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Thank you is a work of art

By Suzanne Ludekens, photos by Robert Bates

Smiles, happy faces and open gratitude marked the fifth annual ‘Muchas gracias de mucha gente: The Thank You art project’ on March 11.

Art Exhibit, 2012 Muchas gracias de mucha gente, The Thank You art project, Sat, Mar 24, noon-2pm, La Biblioteca’s Patio, Insurgentes 25, The exhibit runs until Apr 7

Hundreds of people of all ages, nationalities and socio-economic backgrounds added a hand-written note on colored fiber paper in the Jardín and Parque Juárez, to create the unique collages that will on display in La Biblioteca’s Patio from March 24 through April 7.

The response of the public was as varied as their thank you notes. Some joined in enthusiastically from the beginning, while others needed an explanation from the student volunteers from CBETIS. Others even required a good-hearted challenge; ‘Eres chingón? ¡Es ‘chingón’ a decir gracias!’ founder Akiko Yasuda was overheard saying to 20-something hipsters from Mexico City, who then laughingly added a quickly drawn ‘luchadora’ mask on their note. This year many participants, regardless of age, carefully cut out their papers. An art teacher from Irapuato drew applause from onlookers as she created a delicate cutout stag.

Throughout the day Akiko was assisted by a few expat friends and a team of teenaged student volunteers who wandered around the Jardin bringing families of national tourists to join in the project.

For photographer Robert Bates the event is “a fine and heart warming tradition. How many times a day do we have reason to say thank you? To say ‘SankYU’. I never really thought about this until I observed Akiko’s Thank You Art Project at the Jardín. People young and old-expats, locals and tourists all came to express thanks in a very unique way.”

The overriding response was one of joy. As one local commented, “Saying thank you is a happy event!” We think so too, and invite everyone to see these beautiful collages and many photographs by Robert Bates, Niels Henriksen, Pascal Richerd and other volunteers at La Biblioteca.

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