Dominique Paul with Meyzeek Middle School students | Photo by Josh Miller

Here’s something you don’t hear — or see — every day.

Canadian artist Dominique Paul will lead an Air Walk on Monday, June 12, throughout downtown to monitor Louisville’s air quality through her light-up, data-driven dress. The wearable art and Air Beam monitor will track changes in air quality from block to block.

Paul is in town on a four-week residency with IDEAS xLab, and the Air Walk also is sponsored by the Institute for Healthy Air Water and Soil. During her one-hour walk, which begins at noon, the artist will pass by the Convention Center construction site, Fourth Street Live and several bus stops along the way.

“Air pollution is literally an invisible problem in Louisville — particulate matter is much smaller than a human hair,” said Veronica Combs, executive director of the Institute, in a press release. “Dominique and her dress will change the conversation about the state of our air and how we can clean it up to protect human health.”

This visit will be the second time Paul has been to Louisville. In April, she visited Meyzeek Middle School to talk about her art and its purpose, and the students were encouraged to create art that centered on air pollution and its effects on health.

Dominique Paul stopped by Meyzeek in April. | Photo by Josh Miller

Christopher Rasheed, a teacher at Meyzeek who helped organize the visit, said his students immediately responded to Paul, and one even asked if Lady Gaga had entered the building.

“Her presence immediately engaged the students in dialogue about the correlation between air quality and asthma related issues,” he said in the release. “What made Paul’s presentation unique was her talent for blending art with science.”

Dominique Paul in her Median Income Revenue dress | Courtesy of Dominique Paul

Paul has held similar Air Walks in cities throughout the world. And recently, instead of air quality, she programmed her dress to monitor residential income, neighborhood by neighborhood, in New York City.

If you feel like tagging along with Paul on Monday, you’re encouraged to meet at 11:45 a.m. on the steps of Metro Hall. A free lunch will be provided afterward for the first 25 people who register.

Sara Havens
Sara Havens is the Culture Editor at Insider Louisville, known around town as the Bar Belle (barbelleblog.com). She's a former editor of LEO Weekly and has written for Playboy and The Alcohol Professor. Havens is the author of two books: "The Bar Belle" and "The Bar Belle Vol. 2."