Based on the community book drop-off model, the community Art Drop-off allows individuals to express themselves and find solidarity through creativity and community. Community book drop-offs have been a powerful tool to encourage readings, repurposing used goods, and helping one another. The community Art Drop-off will be used similarly as a tool to combat isolation, improve communities, and embrace creativity.
The Art Drop-off will be placed in an area that is more frequented in order to maximize exposure. The model will provide a dropdown table that will allow individuals to draw on while producing their artworks. Art supplies such as chalk, colouring pencil, pastel, arts and crafts, and paints will be provided within the drawers of the Art Drop-off. There will also be a backboard that the guests can present their art on that will be protected through fibreglass to withstand the elements. Being mindful of all those that would be interested in using this type of tool. Some communities may not be able to interact with the Art Drop-off as accessibly. I hope to work with other organizations such as libraries and resident homes to provide accessibility and mobility to these individuals and find other means for these community members to also gain access to a public good. This model is easily replicable and can be applied everywhere, I hope to be able to create other models and place them within other neighbouring communities as well. This project was inspired by observing the social determinants of health, within the mental health sector the access to having creative outlets and a sense of support through community (Salas, 2020).
Salas C. (2020) What should we expect from art in the next few years/decades? And what is art, anyway? Medium. https://carmensp.medium.com/what-should-we-expect-from-art-in-the-next-few-years-decades-and-what-is-art-anyway-be9f75c3d1ae. Published May 20, 2020. Accessed June 14, 2021.
Our goal is to increase community participation in forms of physical activity that are connected to the land.
We want to increase individuals’ connection with urban green space which is proven to increase social cohesion and decrease stress. We did this by creating a map of St-Henri green spaces for individuals to walk through with small prompts and activities at each stop, with the eventual aim of making more maps, reaching out to schools and nonprofits, and curating an experience through an app and accompanying playlists.
How the immigration makes me feel here… trapped, unwanted, not good enough. I mean… what more would they want?
C’est Quebec icitte, ok, j’ai appris francais, je parle 4 autres langues aussi, si ca vous interesse, mais je pense pas.
Je veux étudier en informatique et physique, j’aimerais ça être une spécialiste en intelligence artificielle et réalité virtuelle, d’impique mais connaissance dans les recherches et dans la physique théorique et expérimentale. Mais non, ca fait 2 années que j’attends ma résidence, sans la résidence je ne serais pas capable de payer l’université, et même si je pourrais le payer on ne me le permets pas, parce qu’ on ne peux pas pas avoir un permis d’étude et une application pour la résidence au même temps, you gotta give one up. Then you start thinking, why would I even need a residency here, there are so many more countries that would need specialists like I will be…if I had stayed in Ukraine I would be getting a doctorate in physics by now… but I’ve already spent 5 years here. Ukrainian international student La Salle College
Read and download the full project as a PDF file here:
In collaboration with the community (of insects, plants and microorganisms), the garden installation provides a space on the street level where people can learn about biodiversity, explore new ways of taking over space and greening the urban landscape with reclaimed materials. The garden is located on the street, in a tree square. Neighbourhood kids of the local schools and residents pass by the area every day and get a chance to read the names of each plant in the space and watch them grow as the season progresses. For insects and plants (commonly referred to as weeds and pests), this installation will provide habitat: a space to live and grow this year and in the future years among the perennial plants.
The Zoom Dining Room is a project born from my personal need to invite friends & family to share a meal at my table during the COVID measures of social distancing.
The concept of the Zoom Dining Room is to invite your guests to all cook the same meal and then come to the Zoom meeting as they would their dining table to share a meal and spend time together virtually.
I created an Instagram page to showcase the Zoom Dinners with the aim to share the recipes and democratize commensality within a larger community.
Economic reason pervades our everyday lives. Neoclassical economics, the dominant school of economic thought today, tells us we’re individual consumers who make rational decisions based upon maximizing individual gains. This type of decision-making is being sold to us in every storefront and taught to us within mainstream institutions. Importantly, this way of thinking is predominant within academia as well. Professors are pushed to publish competitively and students are taught to raise their own grades against the class average. My project focuses upon how this way of thinking pervades art within professional and academic settings. In interviewing visual artists and researching curriculums, I found that visual artists are especially told in school to build their own individual portfolios and to compete for scarce grants and funding. Consequently, ways of enjoying making art together and sharing creative expression are being lost and minimized within artist communities.
Simultaneously, as I walk around the Mile End in Montreal, which is known for its community of artists and is also where I live, I’m struck by the beautiful imagery of community gardens I pass by. It occurred to me that in the same way that community gardens exist as communal and cohesive spaces, which benefit and bring together a neighbourhood, collective art-making could perform a similar role within artist communities. Imagining this, I hosted a collective art session with visual artists in my neighbourhood. Considering that artists are taught to pursue individual gains and portfolios and other artists are often pitted against each other, I prompted twelve artists to collectively co-contribute to one piece. Researching other examples of community and collective art projects, I found many helpful suggestions. Specifically, I found that collective art usually succeeded when there was a specific prompt and that in large groups taking turns can be more helpful than a free-for-all. Considering this, and drawing from the imagery of community gardens, my specific prompt was to draw a garden, with two people adding whatever they wanted to the poster at a time with this imagery in mind. In between these turns of two, we took photos to create a time-lapse of the garden “growing” to emulate the growth of an actual community garden. In introducing this idea, I suggested further that we were not trying to add our own individual images to one picture, we were instead trying to cultivate each other’s art and ideas to create one collective shared vision. In doing so, we were aiming to create shared experience and empathy in order to cultivate cohesion against individualism for us as artists.
By presenting the final product as the growth of the garden in a time-lapse gif, we were able to emphasize the process more so than the outcome. Each new growth of the garden was someone’s contribution and reaction to the growth left behind by someone else. Importantly, such a project was easy to organize, only cost around $25 in art supplies, and is therefore very reproducible. Artists who partook and did not know each other connected through the process and I have multiple friends who are now friends with each other. I propose that hosting such events on a regular basis would be a creative and feasible way for communities and cities to cultivate networks of artists and neighbourhoods. Moreover, as art-making should not be confined to only those who consider themselves professional or pursuing artists, I suggest this type of activity as a form of community building for all neighbourhoods in the same way that community gardens are used. In focusing upon the imagery of the growing garden, people may be brought together by the process of being creative rather than focussing upon any individual finished product as is usually the goal in our daily lives.
The Idea Walking with my grandmother and picking flowers to press. Once dried, the flowers will be enclosed in handwritten letters and sent to those in our community also experiencing forms of Covid isolation.
The need “Social Isolation During COVID-19: Older Adults are Surviving, Not Thriving” (Sinai Health, 2020)
CATS 631 GD Wicked Problems: SICK! Social Innovation through Creative Knowing
Over the years, the Loyola campus of Concordia University has undergone various transformations; from adding or rerouting paths to adding and removing buildings, etc.
As they spend a lot of time on campus, members of the neighbourhood feel a sense of belonging and even of ownership about the space. As stakeholders from the university are involved in changes that are beneficial for sustainability and our environment, discussions about wished changes include getting rid of parking lots, adding pollinator plants and trees, etc., leaving out an important stakeholder. This short project seeks to offer a glimpse into the ways this space is also home to neighbourhood residents with open gates and an open space that stands as a welcoming home space for people from the neighbourhood. I wonder how we could in fact use the university campus to promote change in society, to inject values of fairness and equality, and respect for all. This is something I try to do in the mind-heart-mouth garden, but I want to do more of this and provide an example that others might follow to promote resilience in our communities.
I consider this short video as a pilot project. It was filmed with my cell phone with the original sound over about 10 days. A longer project will use proper film equipment and sound recording and further editing.
Balance, attention, hearing and vision are key components involved when performing daily life activities. However, healthy ageing can lead to hearing and vision loss, or troubles dividing attention between two tasks (e.g., talking while walking), resulting in poor balance.
During her residency at the engAGE Living Lab, Berkely Petersen, a graduate student in psychology at Concordia University, investigated how vision loss, hearing loss and multitasking impacted older adults’ balance. She will share her findings including the many age-related factors that can impact balance and increase falls risk.
Deborah Maia de Lima, a postdoctoral fellow at McGill University and initiator of the Movement Hive at the engAGE Living Lab, will tell us about the role of this intergenerational safe community space in enhancing self-awareness and self-acknowledgement of the body. In the Movement hive, the participants can play, move, and experience their bodies through dance and spontaneous movements, following a routine in each session to assure safety and best practices, allowing everyone to participate as they are.
Come join us to hear the presenters, participate in the discussions around challenges and safe practices with movement and balance.
Come join us to hear from Deirdre Potash, an artist who found meaning in art-making and teaching art for fun in the community. Nga Pham, Gilles and Shantie Audet are artists in community spaces and avid learners.
The presenters have something important in common: they found the benefit of expressing themselves through visual imagery, the pleasure to do art for fun and well-being.
During the pandemic, Deirdre, owner of ArtWill Studio and teaching artist with a varied practice including a specialty in cultural mediation, offered free art courses online for the community. Her intention was to foster tactile exploration on a personal level, shifting the education courses into just making the participants have a good time.
Nga is a member of the art hives community and enjoys learning new things and challenging herself with new art techniques. She will share her artistic progress after participating in the art hives and art classes.
Gilles and Shantie are a happily married couple that started the artistic journey after retirement, about 4 years ago. They like to experiment with different media and different artistic styles and work on refining their sketching abilities and techniques.
We will explore this ongoing journey based on multiple visual arts experiences. Please come share your experience with the arts and how it shaped your journey of discovery.