“Pieces of Mac” puts post-election feelings on display

“Pieces of Mac” puts post-election feelings on display

Audrey Wuench, Staff Writer

Overwhelmed. Anxious. Hopeful. Scared. Proud. Exhausted. 

These were some of the words the Macalester community chose to write on pieces of colored cloth to express how they were feeling the day after election day. Macalester Entrepreneurship and the Idea Lab hosted the event, titled “Pieces of Mac” on the Great Lawn on Wednesday evening. 

The communal art project was part of a larger post-election event, “Gather on the Great Lawn,” hosted by Laurie Hamre Center for Health and Wellness, Center for Religious and Spiritual Life (CRSL), Department of Multicultural Life (DML) and the Civic Engagement Center (CEC). The event was part of “Mobilize Mac,” a campus-wide CEC initiative promoting student engagement around the election.

“Pieces of Mac” was designed to be a visual display of how the collective Macalester community was feeling as votes from the U.S. national election were still being counted in several states, leaving the final outcome of the presidential race up in the air one day after election day. 

On the lawn, there were pieces of cloth set out on tables; students, faculty and staff could choose any color of cloth and write any word to describe how they were feeling in the moment. The individual pieces of cloth were pinned up along rope lines near the southeast end of the Great Lawn in front of the Ruth Stricker Dayton Campus Center. 

Community members contributed more than 50 pieces of cloth to the public art display. Swaths of blue, purple, pink, red, orange, yellow and green adorned the rope lines to capture feelings of uncertainty and hope. Some pieces of cloth featured words in different languages, while others included additional drawings of flowers, hearts and balloons. 

Paul Cosme ’22 chose a blue cloth and wrote “hiraya,” a Filipino word that he learned a few months ago.

“It’s a Filipino word for a vision: a vision for the future and a generally good one,” Cosme said. “It feels right, especially with the blue. It just sits right with me.”

Hannah O’Connor ’24 and Kasandra Guerra ’24, both wrote “overwhelmed” on their pieces of pink and teal cloth, respectively. 

“I’ve been feeling so many emotions, so I feel like [‘overwhelmed’] describes it perfectly,” Guerra said.

“‘Pieces of Mac’ was created to raise awareness that, while we are all pieces of the Mac community, there is diversity of thought, ideologies and emotions we each carry as individuals,” Entrepreneurship and Innovation Program Manager Jody Emmings wrote in an email to The Mac Weekly

According to Emmings, the project “visually shows us how being a piece of Mac connects us all to something bigger, stronger and more colorful than just ourselves.” 

“Pieces of Mac,” which will remain on display until Sunday, Nov. 8, is also part of a series of events from Entrepreneurship and Innovation called “Idea Lab on the Lawn,” which are being held while the Idea Lab on the second floor of the DeWitt Wallace Library is closed. These events, along with the department’s community design challenges on their Instagram page, aim to keep the Macalester community engaged and connected during this socially-distant semester. In light of the overwhelming uncertainty of this election, “Pieces of Mac” provided an empathetic space for community members to reflect on the events that unfolded this week.

“I like the idea of having a visual representation of how everyone’s feeling, and it’s literally hanging out for everyone to see,” O’Connor said. “We can all take a collective breath and let everybody feel how they feel, and that’s comforting to me right now.”

[email protected]