How Do We Want to Be in Community?

Collective art-making experience shapes conversation

Curator’s Note: During the most recent Peterborough Dialogues Core Conversation gathering, the group was led through a collective art-making experience as a path to discovering, co-creating and expressing how they want to be in community. Thanks to co-host Deb Reynolds for this blog about the experience.

How do we want to be in community? How do ­you want to be in community? Holding this question, we took to the crayons, pastels, coloured paper, paint and charcoal. We drew, scribbled, pasted in a spot and moved on, knowing that someone else would come along and add to what we had done.

We were aiming to be free of judgement and unattached to our individual efforts – we made our marks and let them go to become something more in the common space. We worked independently and alongside, without talking, the playful soundtrack to Amelie playing in the background. There was light laughter, sighs of appreciation, standing back to see the whole, getting up close to see the particulars. 

Perhaps we will see the mural as a map of possibilities for more about how we want to be in community.

In the end, we took it all in. We saw what we had created and it was good. As we unpacked the experience and examined the mural, we commented on how the pieces fit together, how they related to each other even as they were distinct, how the individual efforts could be seen within the context of the whole. There were bridges, spirals, circles. There was a bit of chaos in one area, more control in another.

We were talking about the mural itself, but using another lens, the comments could just as easily be applied to how we want to be in community.

CC2 Group Art LEAD

Click the image to see a larger version.

We aren’t finished though, although what’s next is undetermined. Perhaps we will see the mural as a map of possibilities for more about how we want to be in community. We could cut it into strips and weave it into a whole new piece which draws some of its identity from what has come before. Perhaps poetry writing will be part of a step to further transform our ideas of how we want to be in community. It is entirely possible that things could be taken away, and even more likely that things will be added.

How do you want to be in community?

Leave a Reply

1 comment

  1. Ralph Gutkin

    Thanks Deb. You captured the essence of that experience really well both in spirit and content