TAC funded coummunity artist residencey I did with Fairview Community Health Centre
From March to June 2010, 130 community members of all ages and 6 youth volunteers came together to create paper mache sculptures with Pamela Schuller, Community Artist. These sculptures were intended to decorate the new offices of Fairview Community Health (the new local Community Health Centre-CHC).
These pieces have formed the first creative and decorative pieces within the health center and they symbolize the connection between the CHC and the community.
The art fell into 4categories: 1. Family art; 2. the Community Tree; 3. the Fairview Wave; and the Welcome Tapestry.
The Family art was created over March Break with close to 80 people who were eager to spend creative time with their children over their vacations. We had participants from all ages and diverse ethnic backgrounds and the scene was quite energetic! Although people were encouraged to create pieces to fit within the motif of a large tree-scape, most participants created whatever was most inspirational to
them. Parents and children worked together to create colourful fish, birds, hearts, butterflies, trees, and many other sculptures. The family art was mounted in the
main entry hallway in the CHC and it has already received many compliments from clients and visitors. People have brought their friends and family into the health
centre just to show them the pieces that they created.
The fact that the art can be moved is very exciting for people who can take pieces off the wall and examine them. The artistic arrangement can also be changed later on.
The Community Tree was created by about 40 people, most of whom did not have
the chance to participate in the March Break programs. For the tree, Pamela cut out
the shapes of the branches and leaves and individuals created their own painted
leaves according to their personal tastes. Each leaf is a colourful reflection of its
creator and is a beautiful piece of art in its own right. However, the piece really
comes together when seen as a whole – each leaf hangs on a large tree that
branches throughout the community program room of the health centre and the tree
demonstrates the diversity and creativity of our community. As with the family art,
people love coming into the health centre and examining specific leaves and asking
questions about their origin.
The Fairview wave was created by about 20 people – mainly older women. The
logo of Fairview Community Health is three waves and Pamela created small shapes
that fit into three waves that could be hung in our
boardroom. The women selected a piece to sculpt mach and then painted based on the theme of each wave.
The three themes were: Suns; Landscapes; and Patterns. The women were
encouraged to paint something that fit within the theme and the final products are
very creative. Having a version of our logo created by community is a great
conversation topic for people who come to the health centre for a meeting or
program in our boardroom.
The Welcome Tapestry was different from the other projects because it did not
involve paper mache sculpture. Instead, participants painted images depicting life
in Canada on squares of prepared masonite. Each participant worked with Pamela
to draw and paint their image and the images ranged from landscapes to symbols.
12 participants each created an image. Each square then had a border painted
around it and “welcome” painted in calligraphy in the 10 main languages of the
catchment area (English, French, Mandarin/Cantonese/Simplified Chinese, Arabic,
Farsi, Tagalog, Romanian, Russian, Dari, Hindi). The individual pieces were all
connected together with copper wire and hung in the “Welcome Room” of the Community Health Centre in order to make the room more inviting and beautiful.