With the pandemic and the racial injustice protests, Marilyn Gatin needed inspiration.
The Carmel artist constructed 3-by-4 panels from reclaimed aluminum siding from her home and turned them into painted panels she calls Rainbows of Hope.
Gatin works is a scientific consultant for Guidehouse, so she was very busy early in the pandemic as the company was getting a lab ready for COVID-19 testing.
“When that slowed down, I was a little lost and I needed to get my hope back up,” she said. “I was sick in May and had a strange illness, like nothing I’ve had before. I assumed I had (COVID). My friends are extremely careful. Several of us have conditions, including age, that make us more vulnerable. I started showing them my work while I was making these big panels and they started to come out of their funk. We were all in a funk. Everybody started feeling better because something was happening, and we were sharing.”
Gatin donated and installed the first of the Rainbow of Hope panels, called The Progress Gate, to Trinity Haven, a home in Indianapolis for homeless LGBTQ+ youth. The rainbow panels also will go to Indy Fringe Theatre, the District Theatre in Indianapolis and Indiana Youth Group, which serves the LGBTQ community.
“My concept of hope isn’t Pollyanna at all. Hope has to be constructed,” she said. “We have to do it together and give it to each other. I decided to give all those panels away and we are trying to get attention to the places where they are going. They’re not all installed yet.”
Following the death of George Floyd during an arrest in Minneapolis, Gatin was inspired to support Carmel Against Racial Injustice.
During the bicentennial in 2016, she worked on a project called Hands on Indiana. She has revived that project inside a group at Guidehouse.
So, she decided to reprise the artistic project as Hands on Hope.
“The idea is to build a community of people who want to be better allies,” she said.
For more, visit marilyngatin.com.