The City of Burlington public art program has concluded Phase 1 of the Cultural Nodes Artist-in-Residence project. Working with Arts and Culture staff, artist Lisa Hirmer conducted a 6-month, non live-in residency to research the establishment of ‘cultural nodes’ in Burlington. In addition to attending planning meetings and consulting with key stakeholders, Hirmer created a series of temporary public art interventions to engage, interact and learn from the community. The information learned from these interactions will inform a report that will guide Phase 2 of the project in 2017/18.
Lisa Hirmer is an interdisciplinary artist who has created publicly engaged projects across the world and has worked with University of Lethbridge Gallery, Peninsula Arts (U.K.), Flux Factory (USA), Harbourfront Centre (Toronto), Kitchener-Waterloo Art Gallery, Nuit Blanche (Toronto), CAFKA (Kitchener-Waterloo) and Doris McCarthy Gallery (Toronto) amongst many others.
Participants were invited to warm up while they shared their experiences of the city. Residents were tasked with designing a tea flavour that reflected their experience of their neighbourhood. Participants then get to enjoy a cup of the tea they designed.
Local artists were invited to attend a free public art workshop hosted by Lisa Hirmer. Participating artists learned about making temporary public art in an interactive workshop. Over this two-day workshop, artists had the opportunity to create and develop an artwork concept among other artists. Micro-grants were provided to the artists to cover the material costs of creating their projects. The projects were presented at a one-day pop-up exhibition called ‘Lost in Books.’
Working in collaboration with the Burlington Public Library, the Lost in Books event featured five art exhibits created by local artists: Janet Horne Cozens, Donna Grandin, Vanessa Cress Lokos, George Paisiovich and Sylvie Treu Walsh. The temporary art installations were presented at Central Library as a one-day pop-up exhibition. This provided local artists with the opportunity to learn more about making temporary public art and provided library visitors with a new way to experience the library space.
Art, the City + You was a one day pop-up art project that asked Burlington residents to re-imagine the park as a place of art and creativity in the city. Children and adults alike joined the play-space and added to a collaborative structure that grew throughout the day.