Before I Die… An old wall in downtown Sarnia is getting a lot of attention lately

If you haven’t seen or heard of it yet, the west facing wall of 140 Lochiel St. (next to Coffee Culture) now features a large interactive chalkboard, inviting people to share their dreams.

The installation, titled “Before I Die…” has a large grid that repeats the sentence “Before I die I want to_____________”. Anyone walking by could pick up a piece of chalk, reflect on their lives, and share their personal aspirations in public space.

I contacted property owners Joe Salvatore and Marilyn Shaw to ask them about their project:

Q: Where did you get the idea for the Before I Die… wall?

A: We saw it while travelling through Mobile, Alabama. We never dreamt there was such a thing. But, it’s actually a global project, started on an abandoned house in New Orleans by artist Candy Chang. There are walls all across the world…Serbia, Ireland, France, Japan to name a few. Recently in our travels we came across another wall in Charlottetown, PEI.

Q: How has the response been?

A: Overwhelming….much greater than I/we anticipated. We should have made it larger! Also, a lot of positive comments from ‘onlookers’.

The response has been mostly positive and has brought people together to express their innermost wants and feelings. I’m amazed at the wishes that have been posted. There are a lot of unselfish people out there! I look forward to coming downtown and reading the new comments!

Q: Are you happy with the project?

A: Ecstatic.

For more information, visit Before I Die.