What is an artistic community?

Published 8:19 pm Sunday, July 8, 2018

LaGrange is often referred to as an arts community, but what does that mean? Does that mean you can count on a variety of local plays by local actors on local stages across the county? That is certainly present here.

Is an arts community one that has an art museum that makes the work of artists of local and world-renown available to the public? That is here too, along with an artist group to make sure that museum never has to look far for willing volunteers to teach classes and loan their work for a show.

Is it a place where a steady stream of locals can take part in a community art project, like so many did in June in downtown LaGrange?

Or is an arts community something more? 

On Thursday, the Daily News featured a story on a local artist whose art is moving beyond the walls that often confine art to make it accessible to the community. 

Chuck Moore’s sculptures are sure to inspire conversation, even for those who have yet to experience the community’s other artistic offerings. 

Children can marvel at the robot-like metallic musicians at Sweetland Amphitheatre. 

Joggers may soon be jogged from their mid-run revelry by a planned sculpture on The Thread. 

And, of course, a bulldog sculpture who has made his home at LaGrange’s City Hall, where he greets visitors and remind the community of former City Manager Tom Hall, whom he was built to honor.

Maybe an arts community is all of those things. Maybe it is the way they all work together with artwork in theatre lobbies and posters advertising performance at art shows. 

Maybe it is the partnerships — between artists, local governments and local businesses — that make that art accessible to as many people as possible. 

Maybe we’re not the ones to ask though, so we’ll pass the question on: What does it mean to you to be an arts community?