Susan Day: In Our Midst

In Our Midst
Susan Day

446 York Street, London, ON

Renowned artist Susan Day, whose work has been exhibited throughout Canada and internationally, has left an indelible mark on London, Ontario, through her large-scale mosaic murals engaging diverse communities. Among her most notable works is the artist’s eighth and most recent local project, In Our Midst. Developed in partnership with Regional HIV/AIDS Connection (RHAC) and Western University’s McIntosh Gallery, In Our Midst is located at 446 York Street at the entrance to Carepoint Consumption and Treatment Service, the city’s first supervised consumption site.

Not merely a mosaic mural, this public artwork offers a profound expression of solidarity with those affected by the ongoing opioid crisis. Comprised of thousands of handmade tiles, many of which were contributed by individuals impacted by substance use, this artwork marks a community commitment to the lives and wellbeing of people who use substances in our city while honouring those lost to overdose and drug poisoning.

Under Day’s mentorship, numerous community tile-making workshops were held throughout 2022 and 2023 generating over 10,000 unique tiles, each bearing the distinct imprint of its creator. These tiles, adorned with fingerprints, patterns, and symbols, collectively illustrate the expansive impact of the ongoing opioid crisis, both locally and nationally.

Commissioned in 2020 by McIntosh Gallery and its former Director, the late James Patten, the mural aims to address stigma and loss related to London’s ongoing opioid crisis. London has witnessed a sharp increase in opioid-related deaths in recent years. In London-Middlesex, 129 deaths, 126 hospitalizations and 1,036 emergency department visits were associated with opioid poisonings in 2021 (according to Public Health Ontario).

Reflecting on the project’s impact, Day expressed gratitude for the opportunity to engage meaningfully with individuals affected by addiction and substance use. She emphasized the alignment of her work with Carepoint’s mission and its dedication to harm reduction in London.

This remarkable project was made possible through the generous support of Good Foundation Inc., alongside contributions from Pottery Supply House and Tucker’s Pottery, highlighting the collaborative effort that brought this vision to life.

While the public is encouraged to visit In Our Midst, respect for the privacy of Carepoint’s clients and staff is paramount. For inquiries about Carepoint’s services or other programs offered by RHAC, their website serves as a valuable resource.

About the Artist
An established artist whose work has been exhibited and celebrated across Canada and internationally, Susan Day has collaborated with the local community to create many large-scale tile murals and installations. The forthcoming mural will mark the artist’s eighth public work in London. Visit susandayceramics.ca to learn more about the artist.

About Regional HIV/AIDS Connection (RHAC)
Regional HIV/AIDS Connection (RHAC) is community-inspired and dedicated to positively impacting the lives of individuals and diverse communities living with, at risk for and affected by HIV/AIDS and Hepatitis C. London’s Carepoint Consumption and Treatment Service is a program run by RHAC.

About McIntosh Gallery
A university-based, public art gallery since 1942, McIntosh Gallery collaborates with artists, curators, and academics to develop innovative strategies to interpret and disseminate visual culture. Exhibitions, educational programs, and special events provide a platform for engagement with visual art and artists. McIntosh Gallery acknowledges the support of the Government of Canada through its Museums Assistance Program (MAP), the Canada Council for the Arts, the Ontario Arts Council, Western University, Foundation Western, and generous donors.

McIntosh Gallery
1151 Richmond Street
London, ON, N6A 3K7
mcintoshgallery.ca
Facebook / Twitter / Instagram: @McIntoshGallery

Our Hours
Monday to Friday: 10 am – 5 pm
Saturday: 12 – 4 pm
Sundays and Holidays: Closed

McIntosh Gallery offers free admission to all exhibitions
We regret that McIntosh Gallery is not wheelchair accessible.