Adam served as Education Director at AVA Gallery and Art Center in Lebanon, NH from 2008–2016. This selection of social practice pieces occurred at this time. Seen as a single ambition, these projects describe a local ecology of social relationships bound through the arts. The following projects unite artists; art teachers; art students; youths, teens, adults, and seniors; nonprofits; for profits; the public and private education systems; local farms and agriculture; public transportation; health, wellness, and aging organizations; the largest hospital in the region; the media; the municipal government; and even the National Park system — all in the spirit of participatory art-making. Art can be more than an object for sale on the wall of a gallery. Click the photos below for greater detail.
Of note, these social practice pieces took place during the depths of the Great Recession and in the years shortly thereafter — a unique time in nonprofit arts administration. When the financial markets crashed, arts foundations’ principal contracted with them. And the few grant resources available for community projects disappeared. Nimble arts organizations innovated by looking for new and unusual partnerships across market segments, combining interests to achieve larger ambitions than any single organization accomplish alone. These collaborations brought people together through a passion for making, and in doing so, fostered a renewed sense of community and a local pride of place. The artworks produced in these projects were often ephemeral by design and inexpensive by necessity, emphasizing playful relationships and art-making over the resultant physical outcomes.
Click around. Take these project ideas or inspiration from them, and try them where you live. Anything is possible with creativity, care, and enthusiasm. If you are interested in learning how these projects were funded, email Adam for more information.