Social Change

Activist Collaborations:
Templates for Activism: an interdisciplinary collaboration spearheaded with Dr Elizabeth Sheehy, Ottawa U.  Developed with an international feminist law community over six years.  Creative Convergences in Feminist Art and Law. Atlantis: Critical Studies in Gender, Culture & Social Justice. 30.2, 2006, Pgs. 63-75. Sheryl Peters. 

Foret Raciste:  Anti-racist installation in a river-edge park. 
19 trees featuring faces, ears & speech-bubbles, “spoke” negative jokes or cruel slurs about other tree species.  Collaboration with playwright Vivienne Laxdal.  Curated by Annalee Adair, funded by Heritage Canada.

Public Art Contexts:
Monument Against Violence: Minto Park, Elgin Street, Ottawa
Monument for Anti-Poverty Activists: Ottawa City Hall, South Lawn

Environmental Contexts:Flower Petal Mandala Project: A zero-footprint approach to cultural activism for a small community wanting to expand its local library into the vacated fire-hall.
Red Before the CearCUT: Community actions to save old-growth trees before extension of A-5 highway.
Wakefest TreeDressing:  Activating a rural village to establish a tradition of dressing up the village’s precious trees for Wakefest, an August multi-arts festival.  TreeDressing is currently in its third year.

Educational contexts:
Social Entrepreneurship Models designed for MASC, for delivery in Middle, High, Adult schools.  Students approached 2 and 3 dimensional projects on themes of “Identity” and meaningful ways they could link to society, as they moved from personal exploration to performative and interactive projects for their communities or locales.
Moving Forward After Genocide – Shaping Public Space
MASC Residency with St Luke’s Elementary School students in Ottawa, many of whom were connected to events of the Rwandan Genocide.  Visionary teacher, Wendy Alexis works with her students on many issues of human rights.  Considering the 10th anniversary of the genocide, students worked in small groups to explore ideas of homage, peace and reflection through Public Art spaces.  They  created scale models, complete with engineering, site plans and descriptive texts about what kind of activities could take place in their new sites.  Students shared their ideas about how their public art could honor thousands of lost lives, help in healing processes and contribute to good City planning through presentations, photo-documentation and a final party with a broad audience of supporters.

Design of Art-Tools for Social Justice and National Workshop (Ottawa Arts Court), with Community Chair of Justice, Church Council on Justice

Community Collaboration Contexts:
Sensitive Understories
:  Collaboration with the Mayor’s Youth Task Force for City of Markham, in Beaupré Park.  The extremely diverse group of Markham older teens helped conceive this installation, using 23 languages and 2 simple statements: a query and the word care.   Written on hundreds of lightweight, colorful brains and hearts, suspended in young trees, the installation explored ways to approach the back-story behind so much park vandalism in the park and a recent teen murder at a nearby high-school.   As the summer passed, most of the text-covered brains and hearts disappeared from the trees.  Technically, “understory” refers to the delicate new growth in this park’s regeneration plans.

The Plato Project: Identity Sculpture and Light Projections with street-identified people and social justice organizations in Ottawa, ON.  Funded by Ontario Arts Council.