Canning, NS – Ross Creek Centre for the Arts Executive Director Chris O’Neill has chosen to use the Centre’s platform to honour African Heritage Month 2019 in the best way the organization can — by giving artists and educators a platform to tell their stories and communicate their past to our community.
Opening on February 10, How She Read: (re)Visiting My Mother’s Nova Scotia, is a multimedia exploration created by the award-winning African-Canadian artist-educator Chantal Gibson. Gibson describes her art as exploring, “the overlap between literary and visual art, challenging imperialist notions about race, gender, class, and national identity quietly embedded in everyday things.” The exhibit, named after her forthcoming book, How She Read (Caitlin Press, 2019), is a collection of Gibson’s altered historical texts, a reimagining of books and objects that may have been a part of her mother’s experience growing up in Halifax as a Black Woman in the 1950s. O’Neill says, “When Chantal’s work was first brought to my attention last year, I was blown away with the emotional depth and the powerful, creative approach the artist took portraying her own history. I was immediately drawn to her story and felt strongly about sharing it with my community.” The exhibition offers a reflective look at the past in order to better understand the future, and in the words of the artist, “unpacks the racist and misogynistic notions embedded in a world of history books and grade school spellers that often excluded, misrepresented and dehumanized Black and Indigenous people.”
How She Read: (re)Visiting My Mother’s Nova Scotia, will open from 1pm to 4pm during the Centre’s February Community Arts Day Celebration. At 2pm the artist will offer insights and take part in a question and answer period via video chat. The Community Arts Day is inspired by African Heritage Month and will include fun arts activities influenced by Chantal’s work, African drumming and dancing workshops and performances as well as a delicious menu of African dishes. At 1pm visitors can take part in a guided snowshoe through Ross Creek’s new trails. The event will be open to the public by donation.
The community is welcome to visit the Centre and explore the exhibit until it’s closing on March 25th. During this time, in coordination with the gallery exhibit, Ross Creek will be offering Nova Scotian-African, curriculum-based field trips which will utilize Gibson’s work. “We are very excited to share this programming, this exhibit provides an opportunity for visitors to connect with our local, under-represented history in a new and very personal way. It is sure to inspire a new interest in African-Nova Scotian heritage in visiting students,” say O’Neill.
To find out more about the exhibits, field trips, or the Community Arts Day, please visit www.artscentre.ca.
Ross Creek is a non-profit charity which operates year-round arts programs in all disciplines including artist residencies for artists from around the world, arts workshops for adults, and camps for youth.