Planting poetry

The first of several temporary installations designed as AIDS memorials was set up in Loring Park last month. Mollie O'Connor (above) designed the Loring Park Gathering Circle, using colorful fabric swatches to wrap trees with lines of poetry from Walt Whitman, W.H. Auden, and other poets. To mark off the space, she also planted violets in large arcs around the area. O'Connor says the gathering is a space for people to reflect on "grief, compassion, acceptance, and peace." She adds, "I wanted to carve out a somewhat intimate space in the park and create a celebratory space."

Three other temporary pieces will be installed during the summer and fall. Focus groups organized by Forecast Public Artworks, which is sponsoring the development of the memorial, will decide on criteria for the permanent memorial.

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