In a Ventura County art museum, Jean Saunders has just finished writing something on a triangular piece of cloth. She’s preparing to hang it on what looks like clotheslines running through the middle of the California Museum of Art Thousand Oaks.
It’s a work-in-progress piece of art, created by the public in response to the November 7th Borderline Bar and Grill attack in Thousand Oaks which left 12 victims dead.
Tish Greenwood is CMATO’s Executive Director. The museum was set to open at its new location in The Oaks mall the week of the attack. The museum cancelled the opening party, but Greenwood says they also knew they needed to do something as a response.
Greenwood went into the closed museum to get something, and when she left a door open, people started steaming inside, looking for an escape to the shocking news.
The prayer flag project is now giving people an outlet to express their emotions about the tragedy. Susan Kelly is a psychologist who is also on the museum’s board of directors. She says art and therapy can go hand in hand.
Some of the things written on the flags are simple, like "TO together." Others are more moving.
Saunders, who’s just added her flag to the project, says she feels it gives her a chance to express some of what she’s been feeling in the wake of the attack. The project has more than 100 flags, and is growing daily.
You can participate in the prayer flag project by stopping at CMATO during its regular operating hours. It’s on the second level of The Oaks mall, and is open from noon to 7 pm Wednesdays through Sundays.