As You Are: A Decade of You Are Beautiful

Wednesday, February 13, 2013 Jen Pontrelli

On Thursday, February 7th, The Green Exchange opened its doors to a powerfully, uplifting exhibit curated by artist Matthew Hoffman.  As You Are: A Decade of You Are Beautiful is an exhibit showcasing the works of numerous artists who, for the last 10 years, have been spreading one message of hope and happiness:
The concept for As You Are began in 2002 when mid-west based artist Matthew Hoffman felt compelled to make an impact by passing on a message of infinite optimism.  He printed 100 stickers with the message "you are beautiful" and began distributing to his friends and posting pictures of them online.  This simple and honest message speaks to the core of every individual that reads it.  You are unique, complex, thoughtful, intriguing... you are beautiful.  Before long, requests began coming in for packages of these stickers and soon Hoffman's message was being broadcast all over the world.  As it spread, "you are beautiful" grew up from tiny stickers to giant murals and public installation pieces and has been interpreted by artists, students and positive thinkers all over the globe who feel the importance of spreading this incredible message.  Recently, Hoffman took to the fundraising website kickstarter to raise funds to publish a book of the compilation of the YAB projects throughout the world. 

The last ten years of the "you are beautiful" project has culminated in the "As You Are" exhibit being shown throughout the month of February in the raw spaces of The Green Exchange, a sustainable business community.  Curated by Hoffman, the exhibit features some of the pieces bearing the YAB message that have been created by various artists throughout the years.  These pieces include large scale installations as well as small handouts such as book marks and stickers.

Halfstack had the great honor of attending the opening for this event, check out our pictures below:
One of the large-scale installations.





  










In keeping with the theme of the project, the YAB exhibit was incredibly generous in encouraging the audience to interact with pieces and put their own mark on a work of art. Guests were invited to write an uplifting message on one piece (above) and on another to contribute imagery to a collective mural (left).
Artist/curator Matthew Hoffman created individual pieces of art for
patrons who waited in line at a desk set up in one of the galleries.
 
In one alcove, Hoffman featured thousands of requests for stickers in the form of letters and pictures sent to him from all over the world.  Close ups of some of these letters are featured below.
                
In addition to encouragement and optimism, guests
were also treated to balloons, cupcakes and libations.
The exhibit will be on display and open to the public all through the month of February!  
Be sure to check it out and feel the love!

Hours:
Monday thru Friday: 9:00am - 5:00pm  
Saturday: 8:30am - 1:00pm 
Location: 
The Green Exchange
2545 W. Diversey Ave, 2nd Floor
Chicago IL, 60647


Learn more about YAB, Matthew Hoffman, and the Green Exchange below! 

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