While art-led initiatives have become commonplace in rural development strategies, the effects of art in rural community settings have received little attention. We seek to address this omission by exploring what art does in practice as part of a community development program. Theoretically, we draw on relational understandings of the practice of art from art studies. Empirically, we utilize data collected through a one-year experimental study involving ethnography and artistic workshops in a remote island community in England. By employing Ruth Liepins’ framework for “reading” the community, we reveal artistic practice itself as a way of “reading” community relationships.