I am writing excitedly with the news that Poonam Sharma, a talented artist also working out of St. James Town, along with myself will deliver an eight-week project coming up this summer entitled MirrorMe. As discovered this morning, this project was one of those selected to receive a Platform A Microgrant from Art Starts. The vital funding this will bring into the St. James Town, Moss Park, and Regent Park neighbourhoods will help us make an important step up the ladder of success towards our collective dream of developing a creative arts hub here.
Mirror Me itself will lead local youth in a large-scale painting project. With portraiture as its focus, the project will explore the diverse cultural matrix of the area and its contribution to how identity can be formed and understood through a collage-like approach to painting the self. While an essentially independent team, Poonam (team leader) and I (consultant/facilitator) will connect with existing community resources to undertake the project, and to host a final exhibition whose ideal is to draw (literally) area residents together.
Poonam is the official grant recipient, and while this is her first awarded fund of this kind, it is not her first success. In Canada only for the past year or so, she has already exhibited at Turtle House and won the Neighbourhood Arts Network’s Nuit Blanche T-Shirt Design competition. Of course, several of her distinctive banners (Warli tribal art) were also selected for this spring’s Banner Project in SJT. I look forward to working with Poonam, and to bringing a great project to life through the kindness and generosity of the good folks at Platform A. Thanks, Art Starts!