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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.

2017 Course Info

Dates: May 2 - June 24, 2017
Fee: $160 (fee assistance may be available)

Session topics

​May 2

Overview of Artists working in community course

​May 9

Community cultural development

​May 16

Community-initiated public art projects

​May 23

Social and economic justice How it applies

​May 30

Social practice - artist-initiated projects

​June 6

Site visit and tour

​June 13

Resources for community-based projects

​June 20

Tools and tips for working with the public

​June 24

Final presentations and community selection pane

Community Partner Organizations

2017’s partner organization is the Canyon Meadows Community Association. Canyon Meadows is a residential neighbourhood in the south-west quadrant of Calgary, Alberta. It is bounded by Anderson Road to the north, Macleod Trail to the east, Fish Creek Provincial Park and Canyon Meadows Drive to the south and 14 Street W to the west.

About the Canyon Meadows Community Association (CMCA)

The CMCA is a volunteer-run not-for-profit community organization. The association was established 40 years ago and over those years as the community grew, so did we.

Our mission is to serve Canyon Meadows by providing social, recreational, and community programs and events.

We Value:

  • Open green space that is safe and accessible to all.
  • Promoting respect for our environmental footprint.
  • Well informed communication and conscious participation in planning and decision making.
  • Procedures and protocols that promote integrity, accountability and transparency.
  • Community Participation

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

  • Juan Carlos Arriojas
  • Andrew Olivier
  • Isabel Porto
  • Sylvia Arthur
  • Sean Taal and Catherine Spencer
  • Juliana Morar
  • Jenna Swift

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. The project is scheduled for completion in 2016.

The 2014 artists chosen to create artwork for CommunityWise Resource Centre (the 2014 community partner organization) is 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.