Add Some Vibrancy to Your Community This Summer With Art
Summer 2021 is here, and after the year we went through, we could all use some color in our lives — and in our communities. We’re not out of the woods yet, but with things looking up, people are ready to get outside and have fun, even if they’re still taking precautions.
As the world begins to open up, it’s a great time for organizations to add color to their community and generate awareness at the same time. Murals, sculpture installations and other types of public art projects are the perfect way to spread some joy and build stronger connections with one another.
Amplifying the Beauty That’s Already There
SafeAuto, an auto insurance company, showed how it’s done, working with Muros to create a vibrant, colorful mural in Adair Park ll in Atlanta with a local artist. In a story recapping the project by WABE, it was shared that murals can “define a neighborhood” and express a place’s “history and culture,” which is just what this project set out to do.
SafeAuto wanted to add some beauty to the neighborhood and reflect its values, and Muros hooked the brand up with the perfect artist for the project: George F. Baker III, who grew up in the Adair Park II neighborhood and suggested the location. Baker said in an interview that “a good mural has intention, based on what the community needs and what the community wants to express.” He also emphasized that the mural amplifies the beauty that already existed in the community.
To give members of the Adair Park II community a ringside seat to the mural’s creation, SafeAuto sponsored a picnic the weekend the work was in-progress so neighbors could watch Baker and his assistants bring the mural to life. The mural, standing three stories tall and nearly 50 yards wide, was the insurance company’s way of giving back to the community.
Art that Brings the Fun Back
You know what’s fun and irresistible? Meerkats — especially larger than life, colorful meerkat sculptures that meet up in a shopping mall. Brookfield Properties’ current sculpture series allows communities nationwide a chance to see for themselves as the “Meerkat Meetup” art installation travels to 11 different properties between now and November. Created by the Cracking Art Group collective, the meerkat sculptures emphasize community (meerkats live in social groups) and bring people together through art.
But even if you don’t have a troupe of touring meerkat sculptures scheduled for your city, there are plenty of ways you can create art that brings spirit back to your community. Organizations can work with city parks or schools to create murals or sculptures guaranteed to unite communities together around a focal point.
Schools can start planning creative ways to welcome students back in August, like a paint-by-numbers mural at a playground, with an artist creating an outline for students to fill in. A mural in a school hallway or athletics building can also be a fun and colorful way to welcome students back as a new, more promising school year begins, hopefully with full-time instruction on campus. The art can celebrate student athletes, mathletes or the surrounding community — and bring back the fun.
So, as summer gets fully underway, think about some creative ways you can add color to your community. The finished artwork is an enduring statement, but the act of creating itself at this particular moment is meaningful too, and the community will appreciate an opportunity to participate, if only by watching. It’s about adding more beauty to the world, and we could all use more of that.