‘Art in Hard Times,´ 2020. Multi-media ensembled digitally. 36 in. x 72 in. Lives virtually.
How is this pandemic impacting us?
People reflect on the layered happenings during COVID-19 lockdowns.
Art in Hard Times invited 75 people, 10 local artist facilitators, and 8 organizations to generate a sense of community and decrease isolation through artistic audio/visual recordings, which comprise a digital mural. In June 2020, as we were looking for ways to hold space for creative expression and community-building during the COVID-19 pandemic, Art in Hard Times aimed to amplify the voices of those who identify as newcomers, LGBTQ21+, Black, Indigenous, people of color, street engaged, adults with developmental exceptionalities, and/or youth struggling with mental health and addictions. During a time of isolation, the project offered an opportunity to connect with other Guelph locals to feel emotions, reflect on justice and life purpose, learn better ways of being, play, engage in art making, and think critically about the layered happenings during this time. Stories varied from mass protesting, racial discrimination, and white supremacy to cultural heritage, connectivity, and nature.
For HomeWebsite, click HERE
Facilitators: Lori Guest, Fan-Ling Suen, Kavya Yoganathan, Shera Mekhail, Michelle Miranda, Charity Cruz, Abby Nowakowski, Ahmri Vandeborne, Alisa McRonald, Michelle Peek.
Guest Artist Witness: Joni NehRita
Social Artist Lead & Facilitator: Melanie Schambach
Partner Organization: Art Not Shame, Guelph Neighbourhood Support Coalition
Funders: Canadian Red Cross, The Guelph Community Foundation, Centre for Community Engaged Narrative Arts, Canadian Mental Health Association, United Way, The Guelph Community Foundation, Guelph Community Response Fund
"As someone who recently came out and feels part of the LGBTQIA+ community, I have struggled with feeling valid in a community that I belong to. Due to internalized homophobia, our current society, and my own confidence with my sexuality I have had trouble feeling like my voice in this community is valid. As a white cis able-bodied female I hold a lot of privilege, and I recognize that my struggles within this community are far less than others. For this piece, I wanted to turn my insecurity on its head in an affirmation of “I BELONG”. These words hold me accountable, and help me to feel valid being who I am. I hope they can do the same for others. We all belong."