July 1st was a great day for the Great Art for Great Lakes Beach Social at Providence Bay, Manitoulin Island.
Opening of the Town Square, and with Julieanne Steedman our Great Lakes artist on hand to collect Great Lakes stories for her sculpture of the same name, there was plenty of discussion on their connection to Lake Huron. Everyone is excited for the installation and unveiling on Aug 11th.
I am now part of a community group going by the name of Save Our Spring (SOS) in response to the proposed closure of the Ancaster Well where we get our drinking water. The groups website and details on our actions can be seen here: http://saveourspring.ca/
We had our first public meeting with over 85 people in attendance. Here is a short intro to the evening, with additional videos on the website.
If you are interested in getting involved, please contact myself or the group. Thanks.
Our team at Waterlution & Greatness: The Great Lakes Project would like to thank all of you for participating in our Great Art for Great Lakes'Great Food. Great Lakes. event last week! We are writing to let you know that we have drawn the names for the Tales from the Toilet Giveaway, and have contacted the winners.
Here's a special invitation from artist, Andy Berg, inviting you to join her Free Lake Ontario Shoreline Discovery Walk,Wednesday, June 21st at 3pm!
"Guided by Andy Berg, the community is invited to engage in the artistic discovery of the Lake Ontario shoreline and environs. Participants will learn to use Andy Berg’s artistic process of by-chance random discovery of the local lake environment while we walk along the waterfront and explore our local Great Lake.
We will discover both natural and human made contributions to our Lake environment, gather information about our Lake through all of our senses and learn how to “read” the Lake Ontario environment. We will record observations, sketches, stories, impressions of the day, and key words about Lake Ontario into a Great Lake Sketch journal which will be provided for each participant.
Participants will then be invited to bring their Great Lake Sketch Journal to the Free Aqua Viva Free Clay-Making Workshopon June 28th as a resource for generating ideas, as well as for creating special community elements for the stoneware clay wall work called Aqua Viva. The completed Aqua Viva community wall work will be installed and unveiled at the Tett Centre for Creativity and Learning at the end of the summer.
Join in the creativity, celebration and sharing of Kingston's Lake Ontario greatness!" - Andy
SPECIAL INSTRUCTIONS: Be sure to bring a snack, water bottle, sun hat, sunscreen and insect repellent. Wear sturdy shoes as we will be off the paved trail at times.
Andy's Free Aqua Viva Free Clay-Making Workshop coming soon on June 28th also at The Tett Centre!!
Get ahead of the line and sign up for her Clay-Making Workshop. Email firstname.lastname@example.org with your choice of time of day for June 28th:
11:00am - 1:00pm, or 2:00pm - 4:00pm, or 5:00pm - 7:00pm
"Participants are invited to join with local sculptor, Andy Berg in the Activity Room at the Tett Centre for Creativity and Learning to assist with the Kingston Great Art for Great Lakes Community Maker Event.
The June 28 Maker Event will involve making special community elements in clay for the shallow relief wall sculpture entitled Aqua Viva, which will be unveiled at the Tett Centre in late summer as part of the Ontario sesquicentennial celebrations. The creative focus of Aqua Viva will be our interrelationship with the waters of the Great Lakes and in particular, Kingston’s local lake, Lake Ontario.
Kingston is uniquely situated in the Great Lakes fresh watershed as Lake Ontario narrows to form the gateway to the St. Lawrence River. As a community we have much to consider and celebrate. Each Maker session will include a guided visualization process, learning about artist gathered shoreline objects that are both human made as well as from Nature (including objects made by a local keystone inhabitant, the beaver!), group brainstorming for visual meaning, content, keystone words and/or text about Lake Ontario, and finally creating a unique clay element which will be included in the completed Aqua Viva wall work. Get your hands on some clay and celebrate by helping to build Kingston's Aqua Viva community art project! This is a FREE event open to teens and adults and no prior art experience is required."
The Living Waters Project creatively, interactively, and collaboratively explores and discovers the story of water in a Mississauga school community. Taking place inside The Roots garden, children in grades 1-5 completed workshops that included drawing, building, and planting in the garden as an access point for discussion around our connection and relationship to water.
I want to thank the Art Gallery of Mississauga and TD Friends of the Environment for providing the funding.
Here is my wrap up video. It has been fantastic, I hope that entire school community continues to enjoy the garden as it grows through the years.
I was asked, as part of Waterlution's new website, to contribute to a blog with a focus on issues around the Great Art for Great Lakes project.
I thought I would share these thoughts here, as they point back to my practice, and the research taking place within it.
Art as a Tool for Social Engagement and Energizing
Communities Toward a Sustainable, Collaborative Future
practicing socially engaged artist, I have directly experienced the impact my
work has had on a community and the individuals that make up that community. Great Art for Great Lakes (GAGL) gives
artists the opportunity to directly inspire, connect, and create a lasting impact
within their communities—to inspire those around them, and specifically, to
shape and construct our relationship with the Great Lakes upon which we all
rely. Artists play a critical role
in enabling the public to connect and reflect upon the often forgotten
importance of the Great Lakes in our daily lives. With GAGL—through a socially
engaged, participatory project led by a local artist—a platform is built where
the public is integral to the project, dialogue, and the creation of the final
work. The extended installation period of each final work really allows for a
protracted narrative on the Great Lakes, and allows both the artist and the
community participating to sense the impact of their actions.
The aesthetics of
collaboration points to a process where co-creating is paramount, and the local
narrative is accessible as a common ground all while working within the desire
for beauty and empowerment. This process of uniting diverse experiences and
knowledge culminates in the production of visually powerful artwork that is
concrete in stating the participants’ involvement and pride of creation through.
Collaboration is about listening and speaking to one another. The act of
dialogue is an integral part of the final artwork truly operating alongside the
object. The object will only become fully successful through that dialogue it
Art and social function,
as discussed by Stephen Willats, “[Is] the
realization that all art is dependent on society – dependent on the
relationships between people,” and that is a “culture founded on networks of exchange, fluidity, transience, and
mutuality.” Great Art for Great Lakes embraces these methods in order to
create a framework for public art that stimulates the sense of celebration and
ownership. If we are to contribute to a sustainable future, we need to move
beyond the established binaries in order to develop new processes, new uses,
and new ways of understanding how we are, in ways we experience everyday,
connected to the Great Lakes and the fresh water.
I encourage anyone
reading this to inspire and be inspired by the contagious and powerful energy collaborative
art can bring to a community, and join us as a participant, artist, listener
and friend of the Great Lakes.
Project Lead, Great Art for Great Lakes
The Machine of Awesome Bright Liquid Blueness. Granville Island, Vancouver. BC. 2016
I was asked by GreenVenture if I could build a bike rack from recycled materials. Being an environmental education centre, they needed a bike rack, but didn't want to purchase a commercially made unit.
Three bike frames and a rowing machine frame later, their new bike corral is built, installed, and ready for spring. It will secure up to 6 bikes comfortably. Thank you GV for the work and I hope it gets lots of use!
As I move The Machine of Awesome Bright liquid Blueness back onto the studio wall for fresh programming and a tune up, I wanted to post this video of a participant winning fresh water at the Charles H. Scott.