Art as a Tool for Change Symposium

Memory of Dome, Nasim Makaremi Nia, 2021, cut mirror, sanitary napkins, thread, acrylic on canvas

Eastern Edge Gallery’s Art as a Tool for Change Symposium

March 3rd to 5th, 2022

The Art as a Tool for Change Symposium starts next week on Thursday, March 3rd until Saturday, March 5th, 2022! This project recognizes art as an empowering tool to facilitate critical dialogue around feminism, anti-racism, 2SLGBTQIA+ rights, environmental activism and so much more. Join Eastern Edge for a weekend full of discussions, workshops, and presentations that will highlight diverse artists from across Canada, whose work is empowering, inspiring, and challenges social paradigms! Throughout the symposium we will explore the question: As artists, how can we create art that has the power to affect change? Participation in this symposium will be free, with public events taking place online and in-person.

DAY ONE – Thursday, March 3rd
How do we as artists create work that inspires others to engage in critical dialogue with social, political, and environmental issues?

Artist Workshop: Nasim Makaremi Nia
Nasim Makaremi Nia will facilitate an embroidery workshop where participants will learn about traditional Persian carpet-making and patterns while discussing the censorship of menstruation and womanhood in different cultures.

Panel: Making and Materiality with Larry Weyland
Materiality influences making. Materiality is a tangible way to relate. Materiality plays a crucial role in informing how we connect to the world around us. This panel will discuss how research methodologies in contemporary craft-based practices uncover deeply rooted narratives through making. Artists Nicole Travers, Nico Williams and Bruno Vinhas will join Larry Weyand for a conversation about process and material practices as tools to connect to land, place, and community.

Film Screening: Body House with Bruno Vinhas & Valentine Gaia Lops
Body House is a collaboration between St. John’s-based textile design – theatre artist Bruno Vinhas and Italian visual and dance artist Valentina Gaia-Lops to create a multidisciplinary installation that draws from dance, text, photography, video and textile art in its storytelling.

aqua, Violet Drake, 2022, mixed media, acrylic paint on canvas, digital painting

DAY TWO – Friday, March 4th
How are contemporary artists engaging with archives/histories and using art as a tool to reshape these narratives?

Artist Workshop: Violet Drake, Developing Queer Poetics at the Atlantic Edge
During this community dialogue guided by Violet Drake, we will creatively and critically explore identity construction through storytelling, vocal development through writing and performance, and how issues of representation and exclusion complicate the lives and practices of gender and sexually diverse creators playing with poetry residing in Ktaqmkuk.

Panel: Archives & Histories with Daze Jefferies
Panelists, Faune Ybarra, Beck Gilmer-Osborne, Excel Garay, and keynote speaker, Bushra Junaid, will explore how contemporary artists work with and against the silence, stories, and gaps that structure colonial archives. Rendering counter-historical timelines of closeness, touch, and reparation, creative practices offer ways to confront and challenge the precarious past.

Artist Presentation: How to Build a Ruin, Performance by Hazel Meyer & Cait McKinney
How can we think about ruins alongside other erotic modalities, like “to be ruined.” To poke at these questions, the performance follows a winding path: from the Spomeniks of the former Yugoslavia, to the moss, rot, and fecundity of Vancouver, a city that is always wet, to speculation about what Minnie Mouse has been doing in Toon Town since Disneyland’s COVID closure.

This Much I Know, Ethel Brown, 2021, Archival Inkjet print, silkscreen

DAY THREE – Saturday, March 5th
How do artists use art to explore their relationships to place, the land, the body as land, environmentalism, land back movements, etc?

Artist Workshop: Ethel Brown
How do we view ourselves in relation to our environment? What does it mean to belong, and who gets to decide? In this workshop, led by Ethel Brown, participants will explore how text can be used alongside images to create a visual dialogue in the form of diptychs.

Poetry Reading: Douglas Walbourne-Gough, Michelle Sylliboy & shalan joudry
This poetry reading will highlight the work of three Atlantic Canadian Indigenous poets whose work explores their relationship to place and the land.

Artist Presentation: Meagan Musseau, March 5, 1819 – March 5, 2022
Meagan Musseau [Mazoo] will offer an action referencing Shanawdithit’s drawing, “the taking of Mary March [Demasduit] on the north side of the lake”. 203 years later, Mazoo will collaborate with Shanawdithit’s marks as a way to continue re-telling the narrative from an Indigenous woman’s perspective. This action also stands on the shoulders of contemporary dialogue brought forward in Rebecca Belmore’s video artwork, “March 5, 1819”.

Film Screening: Spruce Root Basket with Evan Butler
Through the Canadian Council of Arts funding the Bay St. George Mi’kmaq Cultural Revival Committee hosted a 2-day Spruce Root Basket workshop with basket-maker Dan White. This project was completed in 2019 and was filmed by Evan Butler. Join us for a film screening and discussion with Evan of Spruce Root Baskets.

For more information, visit our website.

Thank you to our funder, the Canadian Artist Presentation Fund (CAPF).

Images by Marcel Brown and Ethel Brown of M + E Photography.

Eastern Edge Gallery
72 Harbourside Dr
St. John’s, NL
A1C 6K1

Eastern Edge Gallery is a partially accessible venue.

Facebook and Instagram: @easternedgegallery