Two of my friends started up an organization in St. Petersburg, Florida called Swings Tampa Bay. Reuben Pressman and Hunter Payne carried out the idea to a pitch contest hosted by Creative Tampa Bay and Creative Loafing called 10/100/1000. The idea originated from a interactive art project Hunter did for his class at The University of South Florida St. Petersburg. Winning the contest provided Reuben and Hunter $1,000 to make Swings an organization that can make an immediate impact on the community.
The concept of Swings is revolved around creating spontaneous community building by hanging up Swings anywhere in the Tampa Bay area. The power of the Swing becomes magnetic and can attract people to meet each other. The organization first started out by going out and buying pieces of wood and then cutting them up. Swings always tries to involve the community in any way possible. So the first couple of months Swings would go to community events and have free “Lets Paint Swings” events that will allow anyone in the community to go and paint whatever they want for a swing that will be hung up in the community. After each person painted up their swing, they got their picture taken and will be added on Swing’s facebook page.
After collecting a mass amount of painted swings, Reuben and Hunter will go out throughout the night and hang up the Swings in the community. So far Swings has collected over 1,000 painted swings and have hung up over 100. Some Swings will be taken down while others will up for a period of time. When one walks by one of these swings, it is the feeling of youth and connection to a community one will experience.
Swings has started to take interest out of state and even international. Swings Holland took off after contacting Reuben and Hunter and arranging everything to become an expansion. Swings Holland have been doing the same process of painting their swings and hanging them up in random places all over Holland and now throughout Europe. The magnetic power of Swings has expanded out and will continue to do so, one swing at a time.
I have a good database of different ‘Lets Paint Swings’ events since I would try to go out to as many of them as possible. It is pretty easy to get creative shots at these events because of the amount of art and colors that were used. I enjoyed taking all of these shots and plan to keep helping out Swings as much as possible.