On Saturday October 1, The Tricycle Collective hosted our “Do Not Bid” party, in recognition of the lives that are being lived within homes that are sold at auction. The main feature of this party was the beautiful mural painted by local artists Ellen Rutt, Ouizi and Jonny Alexander, with paint donated by 1x Run. Transformative beauty, progressive pigment, collaborative community- this is what its all about. More photos here (courtesy Marissa Gawel).
The mural features three vases– a representation of home and beauty– and the message “This is a Home, Do not Bid.” We have places signs with this message in the yard of our family’s homes as they attempt to discourage other bidders, and trigger our community into conscientiousness about the foreclosure auction. The home with the mural on it is currently vacant, it was in mortgage foreclosure, then fell into speculator’s hands, then went to tax foreclosure, and is now owned by Nfr and her family, whose home is next door (the one we helped buy in auction in 2014). This place is a beautiful example of what stability can do for a family and of why it helps us all to help people stay in their homes.
At the party, we were honored with a performance by local artist Rocket, well fed by Supino’s pizza and other donations. We had a bon fire with spontaneous musical performances that also served to clean up the brush that was removed from the vacant lot in preparation for the mural. (We are hoping that clean up will eliminate the absurd $500 blight ticket that Nfr and her family received in the course of beautifying this lot.)
All day long, people were craning their necks to see the beautiful mural, many neighbors spontaneously stopped by. Most incredibly, we were visited by a member of the Long Family, who had lived in that home years before, when it was lost to mortgage foreclosure. She was shaking with joy at the site of her home as the source of beauty and community again- she had given it up for dead.
None of this would have been possible without the incredible support of our team. Margo Dalal, Mahala Clayton, and Joanna Dueweke who have been meeting every Tuesday morning at 8 am to plan and work and dream up the incredible community that we are building. Thanks also to our board member and host, Nfr Esters. To Rocket and the other performers, and to all who contributed with their donations and presence!