How has the Art Gallery of Mississauga developed since its creation in 1987, and how does it continue to grow? AGM intern Alexandra Hartstone has been hard at work at creating a book that documents the past 27 years, and looks forward to future of the institution. In this post, she takes a look at programming at the AGM, particularly Camille Turner’s (un)settler community journal project, which aims to document the hidden histories of the city, through the voices of its residents.
Alexandra Hartstone, Curatorial Intern | Special Projects – Georgian College
Programming and events at the AGM are not only actively setting in motion the Gallery’s mandate of bringing art to the community and the community to art, but also finding clever ways of doing so. Through new initiatives and focus, the philosophy for programming, based around: engage, think, inspire, is a means to support artists while connecting communities in interesting and thought-provoking ways. With the theme of 2014 as the role of the artist, the Art Gallery of Mississauga has brought forward contemporary and introspective exhibitions supported by programming that brings together artists and communities with platforms for activism, discussion and learning.
In 2013, the AGM launched its first-ever artist in residence programme with Camille Turner. The programme is intended to activate the Gallery’s mandate and support initiatives surrounding the role of the artist in a city layered with diversity and culture. (un)settler, Turner’s ongoing collaborative, community-based journal project is circulating through the pockets and corners of Mississauga as a means to explore the many stories and voices of the city and its residents. Since it began, the project continues to make contact with new hands and grow, gaining momentum as it stitches together the social fabric of Mississauga while crafting a portrait of the identity of the great and diverse people living here. Investigating themes of identity, belonging and home, Turner’s (un)settler focuses on socially-based art practices as a way to connect with and make art accessible in a meaningful and untraditional way. A beautiful sample of how interactions between communities and artist inform one another, the project represents a great collaborative feat supporting new relationships and dialogues in the process of socially-based art making.
Built upon education and engagement, the AGM programming takes a hands-on approach as a platform to facilitate the discovery and interaction of visual cultures, the role of the artist, and community building. The Gallery positions itself as a cultural centre that supports collaboration and growth through its programming initiatives, which continue to address themes vital to the landscape of Mississauga and its residents. Along with every exhibition at the Art Gallery of Mississauga comes thought-provoking programming developed to cross all boundaries and engage with all participants. Get involved and join the movement!
Thank you to Alexandra Hartstone, for this glimpse into AGM history, both distant history and the more recent past. We hope you enjoyed this foray into the rich past of Canada’s smallest — but mightiest! — public art gallery.