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Erring on the mount

Langill, Caroline (2014) Erring on the mount. C Magazine (123). pp. 62-63.

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Abstract

In many ways the arts community in Peterborough is made up of various allied factions. However, curator Liz Fennell's call to all artists for site-specific work came with the intention of bringing those with a high degree of professional experience into proximity with emerging and amateur artists. This move could be read as an attempt to create some porosity between different degrees of artist recognition in order to demonstrate the full breadth of the community's practices. The City of Peterborough's future intent for St. Joseph's is for it to transition into affordable housing, gallery and performance spaces, community gardens and perhaps food programs. Site-specificity and interactivity were therefore integral to the Public Energy project as ways to facilitate public engagement with the site and draw support for its future use. Sculpture Projects Münster (1997) achieved a similar result for the small German town, and there are other examples in Canada: Shorefast President Zita Cobb's rejuvenation of Fogo Island, Newfoundland, is a case in point, albeit on a different scale. Cobb's decision to leave her work in technology and finance, move back to Fogo, and establish the Fogo Island Arts residencies program is an example of the w ay local identity pulls one back to home. Artists in Peterborough are similarly resilient, and they remain rooted regardless of the day-to-day stresses of living in an under-resourced municipality. For the past 20 years, Peterborough has witnessed the decline of the small manufacturing industries upon which the local economy relied. The resulting increase in unemployment is acutely noticeable when one walks Peterborough's main streets, where at least a third of storefronts lie empty and for lease. While Peterborough residents experience nowhere near the level of economic hardship that those living on Fogo Island do, Erring on the Mount is a preliminary nod in the same direction and demonstrates the potential to rethink the messaging of the city. Public Energy Artistic producer Bill Kimball knows this, hence his 20+ years of efforts to bring cutting edge contemporary dance to a small university town.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Art, Art exhibits, Mixed media, Museums And Art Galleries, Photography
Divisions: Faculty of Liberal Arts & Sciences
Date Deposited: 12 Jul 2016 16:27
Last Modified: 03 Feb 2017 19:07
URI: http://openresearch.ocadu.ca/id/eprint/1050

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