I have increasingly become interested in fostering broader relationships students have to their art practice and the world around them. Young artists need to realize early in their career that they can engage methods of social engagement and outreach in their creative work. Although these methods can involve complicated community interactions that are not often easily identified as art by the communities that are targeted, they can also take more traditional approaches as well. Community murals are a great place to engage this method of work and get young artists to think about how they can make artwork that can affect their local communities. On this page are several murals created in my painting classes and given as gifts to the local community.  Before a mural is started the students interact with the people the painting is intended for. As opposed to just “plopping and dropping”, they ask the community what they would like to see or do Activities that can foster a shared experience which are focused on community needs are ideal. In the studio the subject matter is refined based on those interactions. This is done with the goal of enriching both the communities and the student’s appreciation for the powerful roles they can play in the world.

© 2018 by Wendy DesChene 

Contact: wdeschene(at)hotmail.com

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