I have been chosen as the city of Kitchener's Artist-in-Residence for 2011!
There is an email list for the latest news and information about the residency project. Scroll to the bottom of this page to sign up now.
Go to the project site, PortraitOfKitchener.ca.
My project is simple: over the course of 2011, attend various events in the city and create consistently styled portraits documenting the people that make up the community that is the city of Kitchener, Ontario. The goal is, by the end of the year, to have at least 1,000 portraits. I've got 486 so far.
The portraits will be shared online in a special web site, in print and various media released throughout the year, and will be released in book form along with community-minded essays when the project is complete.
I will also be producing several workshops throughout the year focusing on photographing people -- details TBA.
2012 is the city of Kitchener's centennial, and the portraits will form part of the documentation and join in the celebration of our city's 100th anniversary.
My goal is to help residents gain a deeper understanding of the diversity of people that make up the city of Kitchener.
People from all walks of life, from differing ethnic backgrounds, of varying ages and appearances, of myriad financial circumstances and aspect -- are all around us, everywhere, but rarely do we take the time to actually see them with thoughtful eyes.
Through my photography, I hope to show Kitchener residents just who their neighbours really are.
I believe it is the essential role of artists of all kinds -- visual, theatrical, musical, literal, and so on -- to add colour and flavour to life. Without art, without culture, there is nothing but grey monotony.
Public art works such as the city's artist-in-residence program provide a necessary venue for challenging, complex and long-term artworks that might otherwise never find an audience but provide enormous benefit to the community as a whole.
Public artworks and galleries of all types add an essential, unique spice to life in our community, and without them we would see only commercial artwork such as advertising and packaging -- works that are created to sell something, not to perform the much more essential artistic roles of reflection and revelation.
- Sean M Puckett
Did you know Kitchener created the first municipal artist-in-residence program in Canada, in 1995? The year-long program stimulates conversation between artists and Kitchener residents and visitors, as they connect with special programming presented by the artist-in-residence throughout the year.
Let's hope it gets good ones soon!