What has six sides, is based in Scranton and has been using art to connect people around the world since 2006? The Hexagon Project (hexagonproject.org) was launched by two local women, Sondra Myers and Elizabeth Burkhauser, to further the goals of the Interdependence Movement using the visual arts.
The Interdependence Movement was started after the tragedy of Sept. 11, 2001, with the goal of increasing awareness of the ways people all over the globe are connected, and encouraging cooperative solutions to their common problems. Interdependence Day is observed on Sept. 12.
Every year, the Hexagon Project invites people to submit hexagon-shaped artwork related to a common theme. This year’s theme started out as diversity but has been expanded to also include ideas that are related to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The categories are purposefully broad. Any artwork that addresses subjects like equality, human rights, justice, freedom, conservation or other issues that bring people together will be welcome. The hexagon was chosen because it can be connected in ever-expanding patterns.
The theme of the artwork is not the only thing changed by the pandemic. In years past, there was a physical exhibit of the work open to the public. Because of social distancing restrictions, that won’t be possible. So this year, the exhibit will be hosted on Artsonia.com, an online student art gallery. You can also post images on Instagram using the hashtag #HexagonProject2020. The deadline for submitting images is June 30.
The Hexagon Project site has lots of information and resources for those who want to participate. A prominent link on the home page takes you to instructions on submitting your work. You can download entry forms with all the rules, deadlines and specifications. There are hexagon templates and instructions for making your own hexagons. Lesson plans are available for different age groups to help teachers integrate the project into their curriculum. Articles, quotes and links to other information on diversity are included to provide inspiration.
The annual art exhibit is not the only thing the Hexagon Project does. It also fundraises and does outreach. It brings art and educational programs to communities in need, such as prisons, nursing homes, women in recovery or areas that have been stricken by natural disasters. The blog posts on the site are full of inspiring stories from people involved in, and helped by, these efforts.
The website has a clean and easily navigable design. The mission is a good one, using art to bring people together to try to solve our common problems.
Kevin OʼNeill has been a staff artist for The Times-Tribune since June 1993. In addition to doing illustrations and infographics and designing pages for the paper’s print and electronic publications, he writes InSites, a weekly column about websites and apps. Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org; 570-348-9100 x5212