7 May 2015

Community Engagement: Benefits All Round (2015)

The world-wide trend for increasing interest in connecting artists with communities is being supported by Artsource in a number of current projects.

Using creative methods and art workshops to engage with local residents increases the reach of community engagement processes. For local governments and businesses, the benefits include providing opportunities for cooperative, co-learning experiences and critical reflection. An arts approach can increase the credibility and legitimacy of community consultation.

For artists interested in what is sometimes termed socially engaged practices, the key elements of participation, reciprocal relationships and collaboration, fuel innovative artistic approaches. For community participants, creative approaches work at the level of individual recognition and skill enhancement, and often result in high levels of personal satisfaction.

Canarvon Mail Street Public Art

Artsource is currently working with the Shire of Carnarvon on community consultation for the Main Street Precinct in the centre of Carnarvon. The journey towards the endpoint of a major public art piece for the Carnarvon main street has included presentations, focus groups, an online public art survey and community workshops. Local community members were invited to photograph the main street to record the colours, patterns and textures that make Carnarvon unique and to write down their own stories of Carnarvon histories. Feedback from these sessions is helping shape the Main Street public art strategy and providing options for future art projects that directly support community aspirations.


Vincent Care Art Workshops

In late 2014 Artsource was approached by Vincentcare to help facilitate a series of artist workshops involving the residents from Vincentcare Village and Passages Northbridge. The workshops kicked off in February with Jo Darvall teaching twenty-five Vincentcare staff to paint their portraits. Steve Brown, Anna Dunnill, Amanda Shelsher and Sheryl Chant will also run workshops throughout the year in the areas of painting, street art, ceramics, creative writing and film making. The purpose of this project is to provide the residents with an opportunity for expression, growth and empowerment and so far the feedback has been overwhelming positively from both the residents and artists. The project will culminate in an exhibition at Perth City Farm and the end of August featuring the work of both the residents and staff and will be an opportunity to celebrate the talent and diversity of the wonderful people that Vincentcare works with.

Artsource will continue to work with artists and commissioners in the dynamic field of community engagement – spanning the areas of community consultation, through to developing opportunities for artists to work on socially engaged projects.