Common Ground: Artists Reimagining Community

Common Ground: Artists Reimagining Community

Although the art world is small and interconnected, sometimes it’s difficult to see the connections. This exhibit, curated by Jennifer Vanderpool, PhD, was inspired by mutual aid societies that assist community members in need. Vanderpool, of CLU’s Visual Arts Department, invited 10 artists to participate, then those artists in turn each invited an artist to contribute, and so on. The project continues to grow like a web, as invited artists are inevitably connected to other exhibiting artists.

The works included in Common Ground — experimental film, music, comics, paintings, photography, graphic novels and more — engage, investigate and question the concept of “community.” The exhibit explores how we, as a communal society engaged in civil contestation, can reimagine what might be by addressing the sociopolitical and economic ruptures laid bare by COVID-19 and the Black Lives Matter movement. Who is empowered to be heard and participate in crafting what makes a happy, healthy, equitable and socioeconomically thriving community? Art, as a mode of storytelling, can facilitate these conversations.

A virtual version of this exhibit, including artist interviews and related panel discussions, is available at

For more information, visit or call 805-493-3697. 


Image credit: Walpa D’Mark, “A Tumorous Hunger,” acrylic on canvas, 42 x 52 inches, 2020. Courtesy of the artist.

Sponsored By
Visual Arts Department