. They include mini-mosaics, upcycled from used plastic gift cards and upcycled assemblage art.
2. Pick up a Passport and follow the clues to find hidden additional art, in the form of letterboxes, at the locations that inspired the Eco-Art Curiosity Boxes (can you match them up?)! Inside each hidden letterbox is a handcarved stamp that represents the landmark.
Letterboxes are soooooo fun...but they might not be the perfect fit for this project. There are really two big reasons:
1) Things that are hidden in public areas have a possibility of walking away at any moment. This means it takes a lot of time to maintain the whole collection than I can allocate to it.
2) Unfortunately, one of the original letterboxes from the KC Collection was washed down the Missouri River when it flooded above usual flood stage. I do NOT want to unintentionally pollute with this project!
Additionally, as much fun as the eco-boxes were to make & connect the gallery art world with my outdoor adventure world, that part of the project seems to be difficult for potential funding sources to connect to the adventure. So, for now, the eco-curiosity boxes will be an add-on to the overall adventure, instead of a featured component.
I have come up with solutions to both issues, now it is just a matter of timing for it all to come together!
Just as I was about to launch the Bronze Edition with my art-partner, Kat Ramsey, 2020 threw us all for a loop. I took a hiatus from the Curiosity Passport for a while to wrap my brain around how to encourage people to safely get out & explore. It was really difficult to spin "Stay at Home Orders" to somehow be in agreement with the "get out & explore" attitude the Curiosity Passport requires.
I just wasn't comfortable promoting the Curiosity Passport from March 2020- mid-summer 2021 because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Because of this, I took advice from a wise artist, Julie Andrews, "When in doubt, stand still." I didn't shut down the Curiosity Passport, I just stood still, waiting for a more appropriate time to promote my project.
Is it safe to restart?
There have been several times since March 2020 that I considered reviving the Curiosity Passport, but the timing never felt right. Again, I stood still.
MO Bicentennial Celebration
Happy Bicentennial, Missouri! The Missouri State Historical Society started the MO Explorers Program & the Curiosity Passport really is a very nice fit into that structure of program. The Missouri Explorers Bicentennial Collection is currently in the approval stage to become an "official" part of the MO Explorers Program.