From SACRED VESSEL: A Painter’s Handbook
by Veronica Funk
Throughout the twenty years that I have lived and painted in Airdrie, I have seen tremendous growth in the arts in my community. As a professional artist, working with other professional artists is extremely important for my artistic growth, but even more than that, working in collaboration with the community has been my greatest pleasure and privilege.
The first collaborative project, the AIRdirondack Art Project, was created by a dozen artists who each painted separately though once the pieces all came together, they read as a whole, with each artist contributing something special. Each chair was different, reflecting each artist, but really came together to share the value of art in our community. That project led to the creation of the Creative Airdrie Society which led to so much more in the community.
The Main Street Project brought together over 1000 artists and members of the community to create a beautiful representation of our city. Every person, from young children to special needs adults, were able to contribute to something that expressed their pride in being a part of Airdrie.
When I had the opportunity to paint the utility box on Main Street in 2012, I spent a week speaking with children and adults alike who contributed by making their own marks with the paint and tools I brought with me. It was a week of encouragement from pedestrians, businesses, police officers, friends, and city staff and probably one of the best experiences I have had as an artist.
There have been numerous other arts related projects that I have been privileged to take part in and in every single instance I have seen the community come together to be involved in some way. The arts have been a wonderful way to bring people together, to make our community more beautiful, to have fun, and to learn something new.