Cuisin-art Therapy?

On June 7th our 100-in-1 Day project, Art In A Blender, took to the streets (well, the curb) and with a ton of art materials we stood ready to rock out in front of Central Neighbourhood House.  I arrived early to fidget with stuff, assisted by  Youth Program Coordinator Chantel Guthrie.  I was told that cameras might arrive impromptu-like, and arrive they did – right at 1:00, when we’d done precisely nothing!  (Slight dread ensues.)  This first volley of camera peeps head back off on their bike route to other venues.  Shortly thereafter, videographer Steven Tran and pal Tuan Le are on site, ready to film us in action.  Luckily, there’s an interview component to their agenda.  I start to answer some questions and twenty minutes later, BAM!  A dozen kids materialize from CNH and Community Corner – the latter escorted by After School Program Facilitator Rani Rivera, looking extremely stylish.

It was amazing how fast things exploded.  Really, exploded.  True to its name, in fifteen minutes maybe, half the front courtyard was blenderized with alive and vibrating kooky little doodles and the beginning of two paintings, one of which looking a wee bit Basquiat.  The other was an odd case.  The group of young men working on it, from CNH’s Boyz II Men Club led by Raymond Koyo, conspired intently to cover the surface of their ginormous canvas with cobalt blue, applying it slowly and methodically with small rollers.  They worked this way for about two hours.  I left them largely alone, sensing deep purpose.  Suddenly, about a half hour away from the end I glanced over to find paint and handprints smashed all over the thing, the letters ‘CNH’ proudly emblazoned across the frame.  So as each canvas is ultimately meant for display in each participating institution, CNH, I think, gets the Pollock.

Outside of fervent artistic energies, the day was seriously laid back.  Tunes blasted.  Barbecues ignited.  The sun beat down on us and holy moly was it hot for the others and I what kept up the chalk brigade!!!  Smarter cats took to the shade near the food.  Edwin Huang, in charge of Community Development, surprised us by setting up a curious display for free tomato plants, which apparently he’d come by recently in berserk quantities.  Members of my dear Mandarin Women’s Club filed out of a workshop just in time to nab some.  Pam Gawn hit the scene a little after 2.  In addition to being Manager of Community Programs and Engagement (the length of titles in this article are killin’ me!) Pam is also an amazing photo/videographer and brought her camera along to snap some pics.  On the subject of photos, unfortunately we’re working backwards to get permissions from the younger ones that appear in any.  Resultingly, this event album is for the moment sadly measly.  I will update it as I can, of course.

GREAT BIG THANKS to everyone in the organizing and/or participating department for this fine event!  Behind the scenes, I’d also like to appreciate Gillian Foster and Stefanie Hay for their promotional efforts.  A word of thanks must finally go out to Aurelia Dalinda, who among a crew of other worthy volunteers has largely overseen our project for 100-in-1 since its inception, while also dropping in to check out the site that day.  Looking forward to next year!



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