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Artists Working in Community

As a part of its commitment to provide a variety of opportunities for artists, The City of Calgary Public Art program offers this extensive professional development course each winter/spring.

The Artists Working in Community course is designed to provide professional development for artists interested in pursuing public art projects with a community focus, and is intended for professional artists wishing to:

  • Explore and develop a community based public art practice.
  • Understand the opportunities and the challenges of community based work.
  • Discover the breadth of possibilities within a community based public art practice.

Through engagement with guest speakers, group discussions and course work, participants are provided with an in-depth understanding of community-based public art and how they can develop a practice in this area.  Participants learn about some of the types of public art that can benefit from involving community members in the process, and the important artistic and cultural changes that can result from such an interactive approach.

As a part of the course, participating artists are asked to design a public art project that will address specific needs and concerns of a community organization while incorporating community members in a participatory way.

At the completion of the course, a public selection panel chooses one of the proposed projects and the community partner will receive that artwork at their site.

The artwork may be temporary or permanent in nature. The total budget for the artwork is varies per year, and is funded by the Public Art Program.

Community Partner Organizations

2017 - Canyon Meadows Aquatic and Fitness Centre

In 2017, Artist Michael Grills was selected to create a community engaged artwork which will be unveiled at the Canyon Meadows Aquatic and Fitness Centre in the winter of 2017.

2016 - Sheldon M. Chumir Centre

In 2016, seven artists were selected to create a display artwork within the street-level display windows of the community partner organization Sheldon M. Chumir Centre.

2015 - Cerebral Palsy Association in Alberta

In 2015, envisioned by artist group Soul Tonic Studio, Marquee was the successful project that will benefit the community partner organization, the Cerebral Palsy Association in Alberta.

2014 - CommunityWise Resource Centre

The 2014 artists chosen to create artwork for CommunityWise Resource Centre were the Green Footprints Project.

Selection Process

Artists participating in the course will present their project proposals to an audience consisting of interested Calgarians, participants of the Public Art 101 professional development course, as well as a seven-person selection panel made up of three community members, three local arts professionals and a representative from the chosen community organization. Those in attendance are invited to provide their feedback to the selection panel, and the proposal rated highest by the panel will be selected for completion.