logo_ArtRising.png

Artists as Architects of Change

BRIDGE_Free_Your_Sole_edited.jpg

ArtRising! is a collective impact project in which artists utilize their creative skills to address critical issues of our time through a socially engaged practice of art. The overall intention of these projects is that their collective effect will significantly impact, elevate, and shape our collective future while distinct elements of the community and our environment benefit directly from the creative influence of participating artists and supporters. 

     

Artists selected to participate in ArtRising! will utilize the methods, strategies, elements and attributions of socially engaged art. Participating artists will partner with organizations regarding issues of mutual interest. Additionally, community members and businesses will be invited to engage in supporting the production of these projects according to project's needs.

ArtRising is an ongoing socially engaged project developed by Charly Swing. A team of multi-disciplinary art leaders are working with Charly to curate the selection of artists.

This Call for Letters of Interest is open year round. Submissions will be reviewed each year in January, May, and September. 

Upcoming Deadline: 16 May 2021

Call for Letters of Interest Open Now

Darryl Evans, Free Your Soles, BRIDGE Project 2019   /   Photo Credit: Charly Swing

What is

SOCIALLY ENGAGED ART?

Socially Engaged Art is an umbrella term for many different forms of artistic practice. Some examples include artistic activism, community based art, creative placemaking, cultural organizing, participatory art, social practice, and social sculpture. 

 

Socially engaged artists do not act alone. Period.

Even if a project is conceived and primarily executed by an artist, s/he is always working in a larger context and environment. This brand of art making takes place in a dynamic ecosystem of interrelated roles

It uses “forms” and “materials” beyond those used in studio art and often operates outside of conventional nonprofit or commercial presentation settings and formats. The socially engaged artists’ toolkit includes dialogue, community organizing, placemaking, facilitation, public awareness campaigns or policy development, as well as theater games, art installations, music, participatory media-making, spoken word and other media.

 

SWoW_170818_Pam_Cressall_41_edited.jpg
Farhad Bahram and Shannon Mockli  Intersecting Bodies, 2018   /   Photo Credit: Pam Cressall

METHODS & STRATEGIES

The creation process often involves artists working in collaboration with community members, other sectors, or other artists. The artwork, therefore, is usually not an expression of one person’s singular creative vision but the result of a relational, collaborative process. The process of creating the work is often a core part of the artistic “product.” For example, if an artist’s desired “product” is stronger social ties in a neighborhood or mobilizing a community to actively engage in a political process, the “artwork” may be the actions relating to fostering meaningful relationships or demystifying civic processes, made possible by unconventional thinking and new, creative approaches. 

 

Activist methods are as salient as conventional aesthetics. The work may include subject matter that addresses social, political or economic issues, but it doesn’t have to.

Who-based projects may pivot on broad participation from community members, and/or reflect the cultural expression and identities of people excluded from the mainstream. Examples include community-based art, participatory art, and work generated in specific cultural traditions.

WHO

Issue-based projects focus on raising awareness about an issue or changing the way it’s understood. Artists may use commercial or mass culture platforms. Pop justice is one example.

ISSUE

The work of Place-based art is motivated by affecting the conditions of a particular geography. Civic goals like health, safety, or economic growth may be central, along with cross-sector partnerships.

     

Creative placemaking and civic practice could be described this way.

PLACE

Change-based, activist methods are as salient as conventional aesthetics. Projects seek tangible change in social, political, or economic conditions.

       

Possible examples include legislative art and cultural organizing.

CHANGE

Socially engaged or community based art requires artistic and “social” skills. Like artistic skills, many of the social skills are intuitive and not easily defined. 

    

Social skills may include: Cultural competency Listening with respect

Power analysis Policymaking Knowing multiple languages “Human” relation skills like empathy, reciprocity, humor Ability to deal with delicate power dynamics Meeting facilitation Fundraising  Relationship / partnership building Organizing / leadership

THREE ESSENTIAL ELEMENTS

INTENSIONS

The primary consideration for an artist or a funder with regard to socially engaged work is intention — what are you trying to do and who is it for? There may be multiple intentions for a single project, but it is critical that there is a match between project goals and design.

Effective socially engaged work must be iterative and evolve in response to the community’s input.  The ‘studio artist’ has complete agency over the process and the outcome. An artist conducting ‘social practice’ may consult with the community along the way, but the artist retains ultimate control over the process and result.

SKILLS

Socially engaged or community based art requires artistic and “social” skills. Like artistic skills, many of the social skills are intuitive and not easily defined. 

    

Social skills may include: Cultural competency Listening with respect • Power analysis Policymaking Knowing multiple languages “Human” relation skills like empathy, reciprocity, humor Ability to deal with delicate power dynamics Meeting facilitation Fundraising  Relationship / partnership building Organizing / leadership

Socially engaged art involves working with human beings, often in communities that have been historically disadvantaged or discriminated against. Social and community-based art practice does not yet have formal code of conduct. Artists who have been working in communities for a long time observe these general principle codes of conduct in their work: Humility – Honoring the knowledge and traditions of the people and place, and being aware of your biases and what you might not know. Honest inquiry and deep listening – Asking people what they want and being aware.

ETHICS

Socially engaged art can vary greatly, depending on what makes sense for each artist and context. There are nine attributes around which socially engaged art typically varies, and these can be used to identify and sort work. Each individual project or body of work can be placed somewhere along each of the following spectrums.

NINE ATTRIBUTES

DURATION

Screen Shot 2021-03-25 at 3.55.46 AM.png
Screen Shot 2021-03-25 at 4.03.26 AM.png

from

A ONE TIME PROJECT

(Suzanne Lacy)

to

A COMMITMENT OVER MANY YEARS

(Thenmozhi Soundararajan)
 

WORK ORIGINATION

ALICIA GRULLON.jpeg

from

OUTSIDE GENERATED

(Cornerstone Theater)

to

COMMUNITY GENERATED

(Alicia Grullón)
 

ISSUE

dalitwomenfight_2_1bf7cb288709628bb5d170

 from

SINGLE ISSUE FOCUS

(Thenmozhi Soundararajan)
 

to

ADDRESSING MULTIPLE ISSUES
 

(Queens Museum​)
 

PLACE

QUESTION BRIDGE.png

from

INSEPARABLE FROM PLACE

(Rick Lowe)

to

NOT PLACE SPECIFIC
 

(Hank Willis Thomas)

AESTHETICS

KARA WALKER.jpg
LAURIE JO REYNOLDS maxresdefault.jpeg

from

SOCIAL AESTHETICS

(Laurie Jo Reynold)

to 

FINE ART AESTHETICS

(Kara Walker)

INFLUENCE DIRECTION

rs-10577-130420-beastie-boys-archive-12-
Screen Shot 2021-03-25 at 2.17.07 AM.png

 from

INWARD TO SERVE COMMUNITY

(Alaskan Native Heritage Center)

to

OUTWARD TO SERVE OTHERS

(Tibetan Freedom Concert)

ARTIST ORIGIN

ComplexM-IMG_9544.png

from

BEING FROM THE COMMUNITY

(Complex Movements)  Detroit 

 to

 NEVER HAVING BEEN THERE BEFORE

(Complex Movements)  Seattle

WORK DEFINITION

 from

PROCESS AS “THE WORK”

(Marty Pottenger)
 

 to

FINAL PRODUCT AS “THE WORK”

(Alex Rivera & Aloe Blacc)
 

ARTIST ROLE

EVE MOSHER.jpeg
PedroReyes_Feature-1000x400.jpeg

from

FACILITATOR

(Pedro Reyes)

to

PRIMARY CREATIVE

(Eve Mosher)

CITED RESOURCES

Screen Shot 2021-03-25 at 5.13.35 AM.png
Screen Shot 2021-03-25 at 5.23.02 AM.png
Symbol_attribution.png
Symbol_Share-Alike.png
Symbol_Creative-Commons-License.png

Information on this page is attributed to #ArtMakingChange and in part to Helping Culture [create change]. This is a brief summary of Helicon Collaboration's extensive information and study on socially engaged art, it is not a replacement.

 

The Creative Commons License offers the right to share, re-mix, and distribute this material in accordance with the licensing terms. If you remix, transform, or build upon the material, you must also distribute your contributions under the same license as the original.

2021, ArtCity Oregon. This website page is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

 

Website Design: Charly Swing