Art is a powerful form of expression used to tell a story, create a conversation and express identity. Community art pieces play an integral role in forming a community. Whether it be a feature at the entryway or a large, interactive display in the central community park, art sets the tone for what a community is all about. We all know that community art helps beautify the streetscape of the community, but there are some other important benefits that often go unnoticed. Here are the main reasons every community should include artwork.
Art promotes interaction
Community art comes in many forms. From a painting or sculpture, to imagery made of steel that lights up the night sky; art always has a way of starting a dialogue and bringing people together. This effect can also be seen in communities.
Community art provides an opportunity for people to meet their neighbours and engage in a community setting with each other. Having community art creates a gathering space that promotes active living, gets people outside, and gets them involved in their community. Similar to a park or green space, art often becomes an area where people from the community converge. This gives residents the opportunity to meet each other, make friends.
Art connects residents and community
It may be important to have residents interact and get to know each other, but it is just as important for residents to engage with their community. Having community art helps to create a connection that often leads to residents taking pride in where they live. Typically, community art forms the identity of the community. The colours, imagery, location and usefulness all play an integral part in how the community is perceived. Great community art is a reflection of the community’s values which often create a sense of belonging among residents as these values are commonly shared.
When a resident connects with their community, they will go further to maintain it, care for it and be an active community member. When residents have a connection with their community, they begin to develop a vested interest in it. Residents begin to care more, taking the time to beautify the streetscapes and landscapes within the community. Art doesn’t just create a sense of pride, it creates a sense of identity and a set of values that become shared among residents.
Engages community youth
Community art provides benefits to people of all ages; but the largest impact can often be seen in how art shapes community youth. Similar to a playground, art can provide a place for kids to get outside and be active. It can represent a gathering place for friends, and a place where kids can make new friends. Community art can provide a safe space where kids can play outside within the confines of their community.
Though community art can provide physical health benefits for youth, it also provides an intellectual component that youth need. Art can make kids think, interpret, and much like adults, care about their community. Whether it be colours, symbols or images, art has the ability to appeal to everyone and ignite their imagination and creativity. For youth, this takes learning beyond the classroom and into the community. Regardless of age, art can be a captivating force that makes everyone think, feel and develop.
To see the benefits of community artwork in action, you don’t need to look any further than Ravenswood in Airdrie. The breathtaking steel screen created by Calgary’s Heavy Industries shows just how powerful art can be. Designed to evoke the feeling of a raven’s flight, this beautiful art piece has quickly become a community staple. Easily accessible by the community’s walking paths and roads and with green space nearby, residents can get outside, sit, relax and engage with their neighbours at Ravenswood’s central art piece. To see more about Ravenswood’s Plaza art, visit the Heavy Industries website.
Community artwork is a catalyst for community activity and belonging. Through art, residents in communities are able to form an identity and a collective sense of pride for where they live. For Qualico Communities Calgary, community artwork is an integral aspect to every community we develop as every community is designed to be a warm, welcoming space that nurtures individuals, families and friendships.