Create • Impact • Together
We are a community who believes creativity has the power to transform. In ArtCity everyone who participates is part of the creative process. Together we are imagining, problem solving, and taking action to impact and transform our perceptions, our community, our interactions, and our future through art.
Our creative process is Social Sculpture, an artistic process that takes place in the social realm and requires social engagement. The German artist Joseph Beuys developed Social Sculpture and Rick Lowe, the founder of Project Row Houses, introduced the concept to Charly Swing in the mid 80s when they were working together at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston. When Charly attended the New York Academy of Art she participated as a support person for Between the Door and the Street by Suzanne Lacy, and when she returned to Eugene, Oregon she founded ArtCity where we create • impact • together.
Ultimately, everything we do in ArtCity is with the intention of creating impactful change through art. Art has the power to transform our community, the way we live our lives, the way we relate to each other, the way we relate to the world around us. This process expands relationships, perceptions, and values, and intentionally invites broad participation that transcends racial, socioeconomic, and divisive barriers; and explores creative territories that include dialogue and go beyond the making of traditional forms of art.
ArtCity is an ever evolving Social Sculpture.
We invite you to be part of the creative process,
to create change, and to be art.
Our ArtCity Story
ArtCity was founded by Charly Swing in 2016 with the intention that it will be a living work of ever evolving Social Sculpture. Charly's concept is that ArtCity is a 'place' for artistic practice in which the community works collaboratively to empower artists who create change through art, participating in the circular process of utilizing art to influence change while simultaneously transforming ourselves and our relationships through art as art.
ArtCity is where artists and community members work collaboratively with municipalities, businesses, and organizations to collectively impact change through art. From 2017 through 2020 the Cultural Services department of the City of Eugene utilized our placemaking concepts to initiate creative initiatives that were intended to elevate the perception of Downtown Eugene and of the 97404 area. This work continues through BEAM, an annual pop-up event that transforms the Downtown Park Blocks as a showcase of diverse works of art that incorporate light.
In 2020 Charly conceived of ArtRising and partnered with Willow Norton and John Baumann with the intention of creating a project that directly focusses on social impact and community engagement. Art leaders in diverse creative mediums curate submissions. That same year Charly invited ArtCity board members and committed volunteers to work with her in developing ArtCity Friends, a giving circle that provides a venue for the community to be more deeply engaged and invested in collectively impacting transformative change through art.
ArtCity was fiscally sponsored by Earthbound Moon in 2018 and we received our 501(c)3 Status in 2019. 2019 is also the year ArtCity established residency in the Quackenbush Building in Downtown Eugene, home of ArtCity Studios on Broadway. Members of the ArtCity board of directors are Darcey Howard (president), Willow Norton (vice-president), Kathryn Brunhaver (secretary), Nelda Engstrom (treasurer), John Baumann, Lee Sparks-Pembleton, and Charly Swing (executive director).