Doing Socially Engaged Art projects


You may have read in the ‘5 things I’ve learnt about Art’ post that manure is a really useful anti-vandalism devise. The straw bale planters (as featured in the photo) were left untouched because of the smell. It’s true.

I’ve done a number of socially engaged art projects and participated / worked with others on projects. And have noticed that  there are a number of factors for engagement to take place

  • the artist(s) must make themselves  available to listen to the local community.
  • it’s a relationship with the local community and sometimes it gives the community a chance to take risks that they’d never have the opportunity to take otherwise. This takes courage for all parties.
  • the artist(s) needs to be willing to be flexible and allow the possibility that  their ideas may need to move in directions they may not want them to go in.
  • the only failure is the failure to learn something
  • there needs to be a lot of time allowed to build relationships
  • it’s a delicate balance to provide opportunites to engage, encouraging engagement and letting participants find their own ways to engage

The opportunity to do socially engaged art is a wonderful experience. It is usually challenging and enlightening but overall, really fun!

Sign in Planter

Straw Bale Planters

What if?

What if?


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