|Etobicoke youth aim to make a difference through art||| Print ||
|Written by Alisha Parchment|
|Friday, 04 November 2011 13:39|
At the Arts Etobicoke Gallery, young artists will have the opportunity to take part in Catalyst, an exhibition intended to initiate alliances and spread a message of acceptance in the community.
Last May, Arts Etobicoke collaborated for a show with Rexdale Pro Tech Media Centre, an organization that teaches youth computer skills and new media programs such as graphic design, digital photography and video production.
After this successful partnership, both organizations wanted to expand diversity and saw the need for more LGBTQ groups in the community, so they decided to begin an after-school art drop-in program for youth ages 12 to19.
“North Etobicoke has very few services for queer youth and there are a lot of problems for youth who are trying to set up gay-straight alliances in their schools,” Cass Reimer, Arts Etobicoke program coordinator, told thedailyplanet.com.
“We decided to combine LGBTQ issues with art workshops,” Terrence Rodriguez, Rexdale Pro Tech Media Centre program coordinator, told thedailyplanet.com.
With several walls in the gallery currently vacant, the group will work together to craft new pieces to display, said Reimer.
“Each week will be something different,” he said, as the group will create art covering the topics of culture, legal issues, body image and history.
Drop-in sessions start Friday and will run until early December, said Rodriguez.
“It is a hopeful vision of the possibilities for the future,” said Reimer.
Two local artists, Angel Beyde and Erika A. Iserhoff, have already started off the exhibition by contributing their own artwork that the students can add to over time.
The first piece, Star People: Ancestries Across the Universe, explores the gender spectrum across the globe and the second entitled, String Theory, centers around a spider creating constellations with single words and poetry.
When the group finishes their projects, they will be on display at the Arts Etobicoke Gallery until January of next year.
“We are really hopeful that meeting these challenges through art can be a way to transform it into something really beautiful,” said Reimer.
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