For one week in August 2020, an array of 1,500 colorful pinwheels in seven “pocket” parks around Easton’s West Ward and South Side neighborhoods activated public space with ephemeral pops of color. The art installation invited residents to visit these neighborhood public spaces and collect a bouquet of playful pinwheels, one color for each of the seven parks. Using custom in-park signage designed by Omnes, visitors were directed to the Easton Pocket Parks project website, the master plan’s online bilingual hub of engagement. The website featured an interactive survey about the parks, as well as opportunities for public comment, guides to each park, and activity contests. Through interactive art and digital engagement, visitors envisioned their hopes for the parks’ futures for the Easton Pocket Parks Master Plan.
These bright lawn ornaments evoked a sense of nostalgia for many, inviting visitors to see the pocket parks in a new way while also referencing how these small, hyperlocal public spaces often serve as an extension of neighborhood residents’ own backyards. These whirligigs are cheap and cheerful, creating an impactful public art piece that is interactive and appropriate for the COVID-19 era. Conceived of during quarantine, the piece breathed life into park spaces, creating a sense of hope and delight for all to enjoy.