Creatively Exploring | About
page-template-default,page,page-id-21432,ajax_fade,page_not_loaded,,select-theme-ver-4.5,vertical_menu_enabled,wpb-js-composer js-comp-ver-5.5.2,vc_responsive


Creatively Exploring Place, Self, and Collective Identity

The heart of this project is based on the theory of “Narrative Identity.”  Conceptualized by an interdisciplinary collaborative formed by faculty and staff from the arts, humanities and education, the partners and collaborators intend to work within communities struggling under the weight of change and shifting economic/demographic realities -­-­-­ many of which are in a state of community decline and dissolution. The collaborative aspires to empower participants to use artistic expression to explore identity in ways that acknowledge who they are while also helping them visualize their own potential. The intention is to present the work as part of a community collection in order to stimulate and promote a renewal process by shifting the perception of a community in decline, to one that is alive, vibrant, rich in texture and personality; in other words -­-­-­ a community in renewal. Ultimately, we intend to have creative works produced that shift narratives by deconstructing identity and forming strategic narratives intent on reshaping and redirecting the collective identity of the community.



The collaborative strives to work in the spirit of contemporary artist/activists like Judy Baca, whose work centers around the concept of art as a “tool for transformation of both the personal and the political,” or artist Jodi Pinto, whose collaborative projects integrating art into architecture and landscape have been noted for seeing what is there and stripping it back to transform it and create new possibilities. “Creatively Exploring Place, Self, and Collective Identity” seeks to stimulate re-­‐discovery through creative expressions that lead to further community involvement and collaboration. As with projects such as the “You are Here” in Toledo, Ohio, led by Jenn Stucker of Bowling Green, collaboratives such as ours also build partnerships with business entities and local governments in ways that foster sponsorship with the potential for revenue streams and economic stimulation.



To paraphrase the words of Judy Baca -­-­-­ the goal of this collaborative is to produce artwork that has meaning beyond simple decorative value. We hope to use public space to create public voice, and consciousness about the presence of all the people within our collective communities. We want to empower the next generation so they can tell their stories and create sites of public memory. And like Baca, we want the creative works of our student participants to be infused with transformative powers that can change their communities.