Connecting local art to the community Nina Haggerty’s beautiful installation has a home at Alberta Ave Community League

Artists from the Nina Haggerty Centre for the Arts gifted Alberta Avenue Community League with a colourful multimedia art installation representing the community.

Created by six painters and 12 clay artists who work at the Nina, the installation depicts unique houses in the Alberta Avenue neighbourhood.

Paul Freeman, artistic director of the Nina Haggerty, said “the aim of the centre has always been to broadcast work in the public space and an opportunity for other people to see what the artists at the Nina can do.” He explained the artists “want to make a concrete contribution to the local reality,” and that “good art connects your experience to my experience.”

Margaret Larsen, community league board member, introduced the mural on March 9 to an enthusiastic response. “[This art] represents the community of Alberta Avenue with so much imagination and love.” She thanked the artists, stating “You are part of the community and we are proud to hang your beautiful artwork in our building.”

The installation is a welcome addition to the community league.

“Everyone who comes into the office comments on the mural and how perfectly it complements the space,” said Karen Mykietka, facility manager.

Val Parr, a local resident, calls the art “a gift to the community.”

To create the piece, Nina artists toured the community, taking photos of the area’s distinctive houses. They then took the photos back to the Nina and worked on creating paintings based on the photos. The photos were shared with clay artists, who completed a panorama of houses to place in front of the collective of paintings. The paintings were framed, creating a window-like effect of the streetscape.

This year-long project was produced by Jill Thomson, whose work with the Nina shows the impact of established artists working alongside the centre artists. Thomson says of the Nina, “there is nothing like it anywhere else in Canada—artists who work in a collective who have the opportunity to exhibit their work.” The artists she worked with “have a huge work ethic,” she added.

The art being within walking distance to the Nina has the additional value of being easily accessible to the artists themselves.

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