Community Art Best Practices and Tool Kit

How do we encourage the creation of high quality Community Art projects that will improve public places across the City?

Project Description: There are increasing demands from citizens, business owners, community groups and artists for greater opportunities to enhance our community’s public places through art. The City currently commissions art in public places through its Public Art process which requires extensive public consultation, submission of competing artists’ proposals and juried adjudication to ensure art works are of quality and are meaningful to the community. The City is looking or other ways to commission art for public places such as Community Art. Community Art is loosely defined as an art work on or visible from a public space the design and implementation of which is lead by an artist working directly with local community members. There are many examples of these types of projects including the Beasley Park Mural where artist Sylvia Nickerson worked with the local community children to collect images about their neighbourhood then assembled them into a large scale painted mural in the park. In many cases community members volunteer to paint the work.

In moving forward to encourage these types of art projects in public places the City is looking for research and case studies from other cities and an overview of best practices. In addition the City is wold like to develop a tool kit that citizens, business owners, community groups, artists and City staff could use guide the successful implementation of Community Art projects and to inform these groups of the requirements and best practices for working in the public realm, working with artists and engaging the community.

City Staff:  Ken Coit, Manager, Public Art and Placemaking

Instructor(s): Dave Heidebrecht, McMaster University

Department: CityLAB, Semester in Residence

Students: 2-5

Course: CMTYENGA 4A06: Design and Dialogue Inquiry, CMTYENGA 4A09: Applied Project Experience

Deliverable(s): Students will form groups and work towards creating project agreements where they will conduct primary Research (ie. conducting surveys and/or collecting data), a feasibility study, interviews with stakeholders, site investigation, design, and review with partners. More details to come.

Location: City wide

City Strategy Priority: Community Engagement and Participation, Clean and Green, Built Environment and Infrastructure, Culture and Diversity