The Arts

Journaling with Marina Dempster

An Assignment

The children will be asked to investigate our new space and its surrounding areas. There is a rich history in our immediate neighbourhood and they will document its story over time, with a particular emphasis on that which is less noticed. The allegory to this place, which has been a nexus point for industry and progress in Toronto, is found in the workhouses, the factories, the asylums and shelters. So our point of departure, which I hope will help them frame our investigations, will be this:

“A true measure of any society can be found by how it treats its most vulnerable members.” Mahatma Gandhi

When they return from their research and observations in the community, they will have the studio materials at their disposal and they can decide how they want to present their work: letterpress, silkscreen, music, photovoice, projection or watercolour. They will spend the year, unhurried, with time for both contemplation and collaboration working toward a goal of exhibiting/presenting their work at the end. Our neighbourhood has a history of artists working out of the margins, in the disused warehouses and dilapidated shops to create, critique and connect to what they saw going on around them. They were optimistic, found community and in many ways spurred on change in the area. We hope to honour this tradition and encourage the power of “telling” a story through art.