This year, visual artist Brenda Dunn ran a series of creature sculpture workshops with the youth in Hintonburg through the Somerset West Community Health Centre and with the Adoption Council of Canada as part of the Art Place program. She shared her final thoughts on her time in-residence and her experience working with this group of Ottawa residents.
How would you describe your overall experience with Art Place?
It was an absolute pleasure.
What are some of the most significant things you’ve learned through out your project?
Kids are amazing, fearless, resilient, and handsdown the best artists to co-create with.
How was your project a success?
I wanted to bring the process of making things to a group that might not otherwise have access. This was absolutely the case in every single workshop. No matter how big or small the group, there was always an enthusiastic willingness form the kids to jump in and I am so glad to have been able to bring that to them.
What do you intend for audiences to see, experience, and think about when learning about your project?
I’d like them to be brave about making things, to see that it’s fun, and to get into the state of mind where making is a reward unto itself, not too attached to the outcome or what exactly you aim to produce.
In what ways did or will the community benefit from your project?
People got to play. The kids got to do something funny and silly, and even the adults who were around would catch on to the playful nature of the sculptures.
In your opinion, what did the participants learn from the project?
That they are all artists. Everything else they knew already.
Did the participants feel that arts and culture offerings are physically, financially and/or geographically accessible to them? Did participating in this project change this?
The kids weren’t really thinking about it those terms – they were just excited to be engaged in a new activity. I think the teens at the Adoption Council of Canada might have had more of a sense that this was an unusual activity to participate in, but it’s not something they shared with me during the workshop.
Do you have anything else you would like to share about your project or the program?
I loved the process. The Art Place program itself is incredible. Timely, well run, and absolutely crucial.
Click here to read Brenda’s blogs and to learn more about her Art Place project with Somerset West Community Health Centre.