Written by Mary Kroetsch

Creativity has no borders. It is not restricted to a place or time. I truly believe this.  

I also believe that creativity is not limited to talent of any kind and can be a powerful incentive for people to gather and use their voice to be part of conversations while making marks.

Guelph is part of Culture Days Regional Hub program which is called “So Guelph” because our town’s, and I quote, “creative community embodies values that define Guelph – curiosity, compassion, innovation, collaboration, diversity, environmentalism, and activism.” 

Image Courtesy of Mary Kroetsch

With the support of the Guelph Civic Museum, my Culture Days project is called “Creativity Is:” which invites people to meet in a public space for free and finish this sentence with a single word scribed in any fashion and then using tools to make the word scream loudly with any kind of mark making. I envision beautiful words made ugly and ugly words made beautiful.

The aim is to offer a safe place and space plus a little time to share something that a simple three-word sentence defines. Maybe that is as far as it will go for some and they may not use their physical voice any further, but simply by being present, people will undoubtedly soak in the atmosphere, reflect on it, and perhaps be moved to open up and say just a little more.

To join in, drop by the small, green roof picnic pavilion at Riverside Park (across from the Healing Garden) on Sunday September 24th, 2023 between 11:00AM and 3:00PM. There are no people, age or talent restrictions, so everyone is welcome to join the conversation and share some company.

Participants will be given an index card on which to create their word and mark making tools to decorate it. These cards will be donated to the Guelph Civic Museum as an inspirational gift to help curate a future installation/exhibition that will partner the words with rarely seen artifacts found in their collections, lifting them out of the shadows and dusting them off with a splash of (your) contemporary voices. Through those three-word sentences, new conversations can begin, perhaps unveiling additional meanings and undiscovered truths in items in the Museum’s archives.

It is not mandatory that participants donate their “Creativity Is:” word by depositing it in one of the colourful recipe boxes that will be provided, but all those who do will receive credit when an exhibition takes place.

The ultimate goal for this Culture Days project is to gather as many people in Guelph as possible for some conversation and company while making marks. Conversation not only conveys and sparks ideas, but also enthusiasm and passion. Everyone’s experiences, expertise, and opinions are unique. Sharing them with others can foster a creative environment that is open and welcoming to many people coming together for a brief moment of understanding, tolerance and unity.

Mary Kroetsch is a practicing Visual Artist. Her work concentrates on creating and archiving identity – documenting, tracing and even memorializing it through abstract imagery sharing imagined stories that can raise multiple conversations about individuality. Her artistic practice is research-creational. To learn more about Mary check out their website here.

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