Every now and then, I get the rare opportunity to work with a group of youth so enthusiastic and dedicated, my own commitment to leading community based art programs is reaffirmed and energized – and the youth at Mount Dennis Public Library did just that. This past spring I had the privilege of working with a stellar group of 8 young photographers, all under the age of 14. We met once a week over two months and although our time together was short, we covered a lot of information and the resulting work they produced was absolutely astounding. Thanks so much, to the participants, library staff, and staff at Vibe for making this an incredible program.
To any of my young photographers reading this: remember, you don’t need a fancy camera to tell a great story. Just keep taking pictures!
This project was organized and funded by the amazing people at Vibe Arts
This summer, I’ll be participating in a residency at the Gardiner Museum as part of the “Make it Real Project.” During the week of August 29th to September 4th, I’ll be working in the museum with artist Amanda Foulds on a collaborative photo based artwork. Come by for a visit during the week, and/or join us for our grand finale celebration on the evening of the 1st!
More information about the program can be found here.
Reserve your tickets here.
Here’s our statement from the website:
LOST AND FOUND with Jennifer Chin and Amanda Foulds
Museums house an archive of objects from civilizations past and present with the expressed intent of learning from these artifacts the stories about the peoples that made them. But not all of the museum’s collections are documented. The museum’s lost and found can be viewed as an unconscious community collaboration of sorts. We hope to work together to study, photograph, and interpret the objects left at the gallery to learn more about the visiting public. The objects will be photographed as though they were accessioned by the museum and then curated into narrative groupings lending themselves to an exploration of questions about ownership, aesthetics, authenticity, and cultural values.
I’m pretty darned excited to see what we find in the lost and found and what work we come up with!
Don’t forget to mark your calendars and join us!!
This spring, I had the amazing opportunity to work on another VIBE Arts Arts For Social Justice project, this time with Westview Centennial, and hip hop dancer/choreographer, Jennalee Desjardins. For this project, the students wanted to challenge the discrimination they feel when they tell people where they’re from. All of the material in the video was created by the students using their smart phones! Jennalee and I helped put it together. Have a look!
If you’re familiar with my blog, you’ll know that one of the organizations I frequently work with is Vibe Arts. Each year, they hold a spectacular annual showcase of artwork created by youth and just looking at the schedule, this year looks like it’s going to be even bigger than the last!
I’m thrilled to announce that one of the projects I’ve facilitated is going to be on display there. The project wrapped up just last week and I’ll be blogging about it soon, but if you’re in Toronto this week, come check it out in person!!
This past week, I spotted small versions of the Vibe Arts paintings done for the Pan Am/Parapan Am Welcome 41 project at Terminal 1 of Toronto’s Pearson Airport! What a welcome sight, and a perfect exhibition location. Well done, everyone!
This morning, the Toronto Star covered the launch of the Vibe Arts posters installed throughout the Toronto subway system for the NBA All Stars weekend (and a poster made by my program in the Weston Mount Dennis Boys and Girls club is featured in the article)! For each poster, we were assigned a single word to use as a theme for the artwork. The final images were the design and creation of the children of the respective programs. Congratulations to all of the participants. We’re all so very proud of your accomplishments. Here’s a link to the article: TTC stations display student’s art for NBA All-Star Weekend
And here are some photos of a few of the murals installed:
Perseverance – by the children of the Evelyn Gregory Branch, Toronto Public Library
Cooperation – by the children of the Evelyn Gregory Branch, Toronto Public Library
Encouragement – by the youth of the Weston Mount Dennis Boys and Girls Club (Photo Credit: Aaron Nelson)
Fitness – by the youth of the Weston Mount Dennis Boys and Girls Club
I’ve been on a hunt for more murals on my TTC trips over the last few weeks and I’ve spotted a few more from programs that I facilitated! All of the young artists were so dedicated and their efforts certainly paid off. Well done, everyone!
This past fall, I had the wonderful opportunity to co-lead an Arts For Social Justice program with the amazing Roshanak Jaberi, VIBE Arts and the CCLET. For several weeks, we worked with the grade 12 students of the Social Justice class at Central Tech High School to produce artworks that addressed a social justice issue they felt strongly about. The class was split into two groups and we worked with the students to choose an idea, a medium to work in, and a method for addressing their chosen issue. What resulted were two amazing videos, different in their approach but equally effective in their message. The videos were presented at the Social Justice conference held at the school. One of which is you can see here.
The fall has brought so many programs, I’ve been too busy to post about them but I thought I’d send an update. Here are some bits of news I can share:
- AFCY announced that after 20 years, they now have a new name! I’ll still be working with them of course and I’ve got programs confirmed through February 2016 and possibly June (fingers crossed). Take a look at their new site: VibeArts
- Through VibeArts I’m currently working on some exciting programs like a collaboration with the Canadian Civil Liberties Association, the amazing Roshanak Jaberi, and the students of the Central Technical High School’s Social Justice class. We’re working together to address social justice issues through artworks designed and implemented by the students. The images so far are amazing and I’m really looking forward to sharing some of the work with you when it’s done.
- Also through VibeArts is another pretty giant mural project that I can’t say too much about yet, but I will post news of the launch as soon as I’m allowed to. This is top secret stuff! Stay tuned!
- My photography classes are up and running at the Avenue Road Arts School and you can take a look at the amazing work the students are producing here and here.
Also, if you’re interested in seeing more, I’ve started a Tumblr account for my education work here. Feel free to follow me!
Have a great few weeks and I’ll be back with more pics soon.
The artwork is finally unveiled! On June 5th, AFCY Executive Director, Julie Frost and TTC chair Josh Colle along with a group of young artists unveiled the artwork for the Welcome 41 project! If you remember from my last post, this summer during the Toronto 2015 Pan Am/Parapan Am Games, TTC subway stations across the city will be filled with paintings done by children across the province, welcoming each of the 41 represented countries. I had the honour of leading a group of young artists from the Weston Mount Dennis neighbourhood in designing and producing of these murals welcoming three countries.
The artwork is unveiled!
You’ll note that none of the names of the countries are painted on the murals, but instead they include visual information such as flags, maps, landmarks, flora and fauna…etc. To find out which countries are represented in the paintings, you can use your knowledge of geography or download a copy of AFCY’s “Cultural Compass” here. Here’s a hint: these three murals will be on display at St. Clair West and Don Mills subway stations. Keep your peepers peeled!
Here are a few images from the unveiling. I’m so proud. Well done, Weston Mount Dennis.