A popular public art project in Southington was in jeopardy as recently as one week ago, but by popular demand the wall will stay put.
It’s called the 'Before I Die Wall' and is part of an international project where people post messages of anything they want.
'Before I Die' is a big board where people can write their feelings in chalk. It was created by a grieving woman in the wake of Hurricane Katrina and has gone international.
Two years ago, a young Southington man named Joe Kleszcz asked artist Mary Decroce to help get one at the Farmington Canal Heritage Trail. It worked and there were dozens of messages written in chalk.
People volunteered to take care of it.
“Someone usually goes by there every once and a while clears everything off starts fresh,” Joe Falvey, of Southington, said.
But lately, a batch of nasty comments began to overshadow positive messages. Last week, Decroce told the young man who brought the wall to town, it would be coming down.
Kleszcz spread word on the Facebook group Southington Talks. People reacted to the announcement and even asked to start a petition.
“We have enjoyed reading it & (it) has brought tears to my eyes many times,” Sue Harton stated on the Facebook wall.
“Everybody saying we will take care of the wall, please keep it up,” Decroce said. “Please don’t take it down.”
Cancer survivor Stella Pelegano, a frequent visitor of the wall, said she also wanted it to remain in Southington.
“People can give their views without showing their faces,” Pelegano said.
Late last week, Decroce announced the wall would be staying.
Organizers said they are hopeful those who promise to take care of the wall online will keep their word.
To learn more about the Before I Die, click here.
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