Saturday, September 27, 2008

Dewdney Avenue "Common Weal" Community Art Project

I attended the panel discussion held at the Albert-Scott Neighborhood Center located at 1264 Athol St. I had an opportunity to hear what artists have done in North Central, specifically "The Dewdney Avenue Project". This collaborative effort explored the narratives and histories within the borders of North Central. The Executive Director of the project, Elwood Jimmy blogs that this art effort is "in response to the negative press people living in the neighbourhood have been experiencing". He elaborates on the goal of The Common Weal" as a way "to develop art projects, but the other half of the equation is to develop projects that promote positive social change within North Central".

The four artists involved in Common Weal are Cheryl L'Hirondelle, whose audio/radio project captured interviews with elderly and shut-in residents of North Central, and which were aired on CBC.
Edward Poitras, Regina visual artist, contributed art installations.
Terrance Houle was involved in a collaborative video project on the community. His portfolio includes powwow dancing, painting, drawing, performances and installations.
Sandra Semchuk, photo artist, exhibited her work on city transit buses.

Other efforts of Common Weal are the Hip Hop and Graffiti Art Projects, both historically practices of inner urban art. There was an overwhelming response as well as participation in thse offerings for skill development.

It appears that art is very alive and well in North Central, and this multi-media project is a reflection of this.

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