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Above: Listening Wall, (detail) as part of Border Crossings, Fall 2017, Art Gallery of Mississauga. Photo: Toni Hafkenscheid.

BORDER CROSSINGS
A Community Engagement Lab

“Borders are imaginary lines, like rainbows and horizons; they recede as we approach them.”
— Unknown

This is just one of the 300 precious stories of border crossings whispered by the community into the Listening Wall, installed at the Art Gallery of Mississauga for this community engaged project. Border Crossings is archeology of the present. The larger ongoing AGM project uses stories and narratives to fuel alternative means of seeing across a broad range of physical and cultural contexts. For seven weeks in the fall, the community’s stories of border crossings – not only physical, but emotional and metaphorical – were gathered through artist-facilitated workshops staged within an immersive community engagement lab. The workshops teased out answers to questions such as: What is a border exactly? What is or has been a border in your life? What defines a crossing? What does it feel like? The overarching concept covers much ground. The Border Crossings community engagement lab was a compelling proposition, accessible to visitors of all ages.


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Above: Border Crossings (installation view) Fall 2017, Art Gallery of Mississauga. Photo: Toni Hafkenscheid.

This project demonstrated the effectiveness of storytelling and art making as a method of provoking insights and dialogue, a rare and unique public experience. In the co-creation of the experience, the participants’ personal stories serve as a catalyst for sharing a deeper understanding of the meaning of ‘borders,’ the implications of crossing them, and the lessons from their journeys. As an iterative process, matters of personal, social, and cultural concern emerge naturally, while the art and writing they produce remain as a record of their reflections.

Border Crossings will continue. And so shall the stories.

Border Crossings is a community arts initiative that will grow larger and more expansive in 2018. For more information, please visit: agmbordercrossings.com


This project is generously funded by the Ontario Trillium Foundation.

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ABOUT THE ART GALLERY OF MISSISSAUGA
The Art Gallery of Mississauga (AGM) is a public, not-for-profit, art gallery located in the Mississauga Civic Centre, right on Celebration Square and across from Square One Shopping Centre. The AGM is generously supported by the City of Mississauga, the Ontario Arts Council, the Canada Council for the Arts, the Ontario Trillium Foundation, private citizens and its members.

FIRST. NEW. NEXT.
The AGM provides platforms for exhibitions, collections and experimentation in contemporary culture with a recent focus on artists and cultural producers from Indigenous, newcomer and youth communities. Through a broad range of educational programs, artist projects and other forms of critical dialogue, the AGM seeks to transcend traditional disciplinary boundaries, foster community, and provide spaces where alternative modes of thought are supported and activated in tangible ways. The AGM is proud to admit people free of charge, serve communities, and provide positive visual art experiences for all visitors.

Art Gallery of Mississauga
300 City Centre Drive
Mississauga, ON, L5B 3C1
905.896.5088
artgalleryofmississauga.com

CELEBRATING 30 YEARS!
Free Admission, Open 7 Days a Week.

Media Contact: Melanie Lowe, Marketing and Communications Coordinator
Email: agm.communications@mississauga.ca

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