Group Hug @ Ravenswood Art Walk
October 2, 1-2 pm
We were incredibly lucky to be invited to participate in the Ravenswood Art Walk on Oct. 2 by Elizabeth Wenscott. Not only did Elizabeth host us in her beautiful space, The Tai Chi Center of Chicago, she photographed us, hugged us and made us feel completely and utterly welcome.
For this hug our intention was to get as many people to participate as possible. We wanted to see how many people would join in and hug on us for a giant group hug. We were on the 2nd floor of the building, so downstairs and outside we indicated with sandwich boards where the hug would be. We went the simple route; our sandwich boards simply said, “Group Hug” with an arrow in the appropriate direction. In the Tai Chi studio we had another sandwich board that said:
HUG is an ongoing project organized by Aurora Tabar and Sara Zalek that encourages love and healing through touch.
For the past year these artists and others have hugged continuously in public locations around Chicago.
On the back we had our usual:
Reaching out to touch someone is a lasting symbol of what it means to be human and a universal sign of healing.
By doing so you will cultivate COMPASSION*PEACE*JOY FRIENDLINESS*HAPPINESS in yourself and all around you.
Several people came and hugged us, including Sara’s partner Chris and several friends from the Tai Chi studio. We were joined by Chloe and her friend, who created their own hug loop. Sometimes people hugged us and sometimes they hugged the other couple. Sometimes couples hugged near us.
The space felt expansive and fluid.
An hour passed in seconds
I returned to Sara’s embrace
Surrounded by love, support, and open arms.
I loved this group hug. I loved the space and breath and everyone who participated.
But I still wonder…how to accumulate a mass of huggers? I imagine a gigantic crowd (all hugging) in Daley Plaza. Or perhaps in front of the Federal Building with the Occupy Chicago crowd. Might a hug be an act of resistance?