Just imagine it is late in the day, it’s cold and you are wet from volunteering in the sandbag line for the last couple of hours. Â Just as you are about to give up, you come across a bag that says “Uffda” or features a picture of William Shatner. Â Chances are you’ll point this out to your neighbor, who will point it out to the person next to him, and so on. It will lift your spirits and create an even tighter sense of community not only for those around you, but for those who created the Sandbag Art.
NDSU Visual Arts Department Head, Michael Strand, felt this year he could utilize the talents of the young, old, and in-between to impact morale on the sandbag line. Â He organized students to tag, or paint, speech bubbles on 3,000 sandbags provided by the city. Â They are now delivering sandbags to area nursing homes, schools, and senior centers so volunteers who can’t lift a sandbag, can lift morale with a stroke of a pen.
Strand believes the Sandbag Art project is not about the image on the bag, but the gesture of allowing everybody the opportunity to contribute to the flood fight. Â The bonus is some amazing sandbags protecting our city.
So far the project is exceeding expectations. Â Strand visited Waterford yesterday and received some amazing messages from residents, including:
“The image of older people being childish, brainless, and useless was erased when forty of Waterford residents put verse and saying on sandbags.”
“What is wonderful about this is we are able to do the one thing we are great at…lifting spirits.”
“At our age, we often wish we could help but don’t know how. Â Just a word of encouragement might help-we hope so.”
Strand and NDSU Visual Arts students will continue to deliver sandbags to area organizations.