COMMUNITY ART PROJECT
JEONG, E. K.
SOUTHWESTERN OKLAHOMA STATE UNIVERSITY
DEPARTMENT OF ART, COMMUNICATION, AND THEATRE
Dr. E.K. Jeong
Dept. of Art, Communication, and Theatre
Southwestern Oklahoma State University.
Community Art Project
This paper is a case study of a community tapestry art project, a multi-year effort to plan, fund, design, construct, and exhibit a collaborative public art in Western Oklahoma. Though my study is particular to Oklahoma, it posits generalizable knowledge for artists and arts administrators undertaking collaborative community art projects.
Community Art Project
E.K. Jeong, MFA, Ph.D.
Department of Art, Communication and Theatre
Southwestern Oklahoma State University
The Community Art Project (The Tapestry Project) is a 30‐month effort to plan, fund, design, construct, and exhibit a work of collaborative public art in a small rural community in Western Oklahoma. Utilizing autoethnography and autobiography as research methodologies, I reexamine and reflect upon the project using photos, video, and personal documentation journals to explore the challenges, successes, and lessons learned in The Tapestry Project as well as the suitability of tapestry as a medium for communal public art efforts. The Tapestry Project resulted from a of series of collaborative volunteer groups: a large initial group that contributed to the inspiration for and design of the project; another large group that provided material, logistical, administrative, and emotional support for the project; a yet larger group that participated in the project as patrons and consumers of art; and a smaller group that committed to an 11‐month studio schedule that resulted in the production of 7 foot x 14 foot work of public fiber art entitled Sun on Earth. Sun on Earth is a work that is of, by, and for the people of Weatherford, Oklahoma: a product of the collective vision and the collective labor of non‐professional volunteers. Though my study is particular to Oklahoma, it posits generalizable knowledge and guidance for arts administrators, artists, and community members undertaking collaborative community art projects in other areas and communities. The Tapestry Project models how experience and strategies can raise interest in and awareness of public art.