The process of working with a community is similar to working with a school. My intention with a collaborative project is always one of inclusion, looking for ways to involve as many people in the community as are interested. One of my goals is to demystify art by encouraging hands-on participation. It is my hope that through this participation, a sense of ownership and belonging is created for all who are involved.
After initial contact with a community organization, I facilitate a collaborative brainstorming session in order to identify and solidify a project idea that is unique to their community. We then work together uniting their organization with other local businesses and organizations to create partnerships for the art project.
Once weve established a timeline, we locate available public space to set-up work areas. I always try to establish an atmosphere of celebration in a workspace, showcasing art as an everyday experience. I like for the creation of art to be transparent, and therefore make myself available in an educational role for those seeking to better understand the in-depth aspects of a project. With my project book on-hand, Im able to show drawing and photo documentation of the art as its being created and answer any questions that community members might have about the process.
The instillation of artwork is a festive experience, but is not the last activity associated with a collaborative project. It is followed by a celebration that not only recognizes those who gave life to the work of art, but welcomes the art as a community entity to be enjoyed for years to come.