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THE NEXT 7 DAYS:     EVENTS (17)     +     OPENINGS (3)     +     DEADLINES (12)     +     CLOSINGS (6)
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Join us for an exciting slate of fall programs at the Workers Arts & Heritage Centre

Deborah Koenker: Grapes and Tortillas

September 8th to December 16th, 2017
At the Workers Arts & Heritage Centre
Opening Reception: Friday, September 8th, 7-9 pm. The artist will be in attendance.

Deborah Koenker’s project, Grapes and Tortillas, draws into focus 96 temporary agricultural workers from Mexico, contracted to work in the fruit orchards, greenhouses, farms and vineyards of BC’s Okanagan Valley. These individuals represent a fraction of the thousands of seasonal farm workers who come to Canada every year under Canada’s Seasonal Agricultural Workers Program (SAWP).

This exhibition, a tribute to farm workers’ hard work and sacrifices, highlights the cultural isolation they tolerate to realize their desires for a better life for themselves and their families while reflecting the profound impact of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) on the Mexican economy, food production and the lives of Mexicans. Through the images and words of these workers, this exhibition underlines the significant contribution of seasonal agricultural workers to the Canadian economy, and conveys the real, true cost of our food, and who is paying the price for it.

Deborah Koenker: Grape and Tortillas will be accompanied by a Fall program that will includes two PA Day camps, Farm to Table Printmaking with Ingrid Mayrhofer and Workers Calaveras with Maria Lemus, and a public screening of the film Dolores (Dir: Peter Bratt, 2017) in October, and more. Keep an eye on our website, Facebook and Twitter pages for more information.

Deborah Koenker is a Vancouver, BC Canada-based interdisciplinary artist with interests in writing and curatorial projects, and former Associate Professor at Emily Carr University of Art and Design. For the past three decades she has exhibited prints, drawings, sculpture and mixed media installations in public galleries and artist-run centres in Canada, the USA, Mexico and Spain. She was a founding member and first Director of Malaspina Printmakers Workshop for professional artists.

Her installations explore social and feminist issues using a range of media including audio, text/narrative, performance, sculptural objects, kinesthetic involvement, photography, print, textile and collaboration. Her work in drawing, print media and collage is a parallel practice to her installation work. Koenker received a B.A. from the University of California, Santa Barbara in Fine Art, did post graduate studies at Central St. Martins (London, England), and earned an M.F.A. from Claremont Graduate University in Southern California. Her work is represented in 29 public collections in Canada and the United States.

For more information, contact:
Tara Bursey, Program Coordinator at or (905) 522-3003 ex. 29

Pictured, top and bottom: Deborah Koenker, Grapes and Tortillas, installation views at the Kelowna Art Gallery, 2016

Pictured: T-Shirt designs by Carole Condé and Karl Beveridge (left) and Mary Tremonte (right)

Call for Submissions: Design WAHC’s 2018/19 T-Shirt!

Are you an artist, illustrator, designer or community member with a passion for art, labour, history and social justice? If so, the Workers Arts & Heritage Centre wants your help creating a graphic for our 2018/19 T-shirt!

The winning T-shirt design should take into consideration WAHC’s role as a cultural space that honours and preserves the history, experiences and culture of all workers in Canada, while considering the realities of what it means to be a working person today. The T-shirt will be proudly showcased at WAHC, and sold at our fundraisers, events and public programs over the next two programming years.

The chosen artist(s) will work with WAHC staff towards establishing a final design based on an artwork proposal. The artist(s) behind the winning entry/entries will receive an honorarium of $750.00 for their original design and copyright in accordance with CARFAC-RAAV.

Complete submission details can be found on our website here:

The deadline for proposals is October 1st, 2017. Please forward all submissions to Good luck!

Workers Arts & Heritage Centre
51 Stuart Street | Hamilton, Ontario | (905) 522-3003
Open Wednesday to Saturday, 10 am – 4 pm
Twitter: @WAHC
Facebook: WorkersArtsandHeritageCentre





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