Reston, VA

Two bold black and white chalkboards are up at Lake Anne Plaza, challenging passers-by to write down what they wish to do or achieve before they die.

The public art installation, called Before I Die, is a temporary public art installation as part of the run-up to the 12th annual Jazz and Blues Festival at the plaza this Saturday (September 1). The festival is free and open to all ages.

The community project was started by artist Candy Chang in New Orleans. Chang created the project to examine the way “the wall of our cities can help us grapple with death and meaning as a community today.” After undergoing grief and depression following the loss of a loved one, Chang covered a crumbling house in her neighborhood in New Orleans with chalkboard paint and stenciled the prompt, “Before I die I want to.” Since then Before I Die walls have popped up in more than 70 countries, including China, Brazil, Kazakhstan and South Africa.

So far, the display in Reston includes wishes and goals like building a business, climbing a mountain and adventuring all over. It will be on display until September 10.

Photos via Public Art Reston

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