"Creativity belongs to the artist in each of us. To create means to relate. The root meaning of the word art is “to fit together” and we all do this every day. Not all of us are painters but we are all artists. Each time we fit things together we are creating."
When thinking about your art community, consider not only the gifts that they possess, but how you can reach out and invite them to share those gifts, and all the good it can do.
The relationship between an artist and their community can be deep, collaborative and productive. Of course it is very important to invest in an artist's work, and it is a wonderful feeling to view or purchase a piece that seems to speak directly to us. But there are so many other innovative ways to share gifts.
Among other positive impacts, art community engagement:
* Enhances and grows your shared community, honors its history, and highlights its interesting and valuable diversity
* Helps tell your community's unique story in a way that attracts, informs and invites participation from others
* Entertains while educating to grow a new community of art lovers
* Creates collaborative opportunities for mutually-beneficial revenue
Each person in your community is building something beautiful, whether they're painting a canvas, carving wood, raising a family or leading a corporate team. All of these endeavors are important and inherently creative, and we all want to feel that we are impacting something larger than ourselves. Working together, your town can combine its many diverse strengths to form a strong, creative identity and a lasting legacy.
As we launch our new service focus, guiding small town ideas for art engagement programs, we are publishing an ongoing series of blog posts and other helpful resources around this topic. Subscribe to our newsletter to make sure you don't miss any information, and get in touch if you'd like to hire us to help mobilize the strengths of your small town or rural art community to meet civic, economic and neighborhood challenges.
Learn about the artists and art mentioned in this post:
Corita Kent: Corita Kent, also known as Sister Mary Corita, was an "artist with an innovative approach to design and education. By the 1960s, her vibrant serigraphs were drawing international acclaim. Corita’s work reflected her concerns about poverty, racism, and war, and her messages of peace and social justice continue to resonate with audiences today." - corita.org
Dewane Hughes: Dewane Hughes is an East Texas-based sculptor influenced heavily by the poets of the Beat Generation. His work strives to create a reality that "speaks to the essence of communication." He contends that "'art' happens in the space between the object and the viewer," and he uses this perspective to create sculpture that is "a manifestation of the space between language, and how we perceive a message."
The SFA Mast Arboretum is a Nacogdoches, Texas sculpture and botanical garden on the Stephen F. Austin State University Campus. Public art is commissioned and exhibited along ten acres of nature trails in a biennial exhibition, Sculpture for All.