JANET SELF: Community Artist
Art became my focus in 2004. My work is an abstract exploration... connectivity, flow, energy, rhythm, resonance, space, patterns, chance & intention, universal to singular. I found the act of creating gives courage, insight, freedom, patience and hope. It opens new understanding of the world and I investigate how art making shapes people and the nature of place and community. I founded Flockworks in 2007 as a nonprofit that builds community through creativity. In its 11-year history, Our Art@OddFellows series involved over 2,500 adults and 4,000 children in exhibits and hosted 14,000 visitors each year. Interactive and hands on elements were part of many exhibits and a variety of special events with Dance, Music, Writing and more were part of the series. The Children’s Banner project fostered hands-on collaborative art including murals, class explorations and large scale installation projects. I have discovered much about my own creative process whether to engage 450 young children in large scale mural or entice a gallery visitor in hands-on, studio exploration. From soccer field, classroom, gallery and street corner, the ripple became clear when a Hispanic grandmother stopped me on the corner one day to thank me and talk about her grandchildren and the importance of art making. My prior professional experience includes 25 years of non-profit leadership focused on community development, fund raising, strategic planning, and collaboration. This history deepens my art making and shapes me as a community artist.