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Art Installation "Letters to Parents" Creates an Interactive Space for Healing

Artist Kevin Ly’s exhibit Letters to Parents will be on view at the Glendale Central Library until July 23rd, 2023. Letters to Parents is an interactive installation in which Ly proposes the question, “What is something you wish your parents had told you?” The public is invited to answer this question with the writing supplies and desk provided by Ly and place their response inside a brightly orange-colored mailbox. Previous responses from when this project was created in 2019 can be found on the wall and passageway of the library.

7 postcards and 1 artwork framed on the wall of the library
Postcards and artwork made in response to "Letters to Parents."

Letters to Parents is intended to start a conversation and have people interact with not only the exhibit, but with each other by creating an accessible and safe environment for people to share their thoughts and experiences growing up. Ly’s aim is for Letter to Parents is for it to act as a motivator for public dialogue on childhood trauma and its effects on adulthood and mental health.


When reflecting on when Letters to Parents began in 2019, Ly shared, “People have held back a lot of their feelings and emotions for so long, and I hoped that it was a catalyst for them to talk about familial topics and open up to friends, family, or even strangers. It may not solve all the issues people are dealing with but hopefully it's the first step in the right direction.” These same intentions carry over to the project’s installation at the library. “With the Glendale Central Library, I was lucky enough to be able to bring these ideas into a space that is not only accessible but that focuses on connecting with its community. To me, it starts and ends with the people and that is what this project is for: the people.”


After July 23rd, responses from the Letters to Parents installation will be on display at the Adams Square Mini Park Gas Station from August 21 – September 30, 2023. Ly will use the responses gathered during its time at the library in his installation at the gas station and decorate the space to resemble a child’s bedroom, emphasizing the idea of a space individuals would have wanted as a child but may have never received.


Teens may find Letters to Parents included as part of the Central Library’s Beanstack Challenge this summer. Ly will also be giving a speaker presentation on Thursday, July 15th at 5:00pm to share his journey of becoming an artist and will be interviewed in the Teen G.E.N. Talks Podcast.


Have you seen Letters to Parents? What are some postcards that stand out to you? Share your thoughts and tag us @myglendaleLAC.


To learn more about arts and culture events and opportunities in Glendale, visit www.glendaleartsandculture.org.


Postcards and artwork framed hanging on the wall, a mailbox, desk, writing supplies, and childhood memorabilia.
"Letters to Parents" installed on the ground floor of Glendale Central Library.

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