The Colour Chart of Community Art presents everyday magic

On Friday the 9th of December, the book “The Colour Chart of Community Art: Encounters and everyday magic. Community art projects coordinated by Pia Bartsch at the Saari Residence” was released in Mynämäki.
Pia Bartsch & villagers from the Asemanseutu area: RoKoKoo Grunge Caramel (2013). Photo: Viktoria Kulmala

The Colour Chart of Community Art: Encounters and everyday magic presents six projects run by Saari Residence’s community artist Pia Bartsch. The presentations include interviews with participants, analyses arrived at through research, and the ideas of the artists themselves. The projects were realised in the local area around the Saari Residence in Mynämäki. 

The book guides the reader through the seven rooms of an imaginary house: the red room exhibits The Saari Sirens, the orange room The Bridge of Roses, the green room exhibits The House of Sorrow, the turquoise room The Rococo Grunge Caramel, the blue room The Blue Angels and the violet room Community Art Summer Well Workshops. The pieces of community art were designed and executed in the years 2012–2014. 

“The community art projects allowed us to use art to meet new people and see new places and events. The shared objectives and plans enabled us to think about and process different opinions and seek solutions together. Behind the pieces of community art were the experiences and knowledge of each participant. We learnt about a number of new ideas and operating methods, and the insights from the process reached beyond everyday realities. Although the projects were significant in themselves, presenting the works added to their value,” says Pia Bartsch when talking about the book The Colour Chart of Community Art. 

“Hundreds of people were involved in these projects, and they all gave their time and energy. Together, we tried to make the world a little bit better. It is our wish that readers will also benefit from our joys, sorrows, laughter and innovations,” Bartsch continues. 

The Saari Sirens gave voice to women of the baby boomer generation. The group was made up of 13 local retired women who each told the story of her life in a flower festival organised for them. The Bridge of Roses is a graffiti knitting work of community art prepared in the summer of 2012 by more than 30 women. The House of Sorrow is a house created on the Manor grounds in the spring and summer of 2013 that offered a place for participants in sorrow workshops to leave their heartache in the hands of nature. Carnivalistic Rococo Grunge Caramel is based on the idea of a tableaux vivant – living pictures performance in which participants imitate a famous painting or sculpture by staying completely still. With her participants, Pia Bartsch aimed to create a rugged, modern interpretation of a rococo-spirited work of art and take it one step further than the film Marie Antoinette by Sofia Coppola. The Blue Angels provided an insight into the significance of Juko, the local factory that manufactured agricultural machines, through the working-life memories of four men. The Community Art Summer Well Workshops invited Finnish and international artists to the Saari Residence for two weeks in the summer of 2013 to work on four art projects in the local area. The event ended with a seminar in Turku where the artists presented the basics of community art. 

Read about Pia Bartsch’s thoughts on community art and explore the projects she coordinated at Saari Residence