A couple of copies of this tabloid summarizing community art activities generated during pandemic years arrived in the mail box from Embassy Cultural House (ECH) in London, Ontario. Thank you to Jamelie Hassan and Ron Benner for this big packet of news!
From their column,
Presently, over a hundred volunteers and contributors are involved in creating socially engaged cultural projects. This includes publishing online and also hosting events in physical locations throughout the city of London through our Cloud to Street initiative, Support Project space exhibitions, and workshops. These community partnerships have been vital to the ECH…”
Remarkably, according to this paper, the years 2020 and 2021 generated a great deal of art, activism, and networking. The paper points readers to a new website archiving ECH’s rich history and generative programs (by Tariq Hassan Gordon). As with the text layered into the image heading the tabloid, ECH certainly reflects “a trans-national artist collective” that prevailed during pandemic restrictions and tried out a masquerade as a web-based site for programs.
As noted on the ECH website, London, ON can be historicized as a site of origin for artist-run culture in Canada, and ECH claims a significant part of that rich legacy. It is so great to read of people and projects associated with ECH that reach through art networks and relations right to here in Vancouver. In an article in the tabloid about the 1986 exhibition, YYZ World Tour, I see a reproduction of the magnificent wall drawing that Elizabeth MacKenzie drafted on site that year. I recall being struck by the courage of this work to set motherhood related content into an artist space in the 1980s, when I saw it reproduced in MAWA publications (or a talk?) while in Manitoba. Some years later I met MacKenzie when we were both relatively new to Vancouver. Maybe echoing this early work, MacKenzie recently exhibited another large scale wall drawing at Simon Fraser University.
Thank you for this evidence of the network and artwork building activities of ECH! In exchange, I will be sending two publications off to ECH: Crista Dahl’s The Migrators and the LFP publication, bosque brotante by Daisy Quezada Ureña and co.