Since the summer of 2016, the Gardiner Museum’s Community Arts Space program has acted as an incubator for arts-based community projects. Inspired by the transformative aspects of ceramics, both real and metaphorical, the Community Arts Space initiates both dialogue, and the hands-on creation of equitable and inclusive cultural initiatives that engage and give voice to local communities.
The Community Arts Space project will be running for the summer of 2018 from July 3 to August 31. This year’s theme, Recent Histories, is inspired the Gardiner’s mission to be an active force in the community, and to truly reflect the histories, lived experiences, and traditions of its publics. Through five different project streams, our partners will transform the Museum according to this theme, activating our 307-square-metre third-floor Exhibition Hall as well as our Outdoor Plaza.
Akin is pleased to be a community partner on this project and will be providing studio space for Louis Esmé, one of the 2018 Community Art Space project partners.
Louis Esmé (Mi’kmaq-Acadian, Irish) is an artist, writer, and illustrator whose social art practice spans over 20 years working within grassroots, artist-run, and academic spaces. A co-founder of Titiesg Wîcinímintôwak // Bluejays Dancing Together Collective, which has gathered knowledge, stories, and desires for re-urbanized Two-Spirit people and their relations since 2012, Esmé’s work is granny craft/old media with social commentary akin to Statler & Waldorf from Sesame Street. For the Gardiner’s Intervention Project, which will evoke participation and educational potential within the expanded field of ceramics, Esmé will make seven clay districts representing the Mi’kmaq Seven Directions in the Gardiner’s Exhibition Hall, lobby, and permanent collection galleries. Vessels referencing Woodland pottery forms will reckon with ongoing colonialisms, while offering witness to Indigenous survivance on the Dish with One Spoon Territory. You can see Esmé’s work on display at the Gardiner Museum from August 21-31, 2018.
Find out more about the Gardiner Museum's Community Art Space Partners by clicking the link below: