Paige Madden is an Urban ArtWorks volunteer, helping us out and also putting some paint on walls. We asked her for her thoughts on public art and its role in creating engaged communities:

How did you find out about Urban Artworks?
I googled “arts organizations Seattle” and found ArtWorks!

Which project(s) did you work on with us? Which one was your favorite?
The First Hill I-5 pillars and pizza boxes for We Are Unicorns. I liked the pizza boxes because it was such a unique way to show my art and volunteer for an organization.

Tell us about yourself, where did you grow up / how did you find yourself in Seattle?
I grew up in Findlay, Ohio playing soccer and swimming. In college I played soccer on the school’s team while studying Studio Art. I have always been interested in art – from photography to ceramics to video, I think my current work reflects all those interests. I moved to Seattle last year. I have been visiting family in the area since I was young and always knew I would end up here, it was just a matter of when.

What in your personal life has influenced you to choose your career path?
I do not feel like I am on a career path yet. I hope to pursue a career in the arts at some capacity. In school the only classes I ever enjoyed and put effort into were art related classes. I always felt comfortable and free in those environments.

What do you do to keep yourself motivated and interested in your work?
Working with a new medium or learning a skill helps me stay motivated. Right now I am learning how to play the guitar. It requires so much patience to learn an instrument but when I practice I can hear my progress each time I play. Knowing your time and energy is improving your ability with something is very motivating to keep exploring and creating in all other areas.

Where do you get your inspiration from as an artist?
Michael Jackson.

Which is more important to you, the subject of your painting, or the way it is executed?
This is an interesting question….neither. What is important to me is how I feel when making the piece.

In your opinion, what are some ways that public art helps create a sense of community?
Public art creates a sense of community because it requires others to share ideas, resources and time.

What are your thoughts about public art as a tool to reach young people?
I think it is one of the more effective tools to reach young people. The space that art occupies has always felt safe to me, especially as a kid. It is important to keep those spaces and provide guidance so that young people can explore within themselves and with others.

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