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The Grass Root Art Project supported three new creations by 6 local female activists and artists. These presentations were given at Vines Art Festival on August 20, 2016. I paired up the activists and artists then we met and discussed arts power in the environmental movement and the types of topics we feel need to be shared within our community. My inspiration for this project was to encourage public art that spoke important truths about climate justice and our communities power to create change.
2 degrees by Kelly McInnes and Taylor Pearon was a performance piece and reflection on our unwillingness to give up privilege to meet climate targets set at the Paris Climate Conference. At House, At Home by Elissa Hanson and Claris Figuiera was an installation in Trout Lake Park. They created a structure out of reusable materials that highlights nature and questions consumerism. STATIC: UNHEARD NOISES by Valerie Christiansen and Jadie Clifford Pena was a durational performance piece that portrayed the intersectionality of environmental justice with social/racial issues of women and men of colour losing their lives and families to police brutality, and the media’s influence on our opinions and critical views.
The artists rehearsed outdoors in Trout Lake Park connecting with the community over the months leading up to the performance and discussing environmental issues with them. The presentations were free and attended by approximately 40-50 people per work. They were situated in locations where locals walking their dogs or playing with their children could easily happen upon the performances. We have since shared photos and videos over social media to reach more of the community.
I intend to continue to organize and strengthen collaboration between our local environmental community and art community and encourage important artworks that fight for social/environmental justice. This was a wonderful opportunity to experiment and find potential in this ongoing work. Thank you to the Neighbourhood Small Grants and Vancouver Foundation for your support.
To watch a highlight video of Vines Art Festivals full events click here: https://youtu.be/IEu6QYVGIgo