Community Art Projects
Working artistically at a community level can have powerful effects. The more people that are involved, the more varied and creative the end product can be. Creating art together offers opportunities for healing, sharing ideas, creating new relationships, and experiencing new points of view. Long lasting effects are felt when the art created together remains in a public place were community members can see the results of their work and new people are exposed to it. It offers the opportunity for a community to come together and strengthen their ties by working together and leaving something beautiful behind as a testament to their work.
For years now I have been applying the bulk of my efforts towards decolonizing work and community spaces and doing my part to help advance Reconciliation. My journey started in 2012 when I first learned about residential school while making a short film up in Fort Nelson. The shock of learning about such an important part of Canadian history so late in life had a big impact on my career. Since making that film I've helped launch a Reconciliation beat at The Discourse to help bring more media focus to Indigenous issues, and as an employee of the Museum of Vancouver where we worked with various First Nations to return artifacts and retell stories that the Museum got wrong. Since becoming an art therapist in 2017 I've focused almost exclusively on how we can use art to advance Reconciliation efforts working on language revitalization programs, with Elders, and encouraging art making as a form of expression for Indigenous Youth at the Victoria Native Friendship Centre. In 2019, I co-created the Art of Reconciliation Project with Tanya Clarmont from the Victoria Native Friendship Centre. That project is about to launch it's second cohort and continues to show work created by it's young participants in galleries in the Victoria area. Plans are in the works to expand the project across BC.
If you are interested in learning about how you or your community can help advance Reconciliation through art, please contact me.
Examples of my Reconciliation work here and here