In May of 2020, two childhood friends shared in a conversation on social media. Expressing concern for the loss of life and seeming inability to fully grasp how to grieve, discuss and move forward given the politicization of the virus. One of the two friends, who is a well respected professional artist suggested that perhaps creating art could be the answer.
They agreed art would be a good way to share in the experience, process it and then, allow for conversation. BUT, what form would it take. Over the coming months, the women spoke with members of their community at the town offices, members of the arts, the school system, the local hospital, community organizations. Essentially, anyone who would listen.
Through the creative process, Meclina Gomes, the artist began developing concepts that could be given to a diverse set of individuals and then, reconstructed into a larger format of publicly displayed art. Jennifer MacIver Edwards, took on Program Management, Development, Administration to bring the non-profit to life.
In March of 2021, the two friends established the Community Art Collaborative and with support from their Board, the Town of Plymouth, the Beth Israel Deaconess Hospital in Plymouth, in-kind support from the Plymouth Center for the Arts, the Poet Laureate of Plymouth and generously donated art from prominent local artists they set out to create their first installation.
In late May, the community safely gathered and unveiled the Community Art Collaborative’s first installation at BID Plymouth. It incorporated the work of local artists, hospital employees and other members of the community at large. Entitled “In this Together” the installation tells the story using cardstock honeycombs assembled together to tell of one community’s appreciation for their first responders endurance, grace and dignity in the face of COVID 19.
Out of the initial idea the, Community Art Collaborative has developed 6 installations each using an inclusive process and grounded in the idea that art can create the necessary conversations and connections needed in communities as we progress forward; always grounded in the premise #inthistogether. Each installation includes a Pixel Stix which provides video and a map of the other installations creating a walking tour and new methods to engage with art opening up new opportunities to explore.
Follow us on Instagram @community_art_collaborative for more community art and our latest adventures in creating community conversation, collaboration around the hashtags #inthistogether #communityart #artisforeveryone