Community Based Public Art



The term “community art” refers also to field of community, neighborhood and public art practice with roots in social justice and popular and informal education methods. In the art world, community art signifies a particular art making practice, emphasizing community involvement and collaboration. Community art is most often art for social change and involves some empowerment of the community members who come together to create artwork/s with artists. This is a growing national, international, regional and local field. Recently community arts and sustainability work or environmental action have begun to interface, including urban revitalization projects creating artwork at a neighborhood level.  find


It is generally understood that art can be a catalyst for many things.  Public art has been used for years as a way to bridge communities, communicate values, and place making, among many others.  Community based public art is more than a artwork created by artist.

Community based art starts and ends with the community in mind.  It originated to encourage social change through hands on involvement.   Today it used as a communication tool.   It can be used to discuss the importance of STEM (Science, technology, engineering and math, or teach life skills.  It can be used to introduce city initiatives for development or promote a product or place.

At the heart of it, An artist uses the creation of art to convey a message.  The message can be out rightly socially charged or covert.  The process and approach to engage the community becomes part of the art.  Successful public artist have studied art as well as humans.  The engagement has to speak to a large to number of people in a short amount of time.  It has to communicate in a language that everyone can understand and at a level that is inspiring and never condescending.  People should take part and never feel like they are being lectured to or just part of a commercial.

The participants are physically engaged but not being viewed as volunteers. Participants of community based art are Co-Creators not volunteers.  The art process should be intuitive and easily understood.    The public will step in and do what’s expected without a long dialog of directions.   You want all the discussion to be on the  message and not just on the directions.

You will know if you are part of a successful community based project if you forget your understood limitations, feel free to create and walk away with a feeling of connectives.




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