Blessing Hancock welcomes the opportunity to incorporate community engagement, finding that it enhances both the process and end product. She has considerable expertise leading community groups.
Using a number of approaches based on the level of public interest and the time frame associated with the piece, Blessing has conducted workshops, collected written stories, conducted questionnaires, participated in interviews, commissioned drawings, poetry, dance and original musical scores, and lead artist mentees. In all cases, members of the public are encouraged to get involved and able to point to their contribution in the finished sculpture.
Each artwork offers the opportunity for community engagement, the specific approach is tailored to the project and conducted in a manner that is both accessible and fun for the public. There are many directions this can take, from hands-on workshops, to social media outlets, to an opening ceremony gala.
A few community engagement project examples:
Brilliance : We met with different language communities in the Bay area to develop the phrases that cover the pieces’ surfaces for the Palo Alto
Main Library and Art Center. View Brilliance
Accolades : Reflects the spirit and protective presence of the Maryland police service by incorporating text relating to honor, merit and service, collected from the community. View Accolades
Heart Beacon : Was inspired by the life saving mission of the Emergency Coordination Center in Portland, by displaying the heartbeats of visitors who enter the sculpture. View Heart Beacon
Bike Church : Offered summer internships to a group of inner city high school students. Each student designed a circular panel within the sculpture, providing a means of individual expression. View Bike Church
Nicollet Lanterns : Young, local emerging poets were commissioned to write poetry that was incorporated into the artwork. View Nicollet Lanterns
Chinook Arc : A local musician was hired to write a musical score that was performed live at the opening ceremony gala to accompany the artwork's custom lighting program. View Chinook Arc