Junction Creek – Where the River Flows: Brady and Douglas Street Annual Community Cleanups, Tree Plants and Sculpture

June 2005–Present

In the Spring of 2005, Myths and Mirrors Community Arts adopted a large section of Junction Creek alongside Riverside Drive and Brady Street. The annual cleanup accompanied the work previously created in respect to community involvement in environmental awareness and continual participation for its care. The Brady Street site sits aside our “What Lies Beneath” pedestrian underpass mural taken place in 2002 with the Junction Creek Restoration Committee at the corner of Sudbury’s West End and downtown area. The annual cleanup follows through with the reminder of our accountability to the protection and care of our water sources. The cleanup brings residents from the surrounding neighbourhoods out together for their annual neighbourhood participation in the cleanup, offers a place for environmental education as well as a place to exchange neighbourhood and community stories.

The Juntion Creek Birdfish
June 05–November 05

After the June 2005 cleanup and tree plant, a group of 15 artists and residents came together under the guidance of the Junction Creek Stuartship Restoration and lead local aboriginal artist William Morin. The project focused on the creation of recycled sculptures, re-using garbage that had been found in our local water streams to stand commemorative of the community’s work in contributing to the care of our environments. The outcome was a large permanent sculpture entitled ‘The Birdfish’ and was created with bicycle parts, bedframes, microwaves and electronics that were found at the corner of Brady and Douglas Street site river and was unveiled with a press conference on October 27th, 2005.

Please feel free to view community photographs of some of the community cleanups, tree plants and garbage sculpture project taken place at the Brady Street site here: https://www.flickr.com/photos/mythsandmirrors/sets/72157617276847839/

Silkscreen Workshops
February 2005

In the Spring of 2005, a group of young artists in our community asked Myths and Mirrors to bring in an collective of inspiring silkscreen artists from Montreal to share with us their process and techniques for our coming collective artworks. Artist Nick Kuepfer and Andre Guarette joined a group of 30 young residents to design and create t-shirts and posters using light sensitive photo-emulsion, light tables, screens and fabric ink. Daygristle (Nick Kuepfer’s silkscreen art company) is an independently-owned operation working with artists out of Montreal who provide fair priced workshops, artworks and services creating custom made silkscreen artworks to musicians, artist groups and independently owned businesses throughout Montreal creating works with artists of clothing, posters, and music packaging. He worked with the popular screenprint collective ‘Seripop’ and has toured internationally with groups and their works. The workshop led to a series of silkscreen collectives who continue to create beautiful artworks with the techniques we learned together throughout Sudbury.

Rehearsing Utopia
November 2004–June 2005

During the fall, winter and spring of 04/05, a series of six first time video shorts were created by a core group of 25 local youth over a period of eight months, led by local video and film artist, Lori Paradis, exploring the theme utopia/dystopia for their video short building. The groups brought us from dump sites and and bio-hazardous pickle factories to industrial working sites, through train yards to dancing on rainy days in the street to capture their footage and sound. The project brought us through exploring with many different artistic mediums from script writing, set design, costuming and character-building workshops to create the young participants’ shorts. The outcome of the project was a public projected outdoor wall screening of the six shorts in a public parking lot in central Sudbury. More than 250 people attended the drizzly cold evening with loud laughter and warmth under their blankets and the night’s sky. The group was accompanied by the opening of a touring group called ‘Wildfire’ who stomped up the energy into the beginning of the show.

Please feel free to visit a short collaboration video from the ‘Rehearsing Utopia’ project opening here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RMAdQokgKEQ

¿Kiswije? : Le cri d’une identité franco-sudburoise
Juillet 2005-Septembre 2005

¿Kiswije? was a francophone performance piece led by artist Miriam Cusson, and collectively created by a group of eight local francophone youth artists who created a series of dynamic multi-media performance artworks exploring the theme of be/longing. The play was performed at la Galerie du Nouvel Ontario on September 3, 2005 with an audience of 65, who gave it an enthusiastic standing ovation, and participated in an hour long discussion about their creative expressions after the play.

Une présentation poético-théâtrale au sujet de la situation “franco-ontarienne”, présente et passé.

La soirée comprend plusieurs présentations. Vous pourrez tenter de répondre à la question: Qui suis-je?, un texte par Christian Pelletier, avant de vous rendre au Franco-Ontarian Virtual Heritage House, un texte par Félix Hallée-Théoret. Vous pourrez aussi rencontrer une jeune fille qui apprends les mots: No thank you, non-merci, un texte de Mireille Renaud. Finalement, vous pourrez tenter de survivre à la Détox, un texte par Christian Pelletier.

C’est une soirée qui risque de vous provoquer et d’espéremment vous faire réfléchir. Ce projet est rendu possible par les arts communautaires Mythes et Miroirs et sous la direction artistique de Miriam Cusson.

Building Hope: Utopian Dreamscapes
June 05–August 05

During the summer of 2005, artists Christian Pelletier and Tanya Ball facilitated community engaging workshops entitled ‘green-washing and landfills.’ The two delivered two weeks of workshops at Better Beginnings and two weeks of workshops at the Carrefour Francophone for community participation for leading public engagement in reflections about their dystopic fears and utopian visions and for our neighbourhoods if we could collectively recreate it. The workshops created opportunities for the Flour Mill community to come together and share dialogue about local environmental concerns, collectively design and create a project with their findings. Together the team designed sculptural artworks and installations expressive of their ideas of utopia and dystopia using salvaged and recycled materials in neighbourhood scavenger hunts that were found throughout the pathways and alleyways of the Flour Mill and Donovan community.

Once completed, all of the participants installed the sculptures at the Flour Mill Heritage Museum and invited the public to join them in their interactive artworks. The exhibit also featured food donated by the museum and music by local francophone musicians. The incredible sculptures included a favorite by many, the ‘Technotree,’ a seven foot tall sculpture created with neighbourhood garbage that was transformed into an interactive environmentally sound device equipped with recycled computer components that prompted questions to those who interact with it in responding to their visions of utopia. This creation was also another interesting method that was used for the creation of a database to gather knowledge reflective of community interests and needs in our community.

Teen Parents New Life Celebration: Cloth Diaper and Bib Clothesline Project

In the fall of 2005, artist Tanya Ball was generously offered the opportunity to work with a diverse group of twenty teen parents and their babies in the creation of a teen-led community art project. The group began to meet regularly on Monday evenings for supper, share with each other some of the things they faced as teen parents and what they wanted for their new family lives. The group collectively created a series of beautiful handmade bibs, cloth diapers, and quilted blankets with their own reflective artworks, photo images, and text using india ink on paper burned into light sensitive emulsion on coated screens then printed on their sewn fabric materials for the completed collective artworks. For the group involved the project was a way to communicate awareness of teen pregnancy, express what they faced as young teen parents, build confidence, self-awareness and self-esteem, express their love for their children, build strong relationships with each other, build a foundation of local support and connect with others in the community through the shifts they were experiencing in their lives. The unveiling hosted a public place for them to invite their friends and families in sharing their joys, challenges and experiences. Working with Better Beginnings, Better Futures’ Baby’s Breath Program and Myths and Mirrors Community Arts, the group collectively featured a public art exhibit at the Sudbury Arts Council through the winter of 2005.

Please feel free to view a few of the ‘Teen Parents New Life Celebration’ project photographs here: https://www.flickr.com/photos/mythsandmirrors/sets/72157617371842510/