Sunday 22 July 2018
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The Washing Hands Project

In a utopian world we would all get along, there would be no war, and there would be no injustice. Everyone would be taken care of and no one would go without. This has to start by each of us realizing we are the same as our neighbors. We are the same as our enemies. We are people.

What causes someone to be “different” from ourselves? How do we feel connected to others? Why is physical touch so important in relationships? The Washing Hands Project is a socially engaged work will explore these questions.

The Washing Hands Project is an exciting new venture in which Nick Rivers, M.F.A., invites crowd-funders to support the project by obtaining unique works of art made from materials utilized from performances where people wash each other’s hands. Rivers believes in the axiom that we are connected to one another and that we are all equal. In this project he is working with people of all colors, races, genders, sexualities,classes and ideologies and trying to bring people together who otherwise would not mix. The participants in these hand washing pieces represent the full spectrum of humanity. He is facilitating these performances and then

capturing the water used to wash hands. During these hand washing interactions water is combined with pigments, lye, charcoal, and salts to create “paintings” which symbolize the “fingerprints” of the participants involved. These paintings live on as the mixture of two people who connected with one another. Some of these paintings will be sold, others given to participants, and some to be exhibited along with videos of the various hand washing performances.

This socially engaged project is a combination of public art, performance, video, and paintings meant to bridge barriers between individuals. By enlisting people to wash each others hands Rivers is trying to critique contrived systems of injustice, prejudice, and notions of difference. Rivers is examining the “self” and the “other” and the “us” and “them” in this project through people, paintings, and videos.

Nick Rivers is a Minneapolis based Interdisciplinary artist born in 1983. His work explores interdependency and social equality through sculpture, painting, and performance. He holds an M.F.A. from Minneapolis College of Art and Design and this year he was selected as the 2017 Harpo Foundation Emerging Artist Fellow.

The assets collected will be used to help with expenses, supplies and materials, and compensation to some who participate in this work. Please consider supporting this project by donating online at
For more information, please visit The Washing Hand’s Campaign page and watch these videos:

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