Grant #550

Art in the Loo

September 11, 2023

Art in The Most Unexpected of Places

They say art is all around us, but most people probably are not thinking about bathrooms as potential gallery spaces. Luckily, Christy Hengst sees what others don’t. A lifelong artist, she has worked in all kinds of mediums, but lately she’s interested in bringing printmaking and painting to a rather intimate venue. 

Art in the Loo, as Christy explains, is “a clandestine public art project” that will find Christy making 50 small paintings of yucca plants—her state’s state flower—and mounting them in public bathrooms across Sante Fe, New Mexico. She plans to complete the works and installations in the course of one year. “I love creating a little surprise for people by planting art in unexpected places,” she says. “In this case, I will also be creating a point of interest and possibly beauty in a setting that is generally the most unaesthetic spot you can think of.” 

Christy will mount a (removable) URL sticker on the wall next to the images, which will pull up a map so that viewers can see where other artworks are located. (She hopes the manager and staff of these places will help promote the project, forming an invisible community network.) After one year, the pieces will come down and Christy will stage a group show. Locations will include laundromats, libraries, and more. Our grant will help her buy materials and damage-free adhesive as well as give her access to a lithography press. How’s that for a pretty picture?

Category: Art, Community, Culture



After 11+ years, we’re signing off and closing applications for good. We’ve supported 571 projects with $571,000 in grant dollars. We’re so proud to have celebrated such incredible work. Please visit for more information on other AWESOME chapters! And thanks for sharing so much awesomeness with us.

Team Awesome Without Borders