Delia King

Art Discipline: 
Philadelphia, PA
United States
Dates of Residence: 
Feb 2, 2007 to Feb 16, 2007

In recent years I have become a public artist specializing in making art through community involvement. What this means is that I go into communities not my own and help them realize their ideas into large outdoor or indoor murals. This is rewarding because it expands my experiences and opens my mind. It can, however, be difficult because neighborhoods can be insular and therefore suspicious of outsiders.

I was formally trained in Philosophy and Mathematics so this is what I try to teach during a community project. One mural may have as many as four community groups from different parts of the city. These groups can be adults or children. Most of these groups are in poor neighborhoods or prisons. Each project starts with a topic picked by the sponsor: Leadership, Social Class Structure, Family, etc. I will then devise a curriculum that will focus on the topic in a subjective manner. I also add a mathematic element. For example, in the project I just finished for Project HOME, the preteens had to learn and learn to apply the Pythagorean theorem in order to design and paint the mural. I choose to approach the subject matter subjectively because I feel that most of the topics given to us are things that everyone observes naturally. By encouraging discussion amongst one group I hope to show each person that their opinions matter a great deal. By presenting the conclusions of one group to the next group and asking them to discuss them, and to see the similarities, I hope to show them that their opinion can reach farther then their own family and friends. By continuing this process in a circular fashion until the project is completed and installed, I hope to help these groups open up to see others not as threats, but as involved, with them, in the same daily issues of being human. My private work has mostly taken a back seat to these projects, but when I do get the time to do it, it serves to work out future philosophies on how to approach community involved public art.

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