I've loved taking recent participatory art works from vision to reality, and I want to keep going. I believe this kind of creative community-building is really potent, and needed now more than ever. All the more powerful if you join me!!
I have a background in community organizing, and I'm an artist. I put the two together in what's known these days as socially engaged art, or social practice. Some examples of things I've done recently can be seen on my website http://maryclarerietz.com, and below.
I'm committed to collaboration, and often as the artist I offer the "frame" in the form of a concept or a prompt, and invite community folks to voice the work.
- On The Map|Over-the-Rhine, that used mapping and storytelling to facilitate connections across difference, among the diverse mix of people who live and work in a rapidly developing central Cincinnati historic neighborhood. A mobile kiosk and a 6-sided modular table, both hand-built by me using wood scraps from rehabbed buildings, and both designed to move around the neighborhood to meet people where they are, served as the "locations" for this work.
- Who do you want to move?, a dance performance to a packed house in the lobby of the Contemporary Arts Center here in Cincinnati, in which both longtime and new residents expressed their experiences of living in a rapidly changing urban neighborhood.
- Outside/In, a guided walk organized with local folks in Washington, DC that used storytelling, performance, music, and visual art to educate and inform visitors on an issue of importance both at local and national levels.
- Tea Break, a participatory work in Delhi, India, that strengthened the connection among a visiting American university group and the local staff where we stayed, by pairing visitors with locals, serving everyone masala tea, and offering materials and a process designed to facilitate everyday ways of getting to know: names, self- introductions, and exchange of Hindi and English language.