In 2019, GAC and 10C Shared Space began developing a joint Artist-in-Residence program that seeks to elevate and support Indigenous artists and creatives. Working with Indigenous Elders, artists and community members, GAC and 10C have created a program framework and philosophy to guide the next stages of this project. The current framework reflects our hopes, questions and ideas for this residency. Themes that have emerged in our process include decolonization, community engagement, relationship building, and supporting all corners of the creative spectrum. We aim to create long-term and short-term residency opportunities, and are interested in developing satellite locations in urban- and rural-based spaces that would integrate art and creativity into the broader community.
In working on this project, GAC and 10C are grateful for the guidance of this project’s Steering Committee, as well as for the Elders, Indigenous artists, other artists and arts professionals, and community members who share their wisdom and experience. We also recognize the funding support of the Ontario Trillium Foundation.
GAC and 10C will continue to seek community partners as it begins the implementation of the pilot project. Interested community members are invited to contact Paige Bromby at [email protected] or Patti Broughton at [email protected] for more information.
Summary of the GAC & 10C AiR Pilot Project Framework
So far, our project framework includes four main categories:
- Soil building – Creating and Strengthening Intergenerational Networks and Community Relationships
With focus on intergenerational relationship building, mentorship, and group support. Additionally a long-term focus will be placed on decolonization and active allyship; healing amongst Indigenous communities and settlers and the diversity of community members and artists.
- Sprouting Ideas & Creative Expression
To make space and time available to animate creative ideas and expression. This includes all types of creative expression, including painting, dancing, beadwork, storytelling, literature, and essentially any creative act or art form that can be considered an expression of ‘everyday life’.
- Opportunity for Creative Expression to Come to Fruition
There will be optional opportunities for artists/creatives to have their creative ideas and expression showcased. We will show the value of in-process work and of supporting creative expression with no ‘final outcome.’
- Growing deep community roots. Cycles and Succession Planning
We hope to work within a A living framework with community partners and Elders which will need to be developed and centered around long-term relationships, continued learning, adaptation, and long-term sustainability of the program.
Art in Everything: Artists’ Talk with Don Russell and Peter Schuler
On June 17, 2021, GAC and 10C welcomed the community to a captivating virtual artists’ talk with multi-disciplinary artist Don Russell and Elder Peter Schuler. This talk provided space for community members to learn more about an Indigenous perspective on creating art, how art can connect individuals to their communities and the land, and the importance of providing artists with the time and resources to continue making.
Don Russell is a multidisciplinary artist of Acadian and Mi’kmaq heritage. He was born in Stephenville, Newfoundland in 1970 and currently resides in Cambridge, Ontario. Russell’s ancestors have lived on this land for untold generations and this connection to the geography and cultural heritage infuses his work at every turn
Peter Schuler is a grandfather and Elder of the Mississaugas of the Credit. Peter is a minor founding member of Kinomaagaye Gaamik: Lodge of Learning at New Credit and has co-taught a course entitled Introduction to Indigenous Environmental Knowledge with Professor Dan McCarthy at the University of Waterloo.
VIDEO: Art in Everything: Artists’ Talk with Don Russell and Peter Schuler