“It Takes a Village” is a public art project to serve the communities in the Verde Valley (Cottonwood, Arizona and 4 surrounding towns), their businesses, artists, elders, schools and youth. Local business owners will offer their walls. OR I can travel to your area. I've done many murals as far away as the Caribbean.
We will collaborate with teams of artists, students and elders to design and paint a mural around the theme, “It Takes a Village”. The questions for the team will be “What does that saying mean to you?” “How do you see that in action in our community?” “What images and/or words shall we paint on our walls to tell the world how we feel about that theme in our community?”
As an artist/mentor, Joan Bourque will run preparatory lessons in public mural painting for the team; size may be 10 - 20 members per mural. Businesses must have a wall available at least 8’ x 10’, the larger the better. This intergenerational team will work together to discuss their ideas of what the spirit of community means to them and how they can cooperatively build a stronger more vibrant community while they expand their horizons. Topics like sustainability, education, healthcare, economic growth and our precious environment will take the lead in our discussions.
The project will extend further into the community as we partner with local schools and after school programs. Business owner/community professionals will sponsor art projects with artists and teachers, perhaps addressing a business or community attitude (what I love about my community), need (what I need from my community), event (posters advertisements) or glaring issues (I wish my community would ……).
I’ve been painting since I was six. I remember being so quiet and peaceful. I loved experimenting with spreading paint on canvas to see its effect. Big canvases were my favorite. I apprenticed in NYC with Chuck Close during a semester in college in 1970. They taught me to think BIG and the Sky would be my limit.
NYC was great but I needed adventure and nature so I traveled to the Caribbean to 5 sq. mile Saba island inhabited by 1200 people. That’s where I learned the “It Takes a Village” attitude. Camaraderie, cooperation, compassion and spirit were the order of the day. Everyone was part of the team.
We returned to the US in 1998 to a small town in Arizona. Lucky for me there where plenty of blank walls to be filled and a sensitive Arts Commission to allow me to become an Artist in Residence anywhere there was a willing school to want their walls covered with the thoughts and attitudes of their students.
Over the last 13 years, my business experience helped me organize groups of diverse people to collaborate on their ideas and dreams. My “It Takes Village” attitude helps us to express our feelings in a provocative and inspirational way.
We are in a time which needs new directions, I’m ready to hit the streets , to bring new light and life to these small communities ripe with potential.
"Never underestimate the power of a small group of committed people to change the world. In fact, it is the only thing that ever has.” - Margaret Mead.