The Artist in Residence Summing up Part 2

In this final blog about the community artist, I point out a few observations and tips for any artists considering working in this way as reported over the last 5 weeks.
Its about the ‘Artist in Residence’; an artist who goes into a community residency. Many artists work alone, or as soloists. When working as artist in residence, it serves them well to be a good ‘people’s person’. Good clear communication, multidisciplined, and working under time stresses are also useful skills for the artist to have.

If an artist has great social participation talents, they will activate the least ‘likely’ community members to make a memorable contribution and inject themselves into their own community in ways they had never dreamt of.

Artists working in community settings, are usually established in their field and balance their private practice with community-based work. The role of community artist requires experience and maturity with a proven work ethic before an organization will entrust time and money.

Other types of artists, apart from performing, might work with communities to produce a public artwork, either as a temporary installation or single event performance, or as a more permanent feature of the environment. The artist may be under contract by a local government Council to work with specific groups of people to produce a work of cultural significance, expressing the values or aspirations of those communities.
The community might be involved in any or all of the phases of the project:

  • Conception
  • Planning and research
  • Production of the artwork
  • Evaluation…. and further planning

The reality is that there is no strict formula or pattern that adheres to these roles. The key to a successful outcome is where the community can claim a sense of ownership in the process and product, and where the artist in residence has facilitated this experience.

This blog series regarding community artists has been sourced and inspired partly via and Festive Factory’s professional experience over the years of business.

This concludes this series and I hope it has gone some way to examining the relatively recent phenomenon of the ‘Community Artist’ or ‘Artist in Residence’ and the flow on value to communities.