CreateSpace Public Art Forum 2022
An artistic response to the 2022 CreateSpace Public Art Forum, a national forum virtually convening participants who identify as Black, Indigenous (First Nations, Inuit and Métis), racialized, rural and/or youth with disabilities and between the ages of 18-25. Participants were presented with online talks themed around public art practices, studio tours by artist facilitators, a Keynote Event by artist Lori Blondeau, and opportunities to engage with fellow peers to inspire their final creations.
Project at a Glance
“The Dream” was inspired by a series of photos and videos I shot last summer at the Beachpoint Promenade in Pickering. This surrealist landscape painting signifies my love for the waterfront and my relationship with my parents and our family friend who was visiting Canada after her first year of relocating to England. The Making Space speakers discuss how they were able to redefine predominantly white-artist spaces to benefit racialized artists through community and mentorship. I related this to “The Dream” because Pickering is a city that has a predominantly white population. Despite being racialized minorities, we redefined the Beachpoint Promenade as a safe space that summer. The sky that evening was a vibrant array of tones, which reflected onto the lake and created a prism of colours. In her artist talk, Latifa Pelletier-Ahmed discusses building connections between plants and people with the intention of sustainable ecology practices. We were able to enjoy the scenery and embrace the last days of summer together; I created “The Dream” to honour that memory and encapsulate the Beachpoint Promenade’s natural sublimity. Being present with my parents and our family friend in front of the beautiful background was an extremely fulfilling feeling. In their artist talk “Visualizing Interrelationships”, Dee Barsy states that it is important to consider what you are leaving behind for next generations when people look back on what you have shared and put out into the world. I hope “The Dream” leaves behind the positive energy that was present that evening.
About the Artist
Halcyon is a Toronto-based artist and educator. She specializes in painting gouache portraits; if Halcyon isn’t embedding elements of fantasy to her human subjects, her love for animals and nature is inspiring her art and prose. Her creative work has been showcased by the University of Toronto, the Art Gallery of Ontario, and for mental health advocacy and environmental conservation in Canada and the United States. Halcyon holds a Master’s degree in Educational Leadership and Policy from the University of Toronto, and she is always open to connecting with other artists and educators in the community.
CreateSpace Public Art Forum
STEPS Public Art believes public art has the ability to challenge the systemic inequities that exist in public space. In support of this important work, we facilitate artist capacity building programs that foster inclusive public art practices, build the capacity of underrepresented artists, and demonstrate how public art can help reimagine equitably designed cities.
CreateSpace Public Art Forum is a digital forum that virtually convenes participants who identify as Black, Indigenous (First Nations, Inuit and Métis), racialized, rural and/or youth with disabilities and between the ages of 18-25. This forum fosters connections, builds understanding across geographies and cultures, as well as provide emerging equity-seeking artists with the skills, relationships and support needed to develop public art practices. Visit the online gallery to view all artistic responses by the 2022 forum participants.