Community Art

Is creating community an art? I think it is. As do others, for instance:

This section describes some of the Neighbourhood Small Grants I’ve received for community building. I love NSG’s. A friend recently asked a group of us: If you had a million dollars to donate to a charity, who would you give it to?

I instantly said, “The Vancouver Foundation to be used for Neighbourhood Small Grants. The ripple effect of community building for each grant of a couple of hundred dollars is huge.”

My projects are in Kitsilano, my ‘hood of choice. But often people from other neighbourhoods are welcome, if space permits.

After more than a decade making more time and space for my painting and mixed-media art, I have decided that my “real” art – the art I have been doing all my life, before I knew it was art – is creating community.

When I said to a friend, “I’ve realized my art practice is creating connections,” she replied, “But I’ve seen your real art – it’s beautiful!”.

I replied: “Creating community is my real art, but thank you. I also create paintings and will keep doing so.”

Photo: Noriko Nasu-Tidball

Here’s an article about me from the Kerrisdale Community Centre Playbook.

And an excerpt from the article by Haley Cameron:

Mary Bennett has always been an artist. These days the longtime Kitsilano resident– “Kit-sil-eye-no,” she laughs, emphasizing the original pronunciation– incorporates collage and acrylics to produce two dimensional mixed-media canvases. … But if you ask Bennett, her primary creative outlet is not painting.

“Creating a sense of community is my true art,” [she] says… Bennett is quick to explain that community building has been a personal priority for as long as she can remember.

And an article from the Vancouver Courier about the housewarming party I planned in 2014 for Kits House. It was the largest event Kits House has ever hosted with over 2000 people attending events over the weekend of November 14-16, 2014.

Here’s more about the Housewarming party with 10 photos. There was lots of art involved, including painting banners for street poles which will be installed in the new year.

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