Hope Bridges Society

Art and Pokemon – Creating Community

We’ve all seen the glazed eyes of Pokemon Go players tracking yet another coveted, sometimes elusive, new character. We might also have heard the media coverage, much of it negative, surrounding the game.

But I’d like to look past the negativity at this latest phenomenon, and at what’s happening around the community because of it! When I compared the game craze with the trending artistic craze known as community art, I was surprised to find that the two are very much alike!

Pokemon has been around for a long time but its newest evolution – Pokemon Go, gets kids and adults into the community; they’re finding new landmarks, enjoying the outdoors, and dare I suspect – getting exercise!

Likewise, with community art, that is art in public parks and on buildings. It’s been around for a long time and has evolved to take on new forms. Some forms beautify communities and some cause controversy – some people are inspired by it while others complain. Both are connecting people with their surroundings and with each other, and connecting people is a powerful force in creating community.

A question to consider

Community artAre you holding yourself back from a fun, or maybe even joy-filled new experience by choosing to be negative? Whether I’m referring to the game or the art, my question is the same! It seems that community art and Pokemon Go have both been misunderstood.

Art can calm the heart or stir emotion. It has the power to transport an audience to another reality. It can be playful, subjective, objective, serious and silly.  And it can be both a private and a public expression.  Art is usually as much fun to create as it is to observe or experience and is also a wonderfully kinaesthetic or tactile method of learning. Now, substitute ‘art’ in the the last four sentences with ‘Pokemon Go’, see what I mean about similarities?

Through community art and Pokemon Go there is much potential for good. It’s to our advantage to be open to discovering the good in the beauty that exists in artistic expression, in the game and in art.

Get involved in community art

Hope Bridges’ workshops are in the planning stages now, sign up, consider being a part of something bigger than yourself and put your signature on a piece of community art.

This post is a rewrite of an article (co-written by Wanda and me) to appear in an upcoming issue of Strathmore’s Newsy Neighbor

To talk about fall workshops or for volunteer opportunities at Hope Bridges, contact Wanda at the studio: coordinator@hopebridges.ca or call (403) 983-3640

From the desk of
Pat Timmermans

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