Message in a Jar: Inspiration at the Burlington Waterfront | Live Culture

Message in a Jar: Inspiration at the Burlington Waterfront


You never know what you might uncover on the Burlington waterfront.

Photographer Paige Pasquini, who attended high school in Vermont, found a jar on the waterfront with an auspicious message inside: "Do not let yourself be defined by other people's opinion of you."

She was so moved by the anonymous message — and its serendipitous delivery system — she decided to replicate it at Saint Lawrence University, where she is a senior art student. She placed 24 jars around her campus — in trees, bushes, shelves, benches and library stacks — and left them there for a week. On posters and social media she spread the word that people should take what they find in the jars and leave something new for the next person. 

Over the next seven days she documented the jars' constantly shifting contents: "quotes, notes, knick-knacks, doobies, drawings, dares, money, games, cigarettes, personal confessions, glitter pens, flowers, origami, sage leaves, stickers, stamps, gift certificates, beaded necklaces, gum, candy, friendship bracelets, tea, words of encouragement and invitations to campus events." 

Living in Burlington for the summer, Pasquini returned to the waterfront recently to leave a jar of her own. Have you seen it?