At a recent family fun day held each year in our neighbourhood, we decided we wanted to involve our community in creating an art montage. Visitors to the event was invited to participate by adding their thoughts and ideas to the canvas – a few words, a small drawing, a photograph – something about the event and/or our community.
We provided markers, coloured pencils, paint, sketches that could be coloured in, and other materials and tools to help kick-start ideas.
We had no idea how this project would receive much attention or how many would want to participate. As well we anticipated some would be a bit nervous about contributing, with claims of not having any art talent.
But it became clear that we need not have worried.
Children as young as age 2 added painted handprints. Others showed off their drawing skills and added very creative pictures. Colouring and words came from some of our seniors who are in their 80s. Our local firefighters, paramedics and our local Junior “A” hockey team shared their vision by adding drawings and their logos. And having them around the table attracted even more people who then wanted to participate and add their ideas. Even our local City Councillor coloured a sketch for us.
One benefit that we had not really considered was how enjoyable this exercise would be, to take the time to colour and be creative. For some it had been years since they enjoyed such an activity.
We have some local businesses and service groups ready to show off this community montage. And we hope more will step forward and display it. We did have the foresight to do this montage on rolled canvas, and it will be varnished so that not only can it be hung or put on a table, it can also be placed on a floor and walked on. And storage will be easier when it can be rolled up.
We are now beginning to brainstorm ideas for next year. And you can be sure it will definitely be another community participation project.
Awakening the heart
Artist - Anne Warburton
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It's taken years to discover the medium I enjoy the most. And how what I have learned before somehow fits into what I am doing now. Even when I travel my needles and threads are with me so I can continue to create while away.