Marigold, Marigold, Marigold/ Queens/ New York / 2008 > > >

Marigold, Marigold, Marigold : psychic dream, love charm, or golden gift? Named for 'mary's gold,' marigolds were offered as gifts to the Virgin by those who could not afford to give gold. These associations inflect Silke Kästner's project Marigold, Marigold, Marigold as local currency used to establish a gift economy that temporarily illuminated the central plaza of the Corona, Queens neighborhood, until the piece was eventually redistributed for keeps to community members, whose daily lives were enlivened by pots of gold. Kästner's artwork was part of Heart of Corona, a community-wide, two-year initiative led by the Queens Museum of Art, which included the formation of a community coalition, health awareness programs, beautification efforts, and public art commissions throughout the neighborhood. Marigold, Marigold, Marigold integrated all of the structural and conceptual components of Heart of Corona, which brought much needed practical resources to a community in flux: several layers of immigrants from the Dominican Republic, Mexico, Colombia, and Ecuador, with a smaller population from various locations in Asia, the Caribbean, and Latin America, all coming from varied economic and cultural positions. Sara Reismann, Curatorial Consultant for Public Art, Queens Museum of Art