On February 24, 2017, I sent out the following call for messages of love to share with our neighbors.

You are loved.

As I was reading The Autobiography of Martin Luther King, Jr., I was struck by the words in its preface, “I believe firmly that love is a transforming power [that] can lift a whole community to new horizons of fair play, goodwill, and justice.”

As I think about my community, what it means to be a citizen locally, nationally and globally, and how I can use what I have to be the change I want to see, I keep coming back to love.

It’s both a complex and incredibly simple thing. And one simple thing I can do is to share more love with my neighbors. I invite you to join me.  

What I'm doing:

This spring Artomatic, an unjuried event showcasing creative work from a variety of mediums, will be held in Crystal City, Va. I'm dedicating my space this year to messages of love. With your help, I'd like to share the message "You are loved" in as many languages, mediums and ways that we can. My hope is that anyone viewing the display will find at least one message that resonates with them.

How you can get involved:

I'm collecting your messages. While the submission deadline has passed, I will do my best to have up at opening any submission received by March 15. Interested in taking part, but can't make the deadline, please reach out.

Guidelines for submissions:

  • Max size of 5 inches x 3 inches (this is the size of a standard index card). They can be smaller if you'd like. Submissions can be oriented vertically or horizontally.
  • Any medium is welcome as are both 2-D and 3-D submissions.
  • Submissions by all ages welcome.
  • The words or imagery should convey the message that "you are loved" in a way that is culturally, linguistically, visually, artistically (in any way) relevant to you. All languages welcome.
  • Submissions may be submitted anomalously. If you would like to be acknowledged for submitting a piece, please indicate how you would like to be credited when you make your submission (name, social media handle, etc.). I don't anticipate being able to list names next to each piece, but, for those who choose to be acknowledged, I will provide a listing of contributors in the display space and here on the website.
  • Please mail your submissions to: Beth Hess, c/o DC GlassWorks, 5346 46th Avenue, Hyattsville, MD 20781.

This project is inspired by tiny affirmations from the "You Are So Very Beautiful" Craftivism project.

On display March 24 to May 6 in space #9203 on the ninth floor of Artomatic is the response.

My heartfelt thanks to everyone who submitted a message for our neighbors, including:

  • Liz Smith, Smith Dry Goods, Lowell, Mass.
  • Michelle Vanstrom
  • Catherine Lazure
  • Mary Kearns
  • Karen Jefferson
  • Ryan Hess
  • Momi Antonio-Barnes
  • Julie Selvaggi and Kaia
  • Marissa Chiappino, age 8
  • Leo Lex
  • Stacy Biddinger
  • Alishiya Pearce
  • Matthew Smith
  • T. Shea, Block Party Press
  • Kyle Hammond
  • Shaw and friends
  • Those who submitted anonymously