If you had any questions about how active the Blender community is, you would only have visit www.blenderartists.org once to quell those doubts. The primary community Web site for Blender artists, this site is the main place to go for English-speaking Blender users.
BlenderArtists.org (or BA.org, as many affectionately refer to it) has some news and a gallery, but the main life of the site can be found on its forums. Here you can see artists of all skill levels sharing their work, learning new features, offering tips, participating in contests, and engaging in idle chitchat.
A particularly cool thing on the BA.org forums is the Weekend Challenge. Late Thursday night (GMT), a theme is posted. Participants have until the same time Monday evening to model and render a scene to fit that theme. At the end of the weekend, the community votes on a winner, and that winner gets to pick the theme for the next Weekend Challenge. This is a great way to find out just how good you really are, and it's a lot of fun, too!