“Find some beautiful art and admire it, and realize that that was created by human beings just like you, no more human, no less.”
–Maya Angelou, in a letter to her younger self
We are thrilled to invite you to join us for A View Through, a gallery reception showcasing the artistic talents of our clients!
August 27, drop-in anytime between 1:00pm and 5:00pm
Bridges Art Movement Gallery, #5 115 3rd Ave S, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan
The overarching theme of this exhibition is layers. Whether it is layered textiles, layered glass, layers of paint, or layers of perception with the use of a camera, each piece in this exhibit offers an opportunity for a new resident of Saskatoon to show us a new side of our city.
This summer, in preparation for A View Through, we offered free photography classes, drop-in textile sessions, glass art workshops, and painting workshops to our clients.
Porfirio is a young man from Panama who attended our month-long digital photography program, as well as our glass art and painting workshops. He has always had a passion for taking pictures, seeing the photographs he takes as snapshots of his mental and emotional state. “I can get inspired by the landscape and the environment, but then when I look at it later, I can feel how I was feeling in [the moment when I took the photo]. It can be a good representation of something in your past,” Porfirio said.
Having arrived in Canada less than a year ago, he feels that the opportunity to document his present emotions came at just the right time. He was very grateful to have access to the expensive equipment (provided by PAVED Arts) required to produce high-quality photographs and can’t wait to see his artwork displayed in a gallery for the first time.
A View Through came out of a collaboration between two of our creative staff members. Jean Price is a beloved Language Instruction for Newcomers to Canada (LINC) instructor at our English Language Centre who also leads our knitting and crocheting programs. She brought the concept for this exhibition to one of our program coordinators, Marissa Evans, who coordinates the majority of our wellness programming.
Jean has an academic and professional background in museum, gallery, and cultural studies which exposed her to the lack of diverse representation in the art world. That perspective is part of what inspired her to initiate this gallery project. “I think craft is a really great way to breach some of those barriers and involve people because all around the world, people make things for their lives,” Jean said, “People put a lot of work and a lot of effort into what were traditionally functional objects and they become things of beauty and they become things of value beyond their function…that seems to be universal.”
Gina is a mother of three from Nigeria who was a science student and business owner in her home country, with very little time or opportunity for artistic practice. She attended three of our gallery sessions this summer and was proud of what she was able to create, particularly in the glass art workshop. “It was really creative, we saw some things that other people had made and then I made a garden, like flowers and a whole garden. I was really happy with myself that I could make something like that,” Gina said.
GGP Program Coordinator, Marissa, said that her favourite part of facilitating these programs is witnessing the improvement in the well-being of our clients. “The moms who get a chance to take a night off and reconnect with who they are when they’re not being mom and caretaker. Or individuals who feel that they are isolated…and then they come to our program and they meet other newcomers who are in that same situation and they bond together. There’s tons of stories like that that I could tell you,” Marissa said.
Fernanda is another client who said these classes were the first time she had been able to sit down and devote herself to an artistic project in years. Growing up as a child in Brazil, she remembers she loved to draw and paint. These sessions reconnected her with that part of herself. “I think it’s important to have time for this, it’s very healthy,” Fernanda said, “We had the opportunity to focus on one thing and forget about everything else, that was the best part.”
“We know that art has such beneficial properties on wellbeing, both physical, mental, social, spiritual,” Marissa said. “There are many studies on the benefits of art, so that’s why I like to have a lot of arts programming.” Prior to joining our staff, Marissa wrote her Master’s Thesis on “Cultural Competency and Wellbeing” in the programs we deliver here at Global Gathering Place. “Things have come full circle where now I have the chance to be directly hands-on involved in helping provide that sense of wellbeing,” Marissa said.
Fernanda and Gina are both looking forward to bringing family to the reception, as well as inviting newcomer friends they met at GGP. We hope to see you there as well!
Special thanks to Bridges Art Movement Gallery, SK Arts, Prairie Glass, Paved Arts and Art Placement for supporting this project, Sheila Schmutz + Dana Mastel for their textile donations, and the talented local artists who facilitated these programs.