Building a Wall Through My Father

67 3Arts supporters
$7,677 raised of $5,000 goal
0 Days 0:00:00 LEFT
Funded on April 17, 2016
    • 154% contributed

Building a Wall Through My Father is a longterm, multifaceted project that centers on the construction/destruction of a 65 foot block wall across family property in Jamaica. The construction of the wall allows me to apprentice with my father, a retired brick mason of 35 years, cementing a connection between his trade and my work as an artist. As I have worked on the large sculpture, I’ve been committed to creating other works in my studio that share the same concerns. Realizing sculptures, photographs, and videos in order to exhibit them is the next stage for me. I have taken this work and these forms as far as I can on my own, and in order to push this large-scale sculpture forward, I need support to complete the works, present exhibitions, and carry on the project with my father on-site in Jamaica.  

About This Project

I am an artist because my father is a mason. His trade was my first exposure to an idea of dimension, materiality, and working with one's hands. My work as an artist has been learned and is indebted to my father’s relationship to his trade. In part, the subject of this work is labor: the labor of my father and my own artistic laboring.

Building a Wall Through My Father has been underway for some time now, but I imagine my work has been leading me to it for years. As a sculptor I’ve always considered volume, scale, and how things are ordered in space. Increasingly the ideas of architecture and labor have become central concerns. It seemed totally natural to remain dedicated to those ideas while shifting the focus to something more personal. I may not have known it, but this is work that I’ve been building up to for years!

Two sculptures that I have been working on are Sandwall and Dress Rehearsal. Sandwall is a photographic series that examines the construction and inevitable degradation of structures built with materials that cannot sustain their form, ruminating on permanence and intention. Dress Rehearsal is equal in length and number of rows as the proposed wall, but not in height as the blocks are miniature. The labor to manufacture/cast each of the 2,340 cinderblocks supplants the physical manifestation of the wall. Its potentiality exists instead in the creation of the materials themselves. In this iteration, the wall will ultimately remain un-built with the blocks displayed on palettes and bound as units of material.

At the close of this project I will have gained proficiency as a brick mason and increased my own capacity in future long-term projects. The exhibitions reflect that my ambitions in scale, production, and the platforms that I seek access to are all shifting towards larger and more complex arenas. My father and I will have a deepened understanding of the ways in which his career as a mason and mine as an artist are linked.

It is critically important at this point in the process to garner support, financial and otherwise, to help me step this project up to the next plateau. My 3AP campaign supports the entire creative process, from research and development, to realization, and on to exhibition. These are the steps, and not always neatly in order, that I must go through to complete all the parts of this project. I am asking my supporters to invest in me and trust me as I work through multiple forms and ideas on the way to the project’s completion.

To reach the finish line I need to raise $5,000. Your sponsorship goes towards the practical and real costs of art making: framing, printing, materials, fabrication, and travel. Generously, 3Arts will match a third of my funding goal. Help me raise the other two thirds and a wall in Jamaica!

Thank yous

Contribute any amount or choose from the levels below.

  • $25
    Thank you! Named listing in web documentation and exhibition of the project ($0.00 is tax deductible.)
  • $50
    Exclusive in progress video documentation access ($0.00 is tax deductible.)
  • $75
    Editioned, screen-printed canvas bag ($0.00 is tax deductible.)
  • $200
    Individual hand-cast miniature concrete block (limited number) ($0.00 is tax deductible.)
  • $500
    Remnant of destroyed test wall in Jamaica ($0.00 is tax deductible.)
  • $1500
    Weekend invitation in Jamaica during wall construction, tour of site and project, fish fry with my father and me (travel not included) ($0.00 is tax deductible.)

Eliza Myrie

Eliza Myrie is a sculptor living and working in Chicago, IL. Her work utilizes formal modalities of sculpture, drawing, and installation. She engages figuration, modes of consumption, exchange, and dissemination. She enacts strategies of appropriation, mimesis, scale, and ground shifts. …

View Eliza Myrie's profile
  • Update 1: Hooray! We're live.
    Posted on February 18, 2016


    Update 2: oof! What a fantastic first day, thank you all for showing support.
    Posted on February 20, 2016


    Update 3: 1/3 of the way! Thirds are my favorite fractions. Thank you all for the STRONG initial support, it has the end of each studio day this week a bright one! Also, holler Williams College coming through.
    Posted on February 24, 2016


    Update 4: SUCCESS! Thank you all for helping me to reach my goal! The support means so much. The openings at Vox Populi and Shane Campbell were great. I've updated the page with some photos from both.
    Posted on March 18, 2016


    Shane Campbell Gallery "Chicago and Vicinity" installation viewVox Populi Gallery "Building a Wall Through My Father" install view

    • Thank you to the following for contributing to 3Arts with the recommendation that we support this project.

    • Sarah Workneh

    • Sarah Mcmenimen

    • Laura Wiens

    • EVe Biddle

    • Kelly Kaczynski

    • Nate Young

    • Yaw Agyeman

    • jody myrie

    • luke stettner

    • Joleen Roe

    • Ed Epping

    • Heather Hart

    • Candida Alvarez

    • Anonymous Supporter

    • Jonathan Blunk

    • jessie mott

    • Jorge Just

    • Anri Brenninkmeyer

    • Fabian Tabibian

    • Marybeth Delaney

    • Elizabeth Webb

    • Anonymous Supporter

    • Megha Ralapati

    • tiara williams

    • Jen Tario

    • Lisa C Soto

    • Aaron Hughes

    • Mrs. Van

    • Kathleen Smith Redman

    • Catherine Gueli

    • John Hagreen

    • Anthony Stepter

    • Iris Moon

    • Hall O'Donnell

    • Jeremy Dean

    • Becky Suss

    • Sydney Duncan

    • Ayesha Fuentes

    • Jeff Byrnes

    • Uriah Myrie

    • Kemi Adeyemi

    • Cheston Turbyfill

    • Tsubasa Tanaka

    • Saif Vagh

    • Charles Lewis

    • liz toomey

    • Kristen Kaza

    • Eric McKissack

    • Toisha Tucker

    • Lisa Lee

    • Derek Fordjour

    • Paul Pfeiffer

    • Marybeth Delaney

    • Dan Auerbach


    • Colleen Murakami

    • Christopher Yorke

    • Dwight Harvey

    • Dorothy Hiersteiner

    • Edgar Arceneaux

    • nikki pressley

    • Amy Sherald

    • Mitchell Squire

    • Deborah Roberts

    • theaster gates

    • Steve Blood

    • Benin Ford

make it work


3AP Presenting Partner:

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 Additional support provided by: 

Department of Cultural Affairs logo  Illinois Arts Council