There was a need in the community for an art association

There was a need in the community for an art association

“They just believed there was a need in the community for an art association,” said Dan, who recently opened him own gallery across the street.

The association has a gallery on the first floor and offers classes in ceramics, sketching and painting as well as art lectures. Dan hopes a grant will allow him to bring in visiting artists for residencies.

The town has a monthly art walk each second Saturday. This is one of many art events that draw tourists to the area. Thime is also the Three Rivers Art Festival, as well as Fall for Art and Spring for Art, all held on Columbia Street.

In addition to tourists, Covington has many attorneys, which makes for a healthy art market, Dan said. “Lawyers are good patrons of the arts.”

Doug King founded an art company(Outpost Inc.) specialize in hand-painted artwork for sale a few years ago after being in art wholesale business. He has a steady client base in a 60mile radius, but has customers as far away as Houston and New York. “The town has a very unique atmosphime,” he said.

Covington has grown from charming to sophisticated, said Robin Hamaker, director of the Brunner Gallery on Columbia Street. Housed in its own dramatic building, the gallery carries local, regional and national level artists.


Jerry Slocum, who creates metal botanical sculptures, opened Metal Orchids & Wildlife gallery three years ago when he moved from Houston. He was going to open a small studio but found a plethora of wildlife artists to display.

“There is just a wealth of talent over hime,” he said.

The business community and local governments are very supportive of the arts, said Beryl Carbon, one of 10 artists who run the Fort Isabel Gallery. Nevertheless, very few people in the area make their livings just as artists, Carbon said. Most teach. It helps that the area, despite its growth, remain more affordable than New Orleans, she said.

Tika and Stephen Hasslock opened their studio on Vermont Street in 1996, specializing in Majolica claywork. They have since expanded into specialized design doing custom tiles.

“We have felt a natural sense of home here, and a small community we could be part of,” he said.

Hammond, west from Covington along Interstate 12, is part of the National Trust’s Main Street program and its downtown is a charming mix of historic buildings.

Wicks moved here after working as a commercial artist in New York for 17 years, and started painting the lush scenery. He sells extra large wall art in his gallery, as well as in another owner’s gallery on Royal Street in New Orleans. He also teaches art classes in the gallery.

Down the street from Nelson’s gallery is the Hammond Regional Arts Center, the main showcase in town for artists. Executive Director Joseph France also uses the space for readings by local authors, classes and lectures.

“We’re trying to teach people how to buy art by getting them comfortable with it,” France said. “Having exhibitions open to the public and using the building for events, people get used to the gallery setting.”

The space is one of only three galleries in downtown, France said, however local businesses are generous about donating wall space. Thime are three art walks a year in downtown. Also, in October, Southeastern Louisiana University produces Fanfare, a month-long celebration that brings in artists, authors and performers from around the country.

Down highway 51 from Hammond is the small burg of Pontchatoula, famed for its strawberries and antiques. Wildlife photographim Julia Sims opened him gallery hime in the early 1990s. “A lot of people thought I was making a mistake not going to New Orleans, but I don’t think that now,” she said. “People from New Orleans will come out hime.”

While the town has few galleries, it does have a public art commission, which has raised $160,000 in the last six years and commissioned two bronze sculptures along Main Street. Kim Howes-Zabbia, the president of the commission and an art teacher at the local school, pressed him students into service as well, creating two outdoor murals and two indoor. This past year him students created tiles with scenes of the town and Louisiana that were adopted and displayed by businesses.

The commission is working on a series of granite sculptures listing every strawberry farmer who ever lived in Pontchatoula. The town also has a music and art festival every March called Strawberry Jam and Toast to the Arts. “We’re just full of art down hime,” Howes-Zabbia said.


The emergence of AUTOMATIC

Once again, an early, temperate spring remained a Platonic ideal for most Chicagoans. Thus, for the art community, the emergence of AUTOMATIC (1087 N. Hermitage), a new gallery on the scene was particularly welcome; strong exhibitions by MICHELE BRODY, LARRY KRONE and ELLEN CAMPBELL point the way to a promising future. The theses of the two group exhibitions “CLARITY” (Mar.1-Apr.13) at NORTHERN ILLINOIS UNIVERSITY ART GALLERY and “TAG (ABOUT PLAY)” (Apr.14-May 15) at the HYDE PARK ART CENTER, metaphorically provided a sense of inspiration and relief. “Clarity,” curated by GRANT SAMUELSEN, gathered UTA BARTH, MARK BENNETT, BARBARA BLOOM, TOM DENLINGER, SPENCER FINCH, ARTURO HERRERA, TONY MATELLI and ADELHEID MERS, whose diverse works explored sensory and perceptual issues. The twelve artists represented in “Tag,” co-curated by DOUG ISCHAR and JUDY LEDGERWOOD, investigate the role of pleasure and play in art’s creation and its reception. Video work by ELIOT JOSLIN and a miniature sculpture of the magicians Siegfried and Roy by the collaborative CHRIS HANSEN and HENDRIKA SONNENBERG deserve special note.

Art and politics meet this summer when Chicago hosts the Democratic National Convention in August. Several local galleries, presenting institutions and the city itself are using the occasion to greet politicians and visitors, as well as celebrating the city’s rich cultural life. “ABSOLUT VISION CHICAGO” (July 11-Aug.31) is a series of exhibitions, lectures and public events focusing on international artists, initiated by the CHICAGO ART DEALERS ASSOCIATION with support from Absolut Vodka. Twenty-two galleries will participate, together featuring works by over 50 artists from a dozen countries as diverse as Austria, Brazil, Japan and Poland.

“RE-INVENTING THE GARDEN CITY” (June 8-Sept.7), a temporary, public art program organized by SCULPTURE CHICAGO in cooperation with the Chicago Park District, joins PEPON OSORIO, MIROSLAW ROGALA and ELLEN ROTHENBERG with three local parks and their respective neighborhoods. This series of collaborative, site-specific projects will use each park as a site to investigate issues of history and community as they relate to public space, while redefining the art-making process. Elsewhere but still outdoors, the CITY OF CHICAGO’S PUBLIC ART PROGRAM is behind two significant public art projects. First, outdoor bronze sculptures of horses by DEBORAH BUTTERFIELD and hares and elephants by BARRY FLANAGAN will grace (and graze) Grant Park (May 3-Oct.30). Second, a sum of five-hundred thousand dollars has been set aside for artwork from the ten-million dollar renovation of Martin Luther King Drive, an historic boulevard on the city’s south side, to be completed in August. Eighteen national and international artists, including ALISON SAAR and Chicagoan MARY BROGGER, will create permanent commissions, ranging from monumental sculpture to outdoor benches and commemorative plaques.

Many inaugural celebrations will be part of the unveiling of the new MUSEUM OF CONTEMPORARY ART (MCA), on June 21 and coinciding with the summer solstice. The museum will host a free open house and weekend of plein-air festivities for the general public. The new MCA officially opens July 2 with the exhibition “NEGOCIATING RAPTURE: THE POWER OF ART TO TRANSFORM LIVES”


Dafen Art Community

A chinese officer traveled to Europe with his family purchased a famous religion painting at 600USD and show in his living room, according to his friend who specialize in oil painting, the reproduction is from Dafen villege.

Just like Wushipu, Dafen art community is also one of the famous oil painting base in the world. Thousands of artists working hard for decades in small villege to create a miracle – occupy 60% of the oil painting market in the world. In this community, every artist have to face the test and competition of market. Today, Dafen has formed a system of oil painting production, puchase and sell, which has big scale.


Dafen community located at buji, longgang District, Shenzhen, GuangDong, China. Cover 4 square meter with 300 local people and over 10000 migrant workers. It is regarded as number one art community in China because of over 200 studios and 2000 artists working here. “we can belive that this small villege can be famous because of the oil paintings selling in the world” said by a local Dafen people.

So far, there are lots of art graduates from over 20 provinces in China working here, which attracting more creative artists come to this villege. The oil painting wholesale company, Art In Bulk Inc sold over 1000 Van Gogh sunflower paintings each year, according to the manager, Dan, the price of original artwork cost millions dollars, but a top quality oil painting reproduction is only a few hundred RMB. There are thousands of examples like this.

Why this art community attract so many people take oil painting production as their career? It is because that Dafen formed a complete oil painting lines. The paintings mostly are sold to foreign market, usually art companies in local get orders from art business man in US and Europe and then place the order to artists. In this case, artists can have peace working enviroment,they can get close to the global trade platform, meantime, they also shorten the cost. is one of the most well-known online art site dedicated to providing cheap canvas art to end customers. According to Arthur, the owner, they have signed contract with over 100 artists in Dafen and Wushipu art community to design and create modern canvas wall art.

In the past 15 years, Dafen art community has grown up from a place producing and selling oil painting to a culture base of oil paiting, chinese painting, crafts etc.

Dafen Art

The concept of community in global fluctuations and migratory networks

In an era of global fluctuations and migratory networks, the concept of community appears more prevalent than ever. Especially in public art, where “community” has been relegated to the bottom of the pile as a non-critical expression of amateur creativity, the revived interest in community from government policies to art world trends has been notably on the rise, particularly in linking public art to neighbourhood outreach, education and civic regeneration.


The first inklings of this article began last summer when I was midway through a six-month residency in the UK. I was writing and curating for an arts organization that has been parachuting international contemporary artists into the small town of Huntly to create work around social issues affecting their community. The organization had been working with the slogan “The town is the venue” and the project I proposed was to review the town on an ongoing basis as if it was a perpetual art exhibition, which meant I began reviewing my daily life experiences, from dog walks to pub chats, encounters with racism and exploitation, to explorations of identity through history and global economics. (1) What I ultimately took away from this residency was that the town was never consulted about being “the venue.” In fact, the town had never agreed to participate–but, in the spirit of being good neighbours, it has been accommodating. The arts organization believed it was hosting events for the town, but in reality, it was the town that was hosting the artists and their visitors. In this sense, community was founded on an ongoing negotiation of hosting along with participating.

The surge of community art programs in the UK can be traced back to the New Labour Party politics of conflating community outreach programs with arts funding. London-based researcher Sophie Hope has been actively questioning the implications of increasing public dependency on “a culture of commissioning art to effect social change.” (2) The heavy burden of community art embroils artists and researchers in an ethical quagmire in negotiating the needs of the commissioners with balancing the ecology of an existing community. Hope’s practice-based work resembles an archive of methods and critical reflections on how we negotiate the problems and limits of cultural democracy, including critiquing the status quo of unpaid internship labour and redefining artistic authorship. Her strategy, along with others like the South London Gallery, aim to critically address the complicated role that artists play in commissioned community engagement.

The politics of community art are redefining themselves, often through the filters of process-based collaboration, but there is no consensus, not even a palpable agreement, as to what actually constitutes community art. Ranging from urban farming to public interventions, the umbrella grouping of community art has spawned terms such as “social practice” and “socially engaged art,” which in the end, are non-definitions that have fuelled a backlash of resistance and internal critique within this growing field of production. Nobody wants to be called a “community artist,” but as social practice programs pop up from coast to coast, and funding continues to fuel community development programs, the understanding of “community” is going through its own rejuvenation process.

Feeling So Much Yet Doing So Little: 12 years of Instant Coffee


Earlier this year, Instant Coffee celebrated their 12-year anniversary with Feeling So Much Yet Doing So Little at the Western Front Gallery in Vancouver. Forming in the 9os, inspired by the collectivity and mass-media subversions led by then Toronto-based General Idea and fuelled by an underground culture of risk and transience, Instant Coffee first began hosting events for themselves and their peers. “When we first started,” says Jinhan Ko, one of the co-founders of IC, “anybody could throw a great party–once. We wanted to see if we could sustain this idea.”

The artist collective has never identified with community art, but they have always created work for their community, a community largely defined by their social and professional circles. One of their favourite slogans, “Instant Coffee loves everyone AND you,” is a response to the impossibility of cohesive social inclusion, and one of the most damning critiques of their work is that their events are nothing more than just hanging out with hipsters.

Gathering in their Downtown Eastside studio one evening with all four Vancouver members (Jinhan Ko, Jenifer Papararo, Kelly Lycan and Khan Lee), the social dynamics of Instant Coffee played out over the course of our conversation as four very different personalities emerged under a shared sense of finding value in working with others.

“Some of our practice is about [socially engaged art], but we are not a part of that. It pains us to say that we have never been in the centre of any art world,” quips Ko, who is perhaps the most visible member of Instant Coffee.

“There’s this assumption that working collectively is difficult,” says Papararo, who, along with Ko, was part of the original IC formation. “But working alone in a studio is difficult too.”

When asked about how they have been able to work collectively after all these years, Papararo replies, “We use to say with deprecation it is because we’re all so passive aggressive. As a response it has some truth and merit, and without denial we have all used it as a tactic, but I think we use that response to deflect the question because the question tends to lead us to focus on our individual personalities and not the drive and meaning behind what we do.”

Repetition and ephemerality have become the hallmarks of Instant Coffee, as their exhibitions from Los Angeles to Berlin have turned into marathons of art openings, where night after night audiences are subjected to talks and performances and opportunities to socialize. The audiences that attended their events in Vancouver were largely from an art background, but when IC hosted another public art collective, Other Sights, to discuss the rezoning of the Mount Pleasant neighbourhood, the impetus of their actions became more than just a tagline: Instant Coffee really did mimic the real thing without the pretense of being better. This evening sticks out in my mind in a blur of social happenstances as the main exhibition room of Western Front was packed from floor to ceiling. The atmosphere resembled a town hall meeting and not an art lecture, with dissenting voices volleying back and forth, presenting different backgrounds and perspectives. The event was hosted by Other Sights who in turn were hosted by Instant Coffee, who were themselves invited by the Western Front to occupy their exhibition space. The evening became an actualization of several different communities pulled together under the guise of one commonunity, and their success was the setting itself. Being purveyors of social architecture, a design concept that is consciously expressed through spaces that encourage social behaviour, Instant Coffee’s best attributes are the re-imagination of social settings to encourage new scenarios in existing spaces.

For Feeling So Much Yet Doing So Little, stadium-style wooden seating provided the stage and scene for a series of events. Creating a temporary venue for public space in a city obsessed with private space, Instant Coffee provided a glimpse, if not a taste, of what the arts community was missing, which in the end, may just be a regular gathering place for artists to meet.

I attended almost all of the events over the course of the seven-week run. Lee asked me what I thought the difference was between an event hosted by Instant Coffee and Fuse, the opening-night parties at the Vancouver Art Gallery. My response was that I had never been to the latter. That is the difference. I have no motivation to pay to mill around with the arts community, but I am interested in being hosted. Lycan agrees that IC’s work is an ongoing act of hosting. She says, Its a huge offering, when you consider we’re all working full-time and still putting on events three or four nights a week, it’s exhausting. We all got sick [during] the run of the show. That’s part of why we work in a collective, because we can trust in sharing the commitment and energy it requires to do what we do.”

Common-unity and Uncommon-unity

Whether it’s their light bar or the theatre at Western Front, Instant Coffee are working in a state of perpetual research. They have formalized qualities and gamble on working site-specifically, but as they readily admit, social architecture requires a certain degree of commitment from a largely unwilling community. The same observation about an unwilling community has been expressed by UK-based Anthony Schrag. I met Schrag while working in Scotland and again when he completed a three-month community engagement project with the Vancouver Parks Board. In Huntly, a town with a population of 4,000 and a wariness for strangers, he had fewer problems getting people to engage in his events compared to the resistant attitudes he faced for his residency at Trout Lake Park’s Community Centre.

He says, “Most experiences I have had in North America, generally, reveal a prejudice that ‘art is for artists: As a way of example, when I arrived to start this project [in Vancouver] I was speaking to community members who kept saying ‘Oh, that’s very interesting, I will let my friend who is an artist know about this project: If you explain the project isn’t only for artists, then the assumption is that your project is a workshop for children.”

Beginning this fall, Schrag will begin his PhD at Newcastle University, exploring the role of conflict in socially engaged practices, specifically relating to cultural policy. His research will examine the fundamental policy structures that belie socially engaged art within the public sphere and, like Hope, critically examine the role of artists in affecting change while being submerged within a system of box-checking and meeting funding requirements.

“I think in North America, people need to know an endpoint–they need to know the final product before they engage, whereas, in other parts of the world, people are generally more comfortable in taking part and being part of a larger process without having to know the endpoint,” shares Schrag, who holds both Canadian and UK citizenship. “My most successful community engagement project was in Pakistan where I worked with over I,000 people over three days. I simply created a project that people could take part in if they wanted to, and people dived in, but that was coming from a culture that is used to needing to work together due to issues of poverty and political strife. It seems the more wealth and power there is within a community, the less they want to engage.”

While determining success in a community art project is as convoluted as defining the practice itself, the lack of an endpoint in community art demands a different model for evaluating and engaging work that has been built by multiple authors during an intensive process-based timeframe. Success can no longer be evaluated on the quantity of participation or on the reach of its concept and documentation, but on how effective a project has been for all parties involved. The community is not those left behind after an intervening change, but the community that is formed based on that change.

I recognize that the term “community” is tired and marred, inciting cringes and nostalgia, and lacking any significance on its own. This point was brought up to me by Eric Moschopedis, whom I first knew as artistic director of The Bubonic Tourist, one of Calgary’s most respected and experimental theatre companies. Moschopedis has since completed an interdisciplinary MFA at the University of British Columbia on the creative everyday.

From his home in Calgary where he teaches at the university in the drama department, Moschopedis shares, “There’s been a political shift in understanding community, which is exclusive to our sense of inclusiveness. It’s become common-unity; but we in fact want uncommon-unity. Our communities are structured in ideological bubbles rather than geographical locations. That’s what’s dangerous: we are setting up spaces for dissenting voices or disparaging opinions, structuring them into allocated spaces. We need social relationships and antagonism, because without genuine discourse and debate, we don’t have democracy.”

One of the most productive dialogues to emerge from the field of community art is the notion of antagonism in social dynamics. As a hot topic, through the scholarly work of Chantal Mouffe and Ernesto Laclau, Rosalyn Deutsche and Claire Bishop, encouraging antagonism within communities has become a significant practice in triggering necessary, albeit uncomfortable, conversations about social dynamics through art. The impetus to antagonize shares its pulse with challenging the hegemony of power structures, including those operating within the contemporary art world.

On the importance of retaining an ethos of politics in community art, Moschopedis says, “If you’re creating this kind of work without a sense of politics, then you are at risk of maintaining a status quo or cultural hegemony. Social practice should create context for critique. As artists we haven’t done enough for our audience, it’s our responsibility to share with people, not that we have to dumb down our work, but we have to be willing to talk about it and engage with it. Audiences [for] art shows are almost exclusively other artists. We need to get outside of the framework of the gallery and theatre spaces.”

For cultural producers like Moschopedis, the Dadaists have already asked not what is art, but when is art, and this sentiment fits perfectly with how we can critically engage with community art. There is a wave of community artists that operate as pop-up activities or self-identified artists, and the question should not be if they are making art, but within what circumstances does their labour become art?

As we turn towards the surges of uprisings across North America with Occupy Wall Street (ows) and, happening as I write this, the Montreal student protests, there is once again a vivid encounter between art and politics in the everyday. Increasingly visible is the slew of artists and activists who sit uncomfortably around these seemingly arbitrary lines of art and action, a category that traces back to ACT UP during the AIDS Crisis and throughout the Civil Rights movement and feminism. Artists have always been part of political movements, but the divide between artistic practice and political life is merging once again.

Creative Time’s Nato Thompson’s recent article in Art Papers points out, “It seems absurd to say that artists are a central component of ows. Not that this is inaccurate: an unusually high number of self-identified artists are involved in the movement. But while ‘artist’ might have been used to designate a specific career or person in the early and mid-twentieth century, at this point, it is a catch-all for a generation brought up under vast cultural production. And cultural production isn’t a job. It is a way of existing within space and culture. Identification with this ‘artist’ demographic–people interested in manipulating the cultural symbols around them, aware and participating in the production of representation–is simply part for the course. Art, it would seem, is a central language of this movement.”

There is a correlation that runs through all of this–from the role of manipulating cultural production and symbols in revolutionary movements to the rise of social consciousness in art world practices. The difference lies not in self-identified versus professional artists, but the difference that exists in the point of crisis. In other words, their defining moment lies not in the what and the whom, but in the when of their actions. Community art cannot be prescribed from the outside, but must be self-determined between the collaborators. After all, “community” is a loaded term where ideology competes with the limits of geography and must be self-realizing if it is going to persevere.

Antagonism and Being

Darren O’Donnell, a facilitator for Instant Coffee and now artistic director of Mammalian Diving Reflex, has been increasingly working from a point of anarchy, specifically by empowering children with antagonistic scenarios. With projects such as Haircuts by Children and Eat the Street, the premise of O’Donnell’s projects is based on a utopian prospect for the youth of our society–what the United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child has called “a new social contract” wherein children are invited to be present as children.

O’Donnell writes, “I think that social difference is one of the key ingredients in maintaining a strong social practice. You can’t just have a bunch of artists hanging around feeling cool; or even hanging around discussing critical theory. You have to engage with difference and accommodate different desires. [Thomas] Hirschhorn is strong on this. His monumental events manage crazy participation that is appealing to little kids, Surinamese immigrants living in Holland, and the most famous and current European philosophers.”

In a new West Coast Mammalian group involving school children in Surrey, British Columbia, youth are encouraged to participate in art events once a month as both a group outing and a subtle intervention by an unlikely audience. Familiarizing the kids with art events and vice-versa, O’Donnell is attempting to move beyond discrete categories of social engagement, community art and public outreach.

“Participation is something that people have come to expect from mediated events and situations,” continues O’Donnell. “I don’t think that’s going anywhere and there’s no going back; artists may also sit in their studios and paint paintings, but dynamic immersive experiential work that collides people together is likely to remain an important part of an artist’s repertoire.”

Participation, institutional critique and other meta-art movements over the last 20 years have been viewed as passing trends and memes, but theory does not meet praxis when we simply look at the amount of action-led gestures happening today. Much of the community art currently being produced has come as a response to speculative cultural production and cultural consumption. Community-driven projects are intervening in the face of deregulation, but as this medium of practice grows so must a critical dialogue that understands community art for what and when it is rather than lambasting this form for what it is not–namely, a consumptive end product.

Returning to Instant Coffee’s garish aesthetic and snappy rhetoric, their increasingly non-trademark neon pink and acid orange colour schemes are some of their most dynamic gestures. For their latest public art project in an alleyway off Fraser Street in Vancouver’s South Hill district, Nothing Happens in Good Weather (2011-13), they turned an underused blank alleyway into a visually charged arena for neighbourhood residents to sit and gather. Sharp zigzags of neon pink and black pronounce themselves as you wander into an otherwise nondescript zone. The space is transformed into a path and a setting, with fluorescent painted stumps offered as makeshift seating. Suddenly, the liminal space of urine-soaked alleyways is suggested as a public space for congregation.

Musing on past public art projects, Papararo recalls, “For the Olympics, we were trying to figure out what downtown Vancouver needed, and we ended up with the Light Bar because of the city’s tight restrictions on liquor licensing. We just had no idea how badly people needed it.”

Since the Light Bar, a temporary makeshift bar hosted and frequented largely by visual artists, a number of artist-led speakeasies have appeared throughout Vancouver’s arts community. IC can only speculate on whether they were the instigators of this trend, since no consensus is reached.

“We are looking for meaning rather than offering meaning,” says Lee. “We are looking at the problems here and asking questions. If you don’t offer meaning it’s an easy point to attack, but we like responding to problems–and there are a lot of problems here.”

Arguments continue to break out and prosciutto and pears are served. Throughout the course of our interview, we leap from discussions on foreign investment to the influence of Donald Kuspit. In the end, Instant Coffee has the last word: “Socially engaged art or relational aesthetics–or whatever you want to call it–it’s such a small percentage of people who actually do [it]. What we’re doing is more like a way of being.”

Some Stories Behind the Wushipu Art Community

There is a big oil painting industry in Xiamen, China. Around 8000 artists gather in this city, major area are Wushipu Art Community and Haicang Art Community.

In fact, China has become a very important art exporting country in the world, has three art production base. Two in Fujian Province ( xiamen and putian city ). The other one is more famous Shenzhen Dafen Art community. But why Xiamen art community is less famous?

There are very few customers in the oil painting street where only doing exporting business. Wushipu is the earliest art villege in Xiamen. In LUNDU bus station, there is NO.10 bus to Wushipu. In the street of WUSHIPU, there is also a huge advertisement writing WUSHIPU Oil Painting Village. There are lots of art shops and galleries. While communicating with some shop owners, they said most of them are artists but also employed some artists to create artworks together. In JINLI gallery, the lady said, most of the paintings in his gallery were created together with her husband who was graduated from an art school in Guangzhou and was worked at Dafen art villege as well. But when they heard Wushipu oil painting villege was founded, they came back as they were from Xiamen city and wish to develop their business in local.

Her husband specializes in seascape paintings as he was grown up at seaside, he is capable of creating many kinds of seascape artworks which are also exhibiting in many art whos. Lost of people come here to buy his artworks.

The biggest art gallery here is YIYOU gallery, the owner is also manger of Yiyou company. Most of people who run art business here only aim at oversea maket since the market in China is very limited, many people haven’t realize the value of art, they just regard canvas wall art as very common decorative pieces just like lights and other furniture pieces.

Wushipu art community is created by nature, artists gradually working here during 1980s and 1990s as there are many art dealers come to Xiamen to purchase oil paintings a couple of times every year. These artist also cooperate with art companies. The paint any images supplied by them and get paid. There are 8000 artists in Ximan and over half of them live in Wushipu. There are also 200 galleries, 80 art shops, and over 10000 people working with business related to oil painting dealing with canvas, brush, frames etc. In 2004, oil paintings from Xiamen city already share 18% of the market all over world and become one the largest oil painting production base in the world. Wushipu art community created 70% of the artworks.

But people here also complain abut the rent which is also a big problem for art dealers. In Wushipu, art stree is pretty new, but the community has very long history. Art community here is mainly for creating artworks and art street is in charge of selling, they are connected but also have something in different.

While comparing with art street, oil painting villge is much more lively. You can see lots of dealers and artist art quite busy with their artworks.
After 10 year’s development, Xiamen govement plans to develope this community as an industry.

Xiamen claimed to develop a culture city, technology city and also art city. According to the officer of Huli District, they hope to build Xiamen into a art city. However, there are two areas in Xiamen launched art street. According to Meng, a member of Haicang Art Association, there already have 30 registered art shop in Haicang area, and the number will reach 200 in 2 years. The reason they want to build Haicang art street is that the present oil painting platform in Xiamen can not meet the needs, and it is urgent to build more and bigger business platform for artists. Also the rent is also one of the reason to build another art community here. Indeed, there are lots of artists moved to Haicang because of the cheaper rent. According to Zhen, the artist who also run a shop selling canvas wall art sets. The shop is just for displaying artworks. The real studio is located in the village nearby. Only 1000RMB for 9 rooms which is much cheaper than in the city area. Now he also employed some more artists with students as well. The price for his paintings ranging from 50RMB to hundreds RMB, but art companies sell them in USD to foreign countries.

The US is one the largest art market in the world, but oil paintings from China only share 1.5% of the market. Because most of the paintings are not direct exported to the US, instead, they exported to HK and many other EUROPE countries then to the US.

Dafen oil painting village is a well-known art base in the world, local government pays attention to the development a lot, and also boost the development of other industry.


New Concept of Partnership in Planning a Community in 1973

A formal application will be made to the Surrey County Council for planning permission to double the size of Horley, the 18,000 population town near Gatwick Airport on the London to Brighton road. The plan covers an area of about 800 acres of what is now mostly agricultural land and wvould provide at a capital cost of around 100m 6.000 homes for nearly 20,000 people.

By new town standards in Britain this is nothing exceptional. What is unusual about the Horley project is the approach. It is the largest, and really only major private (as opposed to local authority) new town development since Ebene- zer Howard developed Welwvn Garden City in the 1920s. And it represents an imaginative new approach to planning which has never been tried in Britain before on this sort of scale.

If it succeeds. it would estab- lish an important precedent in the development of new com- munities in Britain, and at a time when the reputation of the private sector developer in the scheme of new town devel- opment has taken a terrible battering.

The Horley project is the brainchild of the family build- ing business, Wates, and more particulai-ly of Neil Wates, its chairman. The experience Wates gained during the 1960s in developing middle class com- munity housing in the south- east led the company increas- ingly to the belief that they were not just in the business of creating physical environments.

They became convinced that developers and local authorities ought to concern themselves with engineering a ” total ” environment for a community, of whlich the buildings them- selves are only a part. The larger the individual develop- ments, the more Wates felt this to be true.

The imagination of the Wates faraily was fired by a relationship they had struck up in the 1960s with Jim Rouse, a vision- ary American businesman wvhose career began with niort- gage broking and progressed to community development on a massive scale. In 1963, Rouse unveiled plans for one of the most extensive community developments in the United States: the new town of Columbia betweeni Washington and l’altimore which wvill, by 1980, have a poptulation of 110,000.

So impressed wvere the Wates with wlhat Rouse was doing in the nIhited States that they formed a joint company with The Pouse Company to build homes at Columbia. Thev also decided to translate the techno- logy and experienice of Columbia -or at least part of it-to Britain.

The genesis of the Horley pro- ject dates back nearly three years when Wates’s land buying team identified the 800 acres to the north-east of the town as a suitable investment. By this stage it wvas known that the Government *was anxious to re- lease blocks of land in the south- east for full-scale community development and the vicinity of Horley. withini easy commuter distance of London and well placed for the plannied extention of Gatwick Airport, seemed as good a location as any.

The first problem was to get the dozen or so major land- owners in the area to form them- selves into a consortium. Options on most of the land were finally secured earlier this year.

For Wates, Horley was going to represent a quantum leap in their whole experience of com- munity development. Rather than go it alone with their own people and relying exclusively on their own experience, they asked McKinsey, the American management consultants, for help. McKinsey have had a lot of experience in the United States working on the planning of new town projects, not least Jim Rouse’s Columbia.

They were brought in by Wates to assist in three maiin areas estimating the likely demand in the new Horley for community services, such as cducation. recreation and health care, and assessing what role the private developer might play in pr-oviding these ; checkinig the financial objectives of .the pro- ject ; and examining the organi- zational aspects of it.

One of the important tasks of XlcKinsey was to clarify the different optiols open to Wates at Horley. Was the new town to he simply another traclitional Wates development composed of a high proportion of youllg families drawn from technical. professional and nmanagei-ial groups, but on a larger scale ?

Or was it to be a community fully integrated with the existing town ? The second option was chosen. partly because of the “ghetto” effect that the first alternative vould create and partly because of the marketing risks inherent in adding a huge increment to the stock of highly priced hous- ing of that sort.

Wates outlined its philosophy towards the new Horley in ain informal submission the com- pany made in March *o the local authority. ” The creation of communities “, according to this document, ” is much more thani the intelligent arrangement and disposition of a number of differ- ing land use forms in physical planning terms. It involves an understanding of the variety of sub-systems which undergird community life, health, education, welfare, leisure and recrea tion as well as the convenient satisfaction of shopping and employment needs.”

The document lists seven goals which underlie the so-called ” Horley process “. These range from “offering a wide range of shelter for all incomes, for rent and sale ” and “providing job opportunities for a reasonable percentage of non-Gatwick pro- duction and service workers residing in an expanded Horley ” to the more grandiose ” reinforcing social institutions and, where necessary, creating new ones, in order to support and enhance existing and proposed health. education, welfare and leisure facilities for the total com- munity ” and ” ensuring the most effective use of physical and human resources so that a fair profit is returned to the developer and a positive cash flow to the local authorities “.

Cynics may argue that all this is well-meaning stuff but really amounts to jumping on the “social responsibility of busi- ness” bandwagon. Wates see their approach as being not only consistent with, but also an integral part of. their ultimate objective, to make profits. The existence of community services creates economic value in a community and therefore en- hances the return of a project to the developer.

There are formidable obstacles standing betAeen WVates and the fulfilment of their 100m dream development. Foremost is the decision-making apparatus of Government and local autho- rities. It is one thing for a cohesive business organization to apply the sort of systems approach to town planning that have been adapted from other areas of modern business.

Overemphasis on this ap- proach tends to ignore the intensely fragmented nature of local authority decision making (local authorities contain up to 20 different departments respon- sible for healtb, housing, traffic, water, sewerage, education and so on) and the political aspects of planning. Economic models, critical path analyses, evaluation and planning technioues need to be tempered and adapted in the sensitive area of community planning.

Wates have so far gone some way towards recognizing this process. They have formed a joint steering group with the local authorities to develop the project. They have taken elab- orate soundings of local opinion, including sending out a question. naire to all 6.000 members of Horley’s electoral register to seek views on community services. (Surprisingly, they re- ceived only 250 replies.) And they have already conducted public sessions to explain the new Horley to old Horley. By the middle of next year Wates hope to have obtained planning permission for their project. If this is granted, the first house will be occupied in 1975 and the whole area completely developed by 1986. How far the whole Horley project succeeds depends in large part on the partnership that Wates manages to create with local government and the local community itself. Such a partnership is capable of revolutionizing approaches to town planning in Britain.

Nail Wates

History of Improvement in The Life of India’s Rural Communities

DEDICATED efforts to bring about an improvement in the life of India’s rural communities have a long history. Prior to indepen- dence, the Governrment of the day ini- tiated several useful policies and pro- grammes. Notable contributions were made by men like F. L. Brayne in Pun- jab and Spencer Hatch in Kerala. Gandhi, Tagore and other national leaders also inspired and sponsored many constructive ventures in various parts of the country.


In the absence of a democratic government and planned nation- wide development efforts, however, the impact of all these sporadic and isolated projects remnined largely in the realms of altruism. Since inde- pendence, the representative govern- ments at the centre and the states have been able to-address themselves to this task in a concerted and planned manner. During the first Five year plan a Community Development Programme was initiated to accomplish the four- fold task of promoting a progressive outlook among the rural communities, encouraging in them habits of coopera- tive action, increasing their level of pro- duction and creating greater Oimploy- ment opportunities. According to a working definition adopted by the United, Nations, community develop- ment is the “process by which the efforts of the people themselves are united with those of governmental authorities to improve the economic,


At a traditional well a village woman manoeuvres the ” bucket “, raised by oxen. Contrasted is a new well in a community development area, where cement and earthenware have displaced the old materials. Russian harvester with windrow attachment In operation on a central : mechanized farm In the Suratgarh area. strative machinery at the district and the village levels, which in the ipast was primarily concerned with collection of revenue and maintenance of law and order, was to be reorientated and streng- thened to play the role of a develop- mnent and extension agoncy. Starting with about 150 community development blocks, the programme has by now established 3,100 blocks com- prising about 370,000 villages. By the end of 1963 all of the 558,000 villages are planned to be covered. By the end of the second plan a total of Rs.2,400m. (?L76m.) was expended on this pro- gramme. The provision made for it during the third plan is nearly Rs.3,000m. A senior official with the title of Development Commissioner directs creating conditions which. within the limits set by scarce resources. could have ensured a sustained growth in agricul- tural output, heavier investments were made in such items of work as con- struction of public buildings, roads and paving of village streets-whose main- tenance is itself becoming a problem.


The local communities, which were to play a central role in conducting the programme, were for the most part asso- ciated with it only in an advisory capacity. The content of the programme was determined largely by the official extension machinery, which also retained the power to implement the schemes, whether biR or small. Even social and cultural con- ditions of communities, to integrate these communities in the life of the nation and to enable them to contribute fully to national progress “. Under this sebeme the country was divided into nearly 5,000 development blocks each of 80 to 100 con- tiguous villages and a popu- lation ranging from 60,000 to 100,000 a block. Each block was to be staffed with a team of technicians and organizers; and provided with a nucleus fund for undertaking development activities. The admini- the programme in each state. Under the auspices of the Ministry of Com- munity Development at the centre, which is primarily a coordinating agency, the State Development Commis- sioners meet twice a year to review pro- gress and to recommend modifications in policies and programmes in the light of their experiences. In each block a cadre of trained and specialized personnel has been provided to assist the villagers in such diverse fields as agriculture, village industries, health and rural sanitation, cooperation and social education. The specialists are further assisted by a band of field organizers who maintain close contact with the community. A network of training centres has been established throughout the country to provide initial training and refresher courses to the personnel engaged in this work.


The activities covered by the pro- gramme include advice on and practical demonstration of improved agricultural practices; provision of seeds, fertilizers and agricultural implements; construc- tion and maintenance of minor irriga- tion works and public buildings and roads; assistance to village cooperatives, schools, rural arts and crafts. Social wel- fare programmes include medical relief, sanitation, adult education and reading rooms. Inevitably a large and ambitious pro- gramme of this nature has had its share of both success and failure. Its out- standing success is in establishing on a national scale an extension organization reaching out to remote villages. Several thousand educated and trained persons, who ordinarily would have stayed on in big cities after their education, are now helping in the transformation of the villages. Notable success has also been registered in construction of schools, public buildings, roads and culverts, and in providing social amenities. Partial suc- cess is also conceded in raising agricul- tural output, revitalizing village co- operatives and aiding village artisans.


The administrative machinery at the district and the village levels sbows increasing awareness of the liberal role it is expected to play in a welfare society. No longer is inducement required to persuade the village people lo take an active part in the develop- ment programme-rather the villagers often outstrip the adnministration in imaginativeness and become restive and articulate about procedural delays. Without detracting from these achievements, many well informed national and international agencies have criticized the progress of the programme in terms of its stated objectives. The bulk of criticism falls on the failure of the programme to maintain an order of priorities between its multifarious activi- ties. Its impact on agricultural produc. tion, the core of the programme, is generally regarded as poor. Instead of the development benefits that the programme did ‘bestow were admitted to have been absorbed largely by the richer villagers. Thus, regardless of the socialistic aspirations of the ruling party, the most needy and .deserving among the village com- munity have so far been the most neglected. Many of these weak- nesses can be traced to the .haste with which the pro- gramme was extended to such gigantic dimensions. There has been too much emphasis on coverage of villages and population by numbers, and too little regard has been shown to the necessity of achieving ooncrete and lasting results. There are as yet few among the several thousand development blocks that have been developed sufficiently to create confidence in the capacity of the pro- gramme to generate a means of self- sustenance and cotntinuity. Fortunately, the authorities have been alive to the weaknesses of the pro- gramme. Various official reports, not- ably the annua1; reports of the Pro- gramme Evaluation Organ,ization of the Planning ComTIsslon, are a testimony to honest effort to discover and present points of failure and lapses, and to make a -frank and critical analysis of policies and activities. The Indian Par- liament and the press have been equally outspoken. As a result, several signifi- cant measures have been introduced dur- ing the last 18 months which have revived hope in .the eventual success of this venture.


Foremost among these measures is the establishment of local bodies-pan- chayats at the village level-elected on the basis of adult franchise. Tlhe presi- dents of the village panchayats. in a block, *together form the panchayat samniti; in the same way, presidents of the various block samitis in a district form the zila parishad-the apex body of this three-tier structure of local self- governing units: These bodies have been vested with administrative, financial and, to an extent, judicial powers relating to deveilopment programmes in their area of jurisdiction. While making this sub- stantial delegation of powers, the stase governrnents have understandably re- tained nzessary safeguards against im- proper functioning of any of these pan- chayat bodies. Legislative effect has been given to this new order in tbe states of Andhra, Assam, Gujerat, Madras, Mysore, Orissa, Punjab and Rajasthan; the remaining states are txpecte4 to folow soon.


In Andhra and Rajasthan, where pan- cheayats were first set up with wide powers, there is ample evidence that priorities of the progtamme have been restored and the pace of development accelerated. oDnilicts have arisen in cer-. tain areas following the elections to pan- chayats, but on balance the emergence of local bodies has done much good- both fiom the point of view of satisfy- ing the community and also of succeed- ing with the development scbemes. An equally important step taken by the Government is to state more expli- citly the priorities of the programme. Bighty per cent of the effort and re- sources have now been committed to step up agricultural output. An inten- sive Agricultural Districts Programme has recently been initiated, with the aid of the Ford Foundation, in seven selec- ted districts. Based on the lessons of the past, suitable policies, prograrnmes and personnel have been provided to these pilot districts, w’hich are to show the way for general improvement Gradually, village production plans in- volving all the cultivators in a village are to be for,mulated with the help of village cooperatives which are expected to work closely with the village pan- chayats-and as an important agent of the latter in the economic uplift of the village.