Skip to content

Member News

A “Cloud” of Loved Ones Lost: Artist in Residence Julie Chen to Open Community Remembrance Installation “Always with Us” at Writers & Books

October 27, 2023

Rochester, NY—Writers & Books, Rochester’s home for the literary arts, and interdisciplinary artist Julie Chen, unveils a “cloud of the remembered” in its glass-enclosed entrance in the Neighborhood of the Arts, at 740 University Avenue, Rochester, November 3 from 6–8 pm.

Chen’s work about her mother who died in 2018 has been described as “a powerful salve, a safe space to grieve”. With Chen’s Always with Us, she aims to offer the same healing and remembrance to others, as an expression of collective grief and a representation of how loved ones linger with us beyond death. Since September, Writers & Books has hosted Chen who has collected items from several community members. The grieving have submitted what their loved ones have left behind: stories, items, sayings, and recordings; which Chen has been weaving into the dynamic, sensorial, cloud-like installation to be hung in Writers & Books.

The remembered range from parents, children, god-children, unborn children, grandparents, and even a beloved pet. Items include a handmade velveteen dress, imitation pearl necklace, hand knitted socks, ski patrol jackets, a WWII uniform jacket, and clothing that would have been worn by a child lost in pregnancy. Chen is carefully installing these using temporary means, so that all items can be returned unharmed. A catalog website of the remembered is forthcoming.

The November 3 opening event at Writers & Books will also present the artist and co-curator Susan Begy in conversation about the creation and process of Always with Us. Gift-economy tickets for the event are available to the public with Writers & Books. To learn more and register to attend, visit After the opening, the installation will be on view until November 17.

For more information about the project, visit websites and


Scroll To Top