At a mixer event held at the LIVE! on Elgin on November 17, AOE Arts Council announced the eight jury-selected artists and arts groups who will engage with the community through a third year of its successful Art Place professional artists-in-residence program.
“It has been amazing to watch Art Place evolve over the last three years. Support this year from the Ontario Trillium Foundation, Community Foundation of Ottawa, the Community Foundations of Canada’s Community Fund for Canada’s 150th, the Shenkman Family Foundation, the Danbe Foundation and the City of Ottawa’s Community Arts and Social Engagement has allowed us to increase the duration of this year’s program,” says AOE Arts Council Executive Director Victoria Steele. “Over the coming months, eight artists or arts groups will spend 10 to 15 weeks developing social arts practice projects with participants from a paired non-profit organization. This extra time will give artists an opportunity to build stronger links within the community. Land artist Marc Walter, for example, will be using public space on Jasmine Crescent and will offer youth and community members a meaningful opportunity to work and create art together.”
The 3-year Art Place project, made possible with foundational support from the Ontario Trillium Foundation, is an embodiment of engagement, a core value that AOE Arts Council holds high amongst its priorities for the next five years. The Arts Council designed this program to create opportunities that will bring artists together with each other and the broader community to share ideas, and foster support for different forms of art as a way for residents to express opinions, barriers, conflicts and emotions about a social situation.
“Not all seniors have savings or strong connections within the community,” says Ana Maria Cruz, executive director of Club Casa de los Abuelos. “Most of our seniors came to Canada to help look after the kids in their families. Many of them don’t really have anything to do now that the kids are in school and they do not speak English very well. Projects like this get them out of their cocoons and connecting with each other.”
The 2016-2017 projects will be created through various art practices to include theatre, dance, music, storytelling and visual art. Art Place challenges artists to work in spaces where there is a gap in artistic programming, such as immigration service facilities, community centres, and seniors’ residences.
Though visual artist Bozica Radjenovic shares an immigrant background with the Latin American seniors at Club Casa de los Abuelos, the seniors represent a new group for her to work with. “I am also looking forward to working with elders because it is something I miss in my art practice. They have wisdom that I still do not have,” she says. “And I am looking forward to learning some Spanish words.”
Some of the projects are underway; while some are in the final stages of arranging their selected group of participants and a host site. Artists were asked to provide a detailed summary of their project to identify a particular group they wanted to work with, those who would benefit the most from their residency.
Since its inaugural year, this art as social practice professional artist-in-residence has provided 40 local artists with paid opportunities to offer unique free-of-charge artistic collaborations with community agencies across the city of Ottawa.
Art Place 2016-2017 Projects
|Project||Artist(s)||Participants and Host Community Site|
|Kathy Armstrong||Working youth (ages 8-12)|
|Marie Bilodeau||Working with seniors|
| Visual Art and Storytelling
|Brenda Dunn||Working with youth (16-30 years old)|
|Sasha Dominique|| Working with seniors
Host site in negotiations
| Visual Art
|Horseshoes and Hand Grenades|| Working with new Canadians
South Nepean Muslim Community Centre
|Bozica Radjenovic||Working with seniors|
|Naomi Tessler||Working with new Canadians (adult and youth)|
|Marc Walter||Working with youth and the community
Eastern Ottawa Resource Centre – Jasmine Crescent Safety Committee
Project sites: Jasmine Park, Gloucester Emergency Food Cupboard
For a detailed description of the all the Art Place projects visit: www.ArtsAccolade.ca (Art Place).
Throughout the process, all Art Place projects will be blogged by AOE Arts Council as well as the artists themselves. Images, videos and insights will be posted on the Arts Council’s ArtsAccolade.ca and a dedicated Facebook page (Art Place d’art). All projects will be featured at the showcase celebration on April 2, 2017.
The artist’s showcase will be preceded by a symposium in March 2017 based on the Arts Council’s findings from this pilot project. During this two day event, the Arts Council will encourage a rich exchange among artists and community members about the value and role of community arts projects.
About AOE Arts Council
AOE Arts Council has been working with Ottawa’s Arts Community for close to 30 years to build a vibrant and sustainable sector. As a dynamic, bilingual arts service organization, we connect, champion, and collaborate to bring resources together that build a thriving Ottawa Arts Community. We do this by:
To request interviews with the artists or for more information about AOE Arts Council’s activities contact:
|Cassandra Olsthoorn, Program Manager
Tel. : 613.580.2767 email@example.com
| Cristiane Doherty, Director of Communications
Tel. : 613.580.2767 firstname.lastname@example.org