For nearly a year and a half letterpress printmaker Bryce McCloud traveled around Nashville-Davidson County inviting people from all walks of life to take part in a community public art project titled Our Town. At each location, McCloud and his team set up their mobile art studio and gallery, which operated out of a custom made bike cart. Participants were supplied with grid paper, handmade rubber stamps and black inkpads and instructed on how to create their own self-portrait. After making a portrait, they were photographed with their completed artwork which they would then trade for a letterpress print created at a previous location.
Our Town actively engaged Nashville in a conversation about community and enticed people to participate in art-making who otherwise wouldn’t. The project visited 50 locations across town--homeless shelters, concert halls, police stations, coffee shops and everywhere in between—inviting Nashvillians to step out of their comfort zone and join in a community-wide art experience.
A collection of Our Town portraits will be added to the permanent archives of the Nashville Public Library and digitally on the Our Town website. For more information about the project, visit ourtownnashville.org.
Phase 2: From the personal to the public
Our Town: Together Heroic
Equipped with specially designed stamps 20 times larger than those used to make Phase I's self-portraits, the OT crew will transform the personal act of making art into a public performance of the creative process. The new portraits will be stamped on massive canvases, exploring and celebrating Nashville's creativity. Occurring at three locations in fall and winter of 2015, the Together Heroic events will be multi-day events meant to bring people together through art.