ART & CULTURE in/with COMMUNITY.

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Charleston’s conNECKtedTOO Project:
Art and Community Working to Make the Invisible Visible
 by FRANK C. MARTIN, II

The following article provides my subjective responses to the latest in a series of community-arts-based projects emerging from the creativity and activism of the Charleston Rhizome Collective, a group of artists and diverse members of the local community, who are interested in the transformative potential of arts engagement as a means of enhancing social and cultural awareness.  In the instance of the art installations discussed here, the group also has been motivated to explore the idea of providing economic opportunities for artists and entrepreneurs; opportunities which grow organically from within the processes of generating and assessing works of art. The projects by the group are challenging in that they seek to evade any singular vision of, or prescribed aesthetic appearance for the components within the project as a whole. As a result of the multilayered processes and methods of art production used, each aspect of what is contributed shapes the whole, which is, consequently, never really fully available as a single unique art “object” or art “event” to any members of the widely diversified audiences. This is not a conventional manner of approaching artistic praxis, in that the process uses a de-centralized, communal power distribution model, and does not support any status quo, traditional, exclusively ethno-centrist ideas pertaining to engagement with creative artistic work. Such an approach, in and of itself, is an important part of the excitement and originality stemming from the formal aspects and interpretive opportunities the project provides.

To read the full article click on Frank Martin
Art and Community Working to Make the Invisible Visible

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