Inspired: Art at Work

Action for prosperity, protection, and perseverance

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Project Description

INSPIRED: Art at Work will bring 2 visiting artists and 2 local artists to socially engaged projects in summer 2018. Working closely with scientists, and policy-makers, and five local partner organizations, Citizens for a Healthy Community, Western Slope Conservation Center, Farm and Food Alliance, Solar Energy International, and North Fork Valley Creative Coalition, artists will create socially-engaged works that explore and address selected environmental, cultural, social, and economic issues vital to preserving the natural world and the quality of life and sense of place in the North Fork Valley. These collaborations and a final symposium are designed to broadly engage community dialog on concerns vital to the future of this rural area.

Through a series of meetings/discussions, the artists and community members will define a particular issue or set of issues such as, the impact of energy development, Gunnison River health, air quality, changing energy resources, the loss of coal mining jobs, changing cultural norms, etc. The project is designed to promote dialog among the diverse elements of our community. Throughout the two months, local citizens will have multiple opportunities to participate in the project. The artists will help us tell our stories, bridging artistic disciplines and activism. The artworks are the catalysts for significant exchange of ideas, values, and future dreams. Working together to create a work of art is a community-building endeavor, like placing bricks side-by-side to create a walkway all can walk upon. In the artistic process of making or performing—barriers often disintegrate and friends are made while working together


What is 'Socially Engaged Art'?  “an art medium that focuses on social engagement, inviting collaboration with individuals, communities, and institutions in the creation of art that informs a social issue”.




  • February 17th, 2018 Artist introduction and videoconference cross-pollination event with project partners and public audience.

  • April 2018 Preliminary project press release due, with headshot and image of past work

  • June 1 Symposium tickets go on sale!

  • July 24-26th Texas Tech University, Art Student Cohort visiting socially-engaged artists.

  • July and August, 2018 Artists in-Residence at Elsewhere Studios 

  • August 24-26, 2018 Symposium held, artists participate


INSPIRED Symposium: August 24-26

Tickets on sale June 1!

The work produced during this collaboration will be highlighted along with readings, films, music, and live art. Tour renewable energy and green building projects, explore nearby petroglyphs and the Gunnison Gorge, full moon hike, music, local innovators and creators, picnics, farm to table dinners, and more.  Enjoy the height of the agricultural season in stunning North Fork Valley.

Explore our Featured Speakers here:

  Community collaborations create vibrant, safe, multigenerational connecting points.  This street mural is an example of work via Village Building Convergence, Paonia, CO.

Community collaborations create vibrant, safe, multigenerational connecting points.  This street mural is an example of work via Village Building Convergence, Paonia, CO.

This initiative responds to the growing desire of artists and arts organizations to use their creativity and talents to make a difference in their community. At the same time those engaged in issues like education, poverty, public safety and health increasingly are looking to the arts as a partner in their work. We embrace this opportunity to support this work in our community.
— Gary Steuer of the Bonfils-Stanton Foundation