International Artist, Doane Students Create 'Before I Die' Wall

International Artist, Doane Students Create 'Before I Die' Wall

Candy Chang gives public spaces a voice, an emotion, a reflection.

On November 12, the international artist and TED Senior Fellow spoke at Doane and mentored art students to create a “Before I Die Wall” for the campus. The wall, in Nyrop Hall in the Perry Campus Center at the School of Arts and Sciences in Crete, is covered with blank lines where students are sharing what they aspire to do before death. The wall was unveiled Nov. 13. It will stay in place the remainder of the fall semester, giving all members of the Doane community an opportunity to participate.

Chang works in art and urban design, combining large-scale art projects with social activism.

Chang created the "Before I Die” project on an abandoned house in her neighborhood of New Orleans after losing someone she loved “like a  mother.” The Atlantic called it "one of the most creative community projects ever,” and now walls have been created in numerous countries including Kazakhstan, South Africa, Portugal, Russia, Italy, Australia, and Argentina.

Chang is a Hansen Speaker Assembly speaker funded by a gift from the Zenon CR Hansen Foundation.

Examples of Chang’s work are found across the globe. Chang is the artist who gave Las Vegas a place to share what really stays in Vegas; who gave Fairbanks, Alaska, a reminder of all the abandoned buildings that long for occupants. Her art can be massive, like the high-rise she enveloped in Fairbanks. It can be concentrated street art, created from stickers and fill-in-the-blank chalk lines. All of her work grows from her belief that public spaces can reflect what matters to people and help connect them. (To see examples, go to:

About Candy Chang:

·      She holds degrees in architecture and graphic design as well as a master’s degree in Urban Planning from Columbia University.

·      Examples of her work: Looking for Love Again on an abandoned high-rise in Fairbanks, Alaska; Confessions on the Las Vegas strip, a project that invited people to anonymously share their confessions and read others; Career Path in Turku, Finland, which stenciled a university path with reflections on what people aspired to be when they were young versus what they want to be today-- a contemplation of life’s large choices.

·      You may have seen her: On Rock Center, CNN or USA Network and in The AtlanticThe Washington PostWired, and more.

·      A few of her titles: TED Senior Fellow, a Tulane Urban Innovation Fellow, a World Economic Forum Young Global Leader, and a “Live Your Best Life” Local Hero by Oprah Magazine.

For more on Chang's work, visit


PHOTO Nate Knobel '14

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