Community Arts

All artists exist in context.  Although artists are known for withdrawing from society, none can escape that their art is a response to their surroundings.  Communities shape artists.  I’ve moved four times without counting my transition to the University of Alabama, so what community is it that has shaped me? The church has undoubtedly played a pivotal role in mine as well as most Southerner’s lives.  The schools I’ve attended have shaped me. They’ve certainly shown me the horror that is American public education. Family pressures have ated me. Perhaps most significantly, the authors of books I’ve read influence my work. If an artist is raised by a community, then art also is the product of that community.  I’m seeing the phrase “community art” as an input-output relationship. I wonder what it is that makes an artist, an artist. Although I’ve been producing creative work since I can remember, it feels far too assuming to call myself an artist. But, if someone is creating, they must be a community artist. Argue with me. What makes a community artist?

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