My way of working as a community artist has been both enriched and expanded through the public art experience. Creating art in a public space means stepping aside and observing all the ways in which people contribute. My work as a facilitator on projects during ArtsWeek, a two-week celebration of the arts in Bloomington, allowed me to do just that.
I was twice commissioned by Indiana University to create a graffiti project with the theme being Politics and the Arts. For the projects, I erected 4' x 8' panels and constructed white walls for students and people in the community to respond to politically charged questions. The first year, I asked participants What is Democracy and What does Democracy look like? The second year, after the 2008 election, I asked people to express their Hopes and Dreams for an American Democracy. Each day I watched in amazement as the boards became full of diverse ideas from a broad range of participants. No matter what was conveyed on the panel walls by each individual, it was perfect because it was a forum for expression as an open-ended dialogue among participants in the community.