I wish I could show you,
When you are lonely or in darkness,
The Astonishing Light
Of your own Being.
If we do not stand together, we fall alone.
The thought drifted through my mind as I rose out of meditative silence this morning.
We fall alone when we do not stand together.
When in darkness or feeling lonely, if we do not allow others to show us our Astonishing Light, we see ourselves standing in the darkness of our own Being, alone and separate.
Yesterday, a jury I was sitting on for a City art project, met to review the final concept for the project. The process to get to agreement was extensive and exhaustive. There were many t’s to cross, many i’s to dot to ensure public engagement was complete and an impartial, yet informed decision made.
This was the second time the jury of seven met. First, to select the successful artist group out of 15 or so proposals tendered, to develop the project response. And then, a year later, to approve, or not, the proposed idea.
I am in awe of the process, and the artists, the relevance and importance of each carefully considered step in the jury process.
It struck me that when we hold together in the belief that if we have faith in the jury process, if we trust in the structure within which we were making our decision, the final selection would be a reflection of a group, not just one person. In that group, the collective vision of the city is held. Not one person is responsible for the selection. All of us are.
In the all lay our strength.
Each jurist shared their own brilliance, their unique perspective, their common ground.
We were not all artists. We represented differing demographic, socio-economic groups, with varying needs and voices.
Our diversity strengthened our ability to make a fair and measured decision. Our diversity added value to the final outcome.
Within the process, our differing perspectives found room to be heard and honoured from all points of view in ways that allowed for a fair decision.
Kudos to the Calgary Public Arts team. Their capacity to create opportunities for public input and to allow for diverse points of view in public art selection is creating a city where the arts are integral to the vibrant and colourful tapestry of our city street and park scapes.
Kudos for Dawn F and her team who have faith in the need to add citizen voices to the public art process in our city.