Last October, we invited artists to express their sense of community, whether a literal community of neighbors and friends, or a huge sense of mankind, or a more abstract community—that of creativity, of art itself. The response is stunning—thank you to everyone who submitted work, and to the artists represented here who shared their work with us. We celebrate all of these artists who are celebrating community in their own ways, and each week we will share one with you!

Performance Art | Christen Mattix

Christen Mattix’s passion is connecting the community through art. She has a BFA in Drawing from WWU, and an MFA from the San Francisco Art Institute. Her new show at St. Joseph Hospital is a unique collaboration with a woman with autism and Down syndrome (through January 2016). “I sat at the bench every day and knit, rain or shine, holidays and weekends included. (Though I did occasionally miss a day when I went out of town.)” On Community: From May 1, 2012 to July 16, 2015, I sat for an hour each day at a former bus stop in Bellingham WA, knitting a half-mile link from the bench to the Bay — meanwhile engaging place, people, and time. A form of art as social practice, the work invited social interaction from neighbors who completed the work, holding it in memory long after the installation ended. The knit line was stretched across the street, forcing people to deliberate as to whether or not to drive over art, sparking conversation. The element of surprise, poetry and possibility was vital to the work. On August 1, neighbors and friends gathered to unwind the knit line all the way to the end of Taylor Dock, holding onto the knit rope as we walked downhill together. The project ended with a giant splash and lots of laughter as my dad surprised us all by jumping into the water and pulling the knit line with him into the sunset.