Community Bridge transformed a plain, concrete traffic bridge into a catalytic, large-scale work of public art that engaged the community in its creation. Artist William Cochran and his assistants used permanent silicate paints on all six walls of the bridge to create a highly detailed illusionist painting. "Carved" symbols gathered from thousands of residents and participants from across the USA and 30 other countries appear throughout the artwork, interpreting commonalities and giving the bridge a collective voice. Community Bridge has four major features that express common community ideas, culminating with Archangel, a remarkable anamorphic projection. The bridge draws thousands of visitors a year and helped spark over $300 million in public and private development around it. The long-stalled Carroll Creek Park is now filled with public amenities, public art and art bridges along a once deserted, crime-ridden, concrete no man's land. Click any image to enlarge.
• Community Bridge is located on Carroll Creek at Carroll Street, adjacent to the Delaplaine Visual Arts Education Center (directions: www.delaplaine.org/about-2/hours-directions/). There is parking on the street and in nearby parking decks. The bridge is open 24 hours a day and is an easy two-block walk from the Tourism Visitor's Center. Call 301-600-2888 for more information.
• See The Story of Community Bridge, for a 30 minute video in three segments on YouTube that tells the remarkable story of this unusual artwork. This video is used regularly by the US State Department in Iraq and elsewhere as an example of successful creative community-building.
"The concept of this initiative has been replicated by groups nationwide . . . Today the bridge has become a symbol for shared values all over the world [and has] been tremendously successful at uniting people, building a broad sense of ownership, creating synergies between sectors, redirecting public and private investments, and strengthening communities for change." –– Nil S. Navie, Arts in Peace Building and Community Development