Community art is usually about community and neighborhoods where public art is practiced. It usually has roots in the need for social reforms and can be an informal method of education as well. Community art is also seen as a certain art practice or method which includes involvement and collaboration of community members.
The collaborative nature of community arts practices is what makes such art unique. It is usually about art being used for social change as well as empowering certain members who can influence the artworks that are created by artists. This field can have a regional, local and international relevance. Recent involvement in community arts programs is regarding sustainability or environmental issues. These projects help to raise awareness and acts as an interface for expressing views and concerns that are felt in a community, either regionally or internationally. Community arts programs are also used for urban revitalization. In such cases, artworks are created at neighborhood levels, on the walls by the roadside, by parks and other public places with permission given by concerned municipal bodies.
Art programs that engage communities are usually of three distinct forms of collaborations as have emerged from practices over the years. There are artworks which are artist-inspired who act as catalysts for bringing about social change or to address social concerns through his or her works. For instance, a muralist might showcase political issues and concerns through his or her work.
In the second model or approach, artists usually collaborate with community groups. This helps them to come up with unique forms of artworks or ideas of the same. The goal of such work usually involves promotion of awareness as well as discourses with a larger community.
The third model includes a process driven model that involves dialogue. Artists usually engage with a social group to understand the kind of concerns they have. They use different artistic processes or media to express the social issues of the group they work with. Artistic process can be danced as well, which are therapeutic, problem-solving and empowers a group. This might not involve a public presentation but results in artistic works or efforts that are collaborative in nature.
Trends approaches, and artworks that are created in community arts programs differ from one community or culture to another. Many Western countries have centers where such artworks are exhibited. In other places such as Latin American countries, the colorful and bold graffiti on the walls showcase the concerns, ideas, and influences that affect these communities. The current concerns of a city or neighborhood and what people want to do about it are usually showcased through community artworks. These could be in the form of paintings or graffiti on the walls or murals put up in different places.