BEYOND COMPLIANCE: Events on Community Care, Access Justice and the Histories and Futures of Disability Culture

BEYOND COMPLIANCE:
Events on Community Care, Access Justice and the Histories and Futures of Disability Culture

Featuring two Events on Trauma-Informed Care by Vo Vo: September 26th & 28th, 2021

These virtual events are being hosted by organizations based on the unceded, stolen, ancestral territories of the xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam), Skwxwú7mesh (Squamish) and səlil̓ilw̓ətaʔɬ (Tsleil-Waututh) people.

This month, the Open Access Foundation for Arts and Culture (OAFAC) and grunt gallery, in collaboration with Cinevolution, present two free public events with artist and radical educator Vo Vo (bio below). These events are presented as part of OAFAC’s new series, Beyond Compliance, which aims to set a new cultural standard for accessibility by centering the practices of disabled, Crip, D/deaf, Hard of Hearing, Mad, neurodivergent, sick and chronically ill artists, curators, cultural workers and their co-conspirators. Through these events, presenters who hold embodied forms of knowledge pose visions for accessibility that move beyond compliance-level commitments, towards justice.

September 26th, 3:30pm-5:30pm PDT: Public Talk On Trauma-Informed Art Practice

Through this public talk, Vo will introduce some of the fundamentals of Trauma-Informed Care through an anti-racist and disability justice lens. Participants will interact with and reflect on how these principles might be applied to their practice. Vo will outline some dynamics and questions regarding curation, social practice, and art that hopes to address racial and social justice themes. Vo will fold into examples from their own visual and social art practice.

Access offerings will include:

  • Land Acknowledgement by: TwoSpirit Trickster Raven John, a mixed Stó:lō and Coast Salish multidisciplinary artist2Spirit Trickster Raven John.
  • ASL-English Interpretation: Dean and Jodi of Toronto Sign Language.
  • Automatic Captioning by: Otter.AI
  • Graphic Recording by: Corrina Keeling.
  • Visual Description of Images by: Vo Vo & Corrina Keeling.
  • Discord In-Chat Facilitation by: Black-Mixed, Gender Fluid, Neurodiverse-Crip, Equity ChangeMaker, and Storyteller Siobhan Barker (Sio/They/she) & TwoSpirit Trickster Raven John, a mixed Stó:lō and Coast Salish multidisciplinary artist 2Spirit Trickster Raven John.

Ways to Participate:
1. Register for Zoom Webinar here.
We acknowledge that Google Forms is not an accessible tool for all people. Please contact OAFAC’s Accessibility Coordinator, Siobhan Barker, at access@openaccessfoundation.org for alternative ways to register.

2. Watch the livestream on YouTube and Facebook Live: Links TBA

How do the Zoom, YouTube & Facebook Live experiences differ?
Sign up for the Zoom Webinar if you would like to access the Q&A and “raise hand” features. Through YouTube and Facebook Live you will only have access to the chat area, which will periodically be reviewed for questions and comments.

3. Connect on Discord here.

Please direct any questions about this event to: access@openaccessfoundation.org

September 28th, 6pm-7:30pm PDT: Trauma-Informed Critical Reflection Session for Artists and Cultural Workers

This event is a participatory workshop that leads participants through questions and criteria for their current, or yet-to-exist work or event. Reflection questions will cover long-term impact, sustainability, equity or reparations lens, social, gender and racial justice, accessibility aspects, social impact assessment, context, community need, site-specificity, proposed futures, possible futures, and alignment with the makers.

Access offerings will include:

  • Auto-generated captions by Zoom
  • ASL—English Interpretation
  • A transcript of the workshop will be made available after the event (in English)

Register for this workshop here.

Please direct any questions about this event to: access@grunt.ca

Vo Vo is a radical educator of 11 years in over 20 countries in inclusion, racial justice, intercultural communication, trauma-informed care, de-escalation and transformative justice. Their work explores support strategies and models of community care within a post-traumatic social landscape, focusing on the resilience of BIPOC, LGBTQIA2S+ and disabled communities. They have trained staff and board members from over 300 organizations in OR and WA since immigrating to the US in 2014. Editor of an internationally renowned publication, speaker, curator, artist and musician who has exhibited and toured in Australia, Germany, Indonesia, The Netherlands, Singapore, Croatia, Mexico, Finland, Denmark, New Zealand, Vietnam, Sweden, Malaysia, and the States. Local festival organizer. One of the festivals they curate is IntersectFest: A Festival For and By People Of Color – now in its sixth year. It has featured over 200 Black, Indigenous, and POC artists, including dancers, poets, filmmakers, curators, visual artists and more. It also creates space to discuss radical political approaches to community organizing and artistic practice. Their recently initiated career as a visual artist has seen them primarily work in textiles, embroidery, weaving, and furniture building. Their installations seek to interrogate power dynamics, structural oppression, challenge histories and realities of imperialism, white supremacy and colonization. They continue to explore support strategies and models of community care within a post-traumatic social landscape, focusing on the resilience of BIPOC, LGBTQIA2S+ and disabled communities.

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River Journeys

River Journeys
September 25th, 2021
Online via Zoom — click here to join

What was it like to travel along the Mackenzie River a thousand years ago? Two hundred years ago? Or one hundred years ago?

For World Rivers Day, artists from Canada’s north were asked to consider this question. Their new works will be unveiled at grunt gallery on Saturday September 25th at 1:30pm PDT via Zoom.

Sculptor John Sabourin created a work based on the ancient story of the giant Yamoria, who carved out waterfalls along the Mackenzie. Performance artist Jeneen Frei Njootli was inspired by the oral history, “The First Axe,” which describes an encounter between the Dene and a white trader around 1800. Curator Sharon Snowshoe will present Chief Jim Koe’s story of the signing of Treaty 11, one hundred years ago. Finally, filmmakers Peter Mather and Arlyn Charlie will give a sneak peek of wildlife they encountered this summer while canoeing down the Peel River to the Arctic Ocean.

Join us for this unique celebration of the river known as the Dehcho, the “Big River”.

This event is hosted by Drew Ann Wake. Wake received her BA in Anthropology and an MA in Sociology from the University of British Columbia. She then went to work for the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, attending the hearings of the Mackenzie Valley Pipeline Inquiry as it travelled to thirty Dene and Inuvialuit communities across the Northwest Territories. After a stint as a museum curator, she began developing educational games that have now been played by 25,000,000 students around the world.

Accessibility: ASL interpretation and auto-generated captions and transcription by otter.ai will be provided. We acknowledge that live translation means that some words may not be translated accurately to English and we welcome your feedback and questions in the comments during the presentation.

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TIDAL VOLUME:  Sound-Based Indigenous Exchange Residency

TIDAL VOLUME:  A Sound-Based Indigenous Exchange Residency

Residency dates: September 27th – October 24th, 2021

Tidal Volume is a digital artist residency featuring Indigenous artists from Vancouver and Melbourne, Australia. Tidal Volume is designed as a ‘call and response’ residency that creates an opportunity for Indigenous culture-bearers and artists to work with sound, song, language, spoken word and text to connect across distance. Produced in the context of the pandemic, Tidal Volume asks us to consider what presence means when we can’t be in physical spaces together. How might we communicate — and listen — differently?

The waterways and coastlines of Vancouver and Melbourne set the basis for exploration: both ocean and river represent rich history, complex currents, exchange and deep knowledge. It is also a contentious place, a defining factor in increasingly urgent discussions around nationhood, access, jurisdictional boundaries and climate change. As we seek to revisit, explore and nurture histories of the foreshore, we also seek to provide a space and a support network for artists to interrogate and expand our understanding of the land and waters around us.

Artists Salia Joseph (Sḵwx̱wú7mesh, Snuneymuxw) and Orene Askew (Sḵwx̱wú7mesh) will participate in this 4-week exploratory sound-based exchange with Maya Hodge (Lardil & Yangkaal) and Jarra Steel (Boonwurrung & Wemba Wemba).

Tidal Volume is presented by grunt gallery and The Blue Cabin Floating Artist Residency (Vancouver, CA) in collaboration with Footscray Community Arts Centre (Melbourne, AU).

Funded by the generous support of the Australia Council for the Arts and the Canada Council for the Arts.

Photos: Orene Askew by Belle Ancell; Salia Joseph by Kaili’i Smith.

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OPEN STUDIO: Morgan Switzer-Rodney

OPEN STUDIO: Morgan Switzer-Rodney
July 16th – 30th, 2021

Hours: Wednesday to Saturday 3pm—7pm, or by appointment
 

Since last Fall, emerging artist, activist and podcast producer Morgan Switzer-Rodney has been working with mentor Syrus Marcus Ware to develop work around her family histories, Black futurisms and embodied, relational portraiture. As part of her mentorship, Morgan spent 4 weeks using our gallery space as a studio. Morgan will be hosting open studio visits for two weeks!

Please note adjusted visiting hours, or email communications@grunt.ca to book an appointment.

Morgan Switzer-Rodney is a young Black, kinky, queer femme, full-time activist and part-time artist residing on the stolen lands of the xʷməθkʷəy̓əm, S’ólh Téméxw, Skwxwú7mesh Úxwumixw, and səl̓ilwətaɁɬ peoples. She has been co-curator of a salon series called Black Chat for the last 4 years, making space for Black folks to simply exist and be Black while being fed both food & knowledge. Running this space out-of-pocket and her home space with her Aunt is a foundational act to counter the constant policing of Black lives, and shine a light on the importance of intergenerational organizing. This project has since blossomed into 3 streams of programming including the original gatherings, arts and cultural communal field trips and a podcast. Morgan’s art practice is rooted in conversation, communal care and being a part of the experience. She’s inspired by her ancestry, the beloveds around her, the world as she sees it and beyond how she can imagine it. She is a healer through practices of body painting, curation, and interviews. The inspirations in her work include storytelling, science fiction, intergenerational sharing, and what happens after the revolution(s). She believes in ancestral memory and abolition, and encourages everyone to explore the complexity of the messiness that is the human experience.

Syrus Marcus Ware is a Vanier Scholar, visual artist, activist, curator and educator. Syrus uses painting, installation and performance to explore social justice frameworks and Black activist culture. His work has been shown widely, including in a solo show at grunt gallery, Vancouver (2068:Touch Change) and new work commissioned for the 2019 Toronto Biennial of Art and the Ryerson Image Centre (Antarctica and Ancestors, Do You Read Us? (Dispatches from the Future)) and in group shows at the Art Gallery of Ontario, the University of Lethbridge Art Gallery, Art Gallery of York University, the Art Gallery of Windsor and as part of the curated content at Nuit Blanche 2017 (The Stolen People; Won’t Back Down). His performance works have been part of festivals across Canada, including at Cripping The Stage (Harbourfront Centre, 2016, 2019), Complex Social Change (University of Lethbridge Art Gallery, 2015) and Decolonizing and Decriminalizing Trans Genres (University of Winnipeg, 2015). Syrus holds a doctorate from York University in the Faculty of Environmental Studies. He is an Assistant Professor in the School of the Arts at McMaster University.

Accessibility Information:


grunt gallery is accessed from the sidewalk via a 106” long, 64” wide concrete ramp that rises 12”. The slope is 1 : 8.75. There are no rails on the ramp. The front entrance is a manually operated outward-swinging double door with a total width of 64”. Entry to the Media Lab behind the gallery space is via a 42” wide passage and entry to the neighbouring amenity space is through a manually operated outward swinging double door with a total width of 70”. No stairs, inclines, or elevators are necessary to access the public areas once inside the gallery.

grunt gallery has a single gender neutral washroom that is accessed via a 31” wide doorway with a sliding pocket door with a door handle that is 40” high. The toilet has a 10” clearance on the left side and a 21” clearance in front, with a support bar on the left side. Please email access@grunt.ca if you have any questions.

Image: Morgan Switzer-Rodney, research materials. Photo by Vanessa Kwan.

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Nu chexw kw’átchnexw kwétsi sḵel̓áw̓?// Can you See Beaver?

Nu chexw kw’átchnexw kwétsi sḵel̓áw̓?// Can you See Beaver? is a community-based research and public art project led by Gitksan Witsuwit’en artist and community organizer Jolene Andrew and produced by grunt gallery Project Curator Nellie Lamb, in collaboration with Mount Pleasant Neighbourhood House.

The project is collaborative and based in community. It began with a conversation about a historical beaver dam that once blocked Brewery Creek near the spot where Main St and 14th Ave now intersect. This led us to wonder about the absence of such an important animal in an urban socio-ecological system and consider how the history of beavers in this landscape can inform our relationships to the land now and into the future. Throughout the project we will be contemplating the importance of keystone species like the beaver, whose knowledge and skills build dams that create wetlands, providing habitat for many other plants and animals. Nu chexw kw’átchnexw kwétsi sḵel̓áw̓? Can you see Beaver? is a reminder to take notice.  The project looks to beavers and the other animals and plants in their communities as teachers and guides. It asks questions about obstruction and flow, what has changed and what has endured, and what we can learn from these histories in the ongoing and complex contexts of urbanization, colonization, and decolonization.

The project’s Squamish language title, Nu chexw kw’átchnexw kwétsi sḵel̓áw̓? asks, “Can you see the beaver?” We hope you will join us in opening our hearts and minds to beaver’s teachings. Starting in March 2021, we are hosting a series of knowledge sharing, field study, planning, and art-making events focused on the landscape, plant, and animal (including human) life in the area that is now known as Mount Pleasant and rooted in the Indigenous knowledge and art of Skwxwú7mesh (Squamish), səl̓ilwətaɁɬ təməxʷ (Tsleil-Waututh), and xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam) storytellers, weavers and other urban Indigenous artists. Events are led by Jolene alongside artists, historians, scientists, storytellers, and knowledge holders and are open to Indigenous and non-Indigenous community members.

Further details about this project and upcoming events can be found at canyouseebeaver.ca

Image: Nicole Neidhardt.

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Community Workshops: Captioning, Transcription and Non-Auditory Access

Online, FREE. Register here.
Presented by grunt gallery and Kay Slater.

The last year of working and gathering primarily online has brought into wider view an understanding that many in the disability arts community have always understood and advocated for: we need more skilled people creating video and digital content that is accessible to non-auditory audiences.

This series of workshops is designed to help arts organizations, artists and community creators take a tangible first step towards building accessibility into their practices. By outlining best practices (and identifying the pros and cons of available auto-generated captioning services), and inviting participants to learn the basics of captioning and transcription for live and pre-recorded material, we invest in a baseline standard for access as well as a shared and shareable knowledge base.

The series includes a mentorship opportunity to learn captioning alongside experienced and practicing access professionals with an invitation to co-facilitate their own non-auditory access workshops designed specifically for their own communities.

Spring offerings include half-day workshops supported by our community partners ArtStarts in Schools, DTES Small Arts Grants Program, Gallery Gachet, WePress and the Pacific Association of Artist Run Centres. The full spring schedule of workshops is below.

Workshops are FREE to all, and will be conducted online. Register and find out more here.

Upcoming Workshop Dates:
  • Friday, November 9th, 6:30 – 9:00PM PDT:  Workshop aimed at Dancers, Performers, and Festival Events. Co-Hosted by Sparkle Plenty and Kay Slater. Register here.
Past Workshops:
  • Friday March 12th, 1:30pm – 4:30pm: Workshop aimed towards Galleries, Artist Run Centres, and other Presentation Venues. Google Meet (with English auto captions).
  • Friday March 19th, 1:30pm – 4:30pm: Workshop aimed towards Galleries, Artist Run Centres, and other Presentation Venues. Google Meet (with English auto captions).
  • Thursday, March 18th, 5:30-8:30pm: Part of the ArtStarts in Schools Spring Digital Learning Lab: Digital Transformations. Workshop aimed towards Teachers, Caregivers, and Teaching Artists.
  • Tuesday March 23rd, 1:30pm – 4:30pm: Workshop aimed towards creators and artists.
    *All ages / spring break special, Zoom with CART (captions) and ASL Interpretation.
  • Thursday April 22nd, 5:30pm-8:00pm: Workshop Aimed Towards Creators and Artists*
    Presented by our community partner, DTES Small Arts Grants Program. On-location, in-person viewing at Carnegie Community available in the theatre. Centre viewing in their Theatre, and online streaming. Workshop also available online for free (link coming soon).
  • Friday April 23rd, 1:00pm-3:30pm: Workshop Aimed Towards Creators and Artists*
    Presented by our community partner, DTES Small Arts Grants Program. On-location, in-person viewing at Carnegie Community available in the theatre. Centre viewing in their Theatre, and online streaming. Workshop also available online for free (link coming soon). *Cantonese/Mandarin translation will provided for online participants.
  • Sunday April 25th, 1:00pm-3:30pm: Workshop Aimed Towards Creators and Artists*
    Presented by our community partner, DTES Small Arts Grants Program. On-location, in-person viewing at Carnegie Community available in the theatre. Centre viewing in their Theatre, and online streaming. Workshop also available online for free (link coming soon).
  • Friday April 30th, 11am-1pm: Captions for CanLit, specifically for literary event organizers, including publishers, bookstore staff, and magazine editors.
    This workshop will take place on Google Meet with automatic captions. Presented by Kay Slater with Leah Horlick.
  • Friday May 28th, 5:30pm-8:00pm: Q&A Session – Live with Kay, ask your captioning and transcription questions! Presented by our community partner, DTES Small Arts Grants Program. Live webcast, with on-person viewing at Carnegie Community Centre available in their theatre. Mandarin and Cantonese translation available via online stream. ASL Interpretation will be available 6-8PM
  • Friday September 24th, 10:00am – 1:00pm: Workshop aimed towards Galleries, Artist Run Centres, and other Presentation Venues. Via Google Meet (with English auto captions).
Do you have any accessibility needs?

Our workshops are hosted on Google Meet (Free Service – Accessible by Browser) with Auto-Captions (English), and we will have a session with ASL Interpretation on March 23rd. Let us know if you have any access needs when you register, or write us an email at access@grunt.ca

Session Transcripts will be made available.

Check back for updates, including paid mentorship opportunities and streamable content.

Kay Slater (project lead/ workshop facilitator) is a multidisciplinary artist, accessibility consultant and arts worker.  As a consultant, they work directly with artists and organizations to build accessibility in at the planning stage, and to incorporate sustainable, grass roots strategies that support evolution in artistic presentation. Their work is rooted in anti-oppression practices, and they employ open source and community-engaged approaches to support ongoing knowledge transfer  with makers and creators at all stages of their careers. They are a member of the Open Access Mapping project’s Advisory Committee, are a proud volunteer and social coordinator at Queer ASL, have completed the Rick Hansen Foundation’s Accessibility Certification program and are working towards CSA Accessibility certification later this year. Kay is passionate about sharing knowledge with the wider arts community.  Kay is queer and hard of hearing. They use They/Their/Theirs pronouns exclusively online.

Mentees:

Leah Horlick is a writer and poet who grew up as a settler on Treaty Six Cree Territory & the homelands of the Métis in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. Her long-awaited third collection of poems, Moldovan Hotel, is available now from Brick Books. Her first book, Riot Lung (Thistledown Press, 2012), was shortlisted for a 2013 ReLit Award and a Saskatchewan Book Award. Her second collection, For Your Own Good (Caitlin Press, 2015), was named a 2016 Stonewall Honour Book by the American Library Association. She is also the author of wreckoning, a chapbook produced with Alison Roth Cooley and JackPine Press. She lived on Unceded Coast Salish Territories in Vancouver for nearly ten years, during which time she and her dear friend Estlin McPhee ran REVERB, a queer and anti-oppressive reading series. In 2016, Leah was awarded the Dayne Ogilvie Prize for LGBT Emerging Writers. In 2018, her piece “You Are My Hiding Place” was named Arc Poetry Magazine’s Poem of the Year. She lives on Treaty Seven Territory & Region 3 of the Métis Nation in Calgary.

Jocelyn Statia has over 5 years of experience in the arts and culture sector; and many years of customer service experience. She has a BFA in Visual Arts and a Library & Information Technology Diploma. Her professional experiences involve research and production of ideas, culture or objects from the past and present. This informs her understanding about how work is produced, preserved, presented and the social and public implications for the understanding of art, culture, identity and access to information.

Sparkle Plenty (she/her) is Cree with mixed heritage who lives and works on the stolen territories of the Musqueam, Squamish, and Tsleil-Wahtuth people known as ‘Vancouver’. She has worked in many arts organizations as a communications professional, programmer, facilitator, and performance artist. She is a convening member of the Virago Nation Indigenous Arts Society, where she produces and performs in shows and workshops with the mission to reclaim Indigenous sexuality from the toxic effects of colonization. She has been invited to perform and share her decolonial point of view for arts events including the Vancouver International Burlesque Festival, Talking Stick Festival, TRANSFORM Cabaret Festival as well as numerous other arts festivals.

This program is produced by grunt gallery with the support of the Canada Council for the Arts, Disability Alliance BC and Sarah Wang.

    

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New Work on the Mount Pleasant Community Art Screen!

As of Wednesday November 4th, 2020, grunt gallery has launched an exciting and diverse selection of new works on the Mount Pleasant Community Art Screen! Continuing with our PLACE programming theme, these new works reflect, engage with and enrich the intricate cultural history of Vancouver’s Mount Pleasant neighbourhood. Through works by artists, collectives, curators and other community members, PLACE explores the complexities of the area’s histories of displacement, creativity, expansion and grit. Language, identity, housing, city streets, food, landmarks, loss, memories, narratives of the past and imagined futures are contemplated and celebrated through film, video, photography, performance, painting, GIFs, glitches and collage.

Charlene Vickers’ Cool Indians on Main Street features Indigenous artists’ open-ended statements about Indigenous presence and benchin — the act of gathering socially to sit on a bench to people watch, share ideas and stories, and be together. Shot on 16mm film, ghosts of cambie by Caroline So Jung Lee captures Cambie Street’s Hong Kong migrant community, once a major force in shaping the architectural and cultural landscape of the area but now rapidly disappearing. Co-founder of Artemisia Gallery Lisa g Nielsen gathers memories of this short-lived art space on east 7th that welcomed a community of feminist artists in the early 1990s. RAPTURE showcases work by Dene artist Zachery Longboy curated by Métis artist Justin Ducharme, exploring the feelings of being in queer Indigenous bodies and celebrating their two spirit kin. These works and many more reflect our ever-evolving neighbourhood back to us, presented on a 4×7 metre outdoor urban screen located on the Independent Building at Kingsway and Broadway. As we continue to weather this challenging year apart but together, the remarkable range of work on the MPCAS shines a light on what it means to live in our unique community of Mount Pleasant. You can read more about the new programming and find the full list of artists on the MPCAS website here.

Autumn / Winter Screen Hours:
Sunday to Thursday: 9:00 AM to 9:30 PM
Friday & Saturday:  9:00 AM to 10:30 PM

 

The MPCAS is produced by grunt gallery and generously supported by the Vancouver Foundation, RIZE corporation, Canada Council for the Arts, the City of Vancouver and Creative BC.

 

Images (clockwise from top left): Gloria Wong, Rituals, video (still); Cheyenne Rain LeGrande, Maskekewapoy ᒪᐢᑫᑫᐊᐧᐳᕀ, video (still); Lois Klassen, Flowers for Joyce, film (still); Jupiter Brahms, Grocery Stores, painting.

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Job Call: Curator

Job Posting
Position: Curator
Location: grunt gallery
Reporting to: Program Director
Term: Part-time, permanent. 25 hours/week. Evening and weekend work. Flexible schedule.
Remuneration: $30/ hour
Start Date: January 5, 2021

Application deadline: 4pm PST, Friday, October 30th, 2020
To apply: Please send your resume and cover letter by email to Meagan Kus at meagan@grunt.ca

About grunt gallery
grunt gallery was founded in 1984 on the unceded territories of the Musqueam, Squamish and Tsleil-Waututh First Nations (Vancouver, Canada) and is one of the region’s most established artist run centres. The gallery offers exhibitions, special projects and public programming with a focus on practices and perspectives that have, since the beginning, questioned established values in contemporary art production.

grunt was formed in 1984 by a group of 8 artists as a venue for artists and their work. Since then the organization has worked within local, national and international artist communities to provide an inclusive and supportive environment for the development of innovative and provocative contemporary art. Very early on grunt began collaborating with other organizations to realize projects otherwise beyond a single organization’s capacity.

In the early 1990s grunt began working with Indigenous art communities to provide a venue for contemporary production. This relationship has done much to define the organization since that time. grunt has not only been a significant venue for Indigenous production in Canada and internationally, but has had continuous participation on the staff and board team throughout this history. We have also provided an ongoing opportunity for residencies for Indigenous curators, researchers, writers and artists. We have similarly been guided by ongoing relationships with BIPOC and queer/ LGBTQIA2S+ arts communities.

grunt has been invested in ideas of ‘decolonization’ and intersectionality long before these terms were widely in use. Our experience working with artists and communities of diverse perspectives is well-known across the country and we continue to build capacity within the organization to grow in the service of this core mandate of diversity and creative innovation. These priorities comprise the fabric of our organization – and we strive to remain self-reflexive and evolving in the expression of them. Currently the organization is engaged in a 5-year process evaluating the accessibility of our systems and programs from an anti-oppression framework. This involves all levels of the organization.

Our programming scope has grown significantly over the years from a facility that primarily supported exhibitions, publications and performance to one that produces a wider range of activities, including: multi-partner collaborative projects, online project sites and expansive digital resources, site-specific artist projects, artist-residencies, public art projects, international artistic exchanges and a vital, growing archive. While our facility is modest – we operate from a 1400-square foot office and gallery space in East Vancouver – our reach is expansive.

Our recent and upcoming programming reveals a strong international component, with reciprocal opportunities for Canadian artists. We have in recent years considered how to improve the nature of exchange – beyond the presentation of isolated events or exhibitions abroad. As is more fitting to our mandate and way of working, we have been developing longer term relationships with colleagues internationally, and seek to provide reciprocity – that is, a culture of exchange that acknowledges the importance of opportunities created over time and via embedded networks, and those that disseminate resources both at home and abroad.

About the curatorial position
The Curator works in tandem with the Program Director and alongside grunt staff, contractors and volunteers to support the creative vision of the gallery and its public presentation. As detailed above, we support a wide range of activities, and applicants should have an interdisciplinary knowledge of/ interest in contemporary practice – and an appreciation for works that are produced both in and beyond a gallery context. This could include installation art, public works, digital media, screen-based production, writing/ publishing/ zine production, sound installation, socially-engaged works, podcast production, performance, community and frontline organizing, collective practice and so on.

Interested candidates should note that much of grunt’s programming is submissions-based and determined by committee. This does not preclude a more traditional authorship or singular curatorial voice, but we feel this is an important thing to note – ‘curator’ can mean many different things, and here as elsewhere it’s very influenced by the culture of the organization. At grunt the Curator is a central creative role and while our mandate and work culture is well established, we invite you to bring your own experience fully to the position. This strong sense of agency, in tandem with the collaborative nature of the programming and the expansive range of activities, offers a unique opportunity that emphasizes both collective access to resources and a demonstrated belief in the individual and what they can offer.

The Curator role will focus primarily on the exhibitions program, as well as our new Mount Pleasant Community Art Screen. There will be ample opportunities for creative thinking in both. Required skills and competencies are listed below, and disciplinary knowledge is important, but core to this position will be a passion for working with artists to support their vision. The Curator is at base level a bridge builder – you will act as the translator between the organization and the artist, and you will steward the presentation of the work to the public; your ability to communicate well and build relationships will be key.

As an employer we welcome your voice and your ideas, and we value equally your ability to listen and take time.

Required Competencies:

Collaboration                           Commitment                           Written Communication
Community                              Conceptual Thinking              Negotiation
Creativity                                  Flexibility                                 Mentorship
Reliability                                 Programming                         Grant Applications

General Responsibilities:

  • Working with the grunt Program Director and other grunt staff to determine overall program vision for exhibitions and programs on Mount Pleasant Community Art Screen (MPCAS);
  • Liaising with artists to determine programming and exhibitions within grunt’s exhibition space and beyond the physical facility;
  • Liaising with artists to determine media programming for the MPCAS;
  • Working in tandem with the Program Director to manage and organize the programming committees for exhibitions (annual) and MPCAS (bi-annual);
  • Working with the Program Director, MPCAS Engagement Coordinator and other grunt staff to create and maintain public outreach activities;
  • Writing and editing for publication, press releases, didactic materials, web and online promotion and other venues as necessary;
  • Organizing, hosting and managing events, online presentations, and other public programs;
  • Research and development of projects involving exhibition, artist residencies, community engagement, event and publication components;
  • Outreach, promotions and relationship building for grunt gallery, locally and internationally (via travel, networking and professional development opportunities);
  • Ongoing participation in grunt activities and programs, including committee meetings, curatorial research and development, staff/programming meetings;
  • Grant writing for present and future projects;
  • Evaluation of annual programming in collaboration with grunt staff.

Required Skills and Education:

  • Critically relevant curatorial experience with knowledge of diverse communities;
  • Strong sense of local context, including an investment in creating and maintaining relationship to the region’s host Indigenous nations (beyond acknowledgement);
  • Proven success with visual arts programming and an excellent reputation within the art community, built on previous success and rapport with artists;
  • Post-secondary education in an arts related field (or commensurate work experience);
  • A working intercultural skill-set to effectively work with a diverse group of staff, artists and community members, and a history of engagement with Indigenous, LGBTQIA2S+ and BIPOC communities;
  • Experience with or active interest in anti-oppression frameworks and how they relate to accessibility in the arts;
  • Strong technical awareness with regard to screen-based, online and interactive media;
  • Excellent understanding of artist-run centres;
  • Excellent writing skills;
  • Exceptional communication and coordination skills to ensure knowledge and comprehension of complex project planning;
  • Ability to work collaboratively;
  • Proven ability to write grants;
  • Highly organized, detail oriented and committed to quality;
  • Able to work independently with minimal supervision;
  • Able to work flexible hours.

grunt gallery offers a competitive salary and benefits package, along with a flexible work schedule, opportunities for education and development, and a very comfortable, creative, harmonious and positive work environment. grunt is an equal opportunity employer and welcomes all applicants.

 

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COVID-19 Gallery Protocols

Please be advised of our current protocols to help ensure the health and safety of all during the COVID-19 pandemic:

 

  1. Maximum 6 people in the gallery at a time (excluding staff)
  2. Please do not enter the gallery if:
    • you have traveled outside Canada in the last 14 days
    • you have had contact with a person confirmed to have COVID-19
    • you have any symptoms such as fever, chills, coughing, loss of taste or smell
  3. Masks are mandatory while inside the gallery (if you don’t have your own, we will provide one)
  4. Use the hand sanitizer provided upon entering the gallery
  5. Please practice social distancing (minimum 2m between visitors)

Our current exhibition, Project Fire Flower, is a tactile and touchable exhibition. Everyone is encouraged to interact with the elements of the show while adhering to the above protocols for the safety of all guests and staff.

We have implemented a strict cleaning schedule, including regular sanitizing of the panels, listening devices and headsets throughout each day, to keep the exhibition as safe and sanitary as possible for our visitors.

QR codes are available for those who prefer to listen to audio elements on their own device.

Note: Some elements of the exhibition cannot be sanitized (eg. plants). Please be sure to sanitize your hands before interacting with these.

Thank you!

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Spark Artist Talks Online!

The return of Spark Artist Talks!
Featuring Ovila Mailhot on October 22, 2020

 

Our long running Spark Artist Talk series, featuring emerging Indigenous artists with diverse art practices, returns this fall in a digital format! Spark Talks are held from 12:15-1pm on the third Thursday of the month. A live Q&A will be held after each one, hosted By Alanna Edwards.

Join us online from wherever you are via this link: https://zoom.us/j/96996717456

Ovila Mailhot is a Coast Salish artist originally from Seabird Island, British Columbia. He carries roots from Nlaka’pamux & Stó:lō Nation. Mailhot is “thankful for the opportunity to share the beauty of Coast Salish art” and expresses himself by utilizing elements of Salish art that have been passed down through generations. Believing that carrying on the tradition of this work is necessary for his culture and for healing, Mailhot works primarily in graphic design, adding to a cultural continuum that, as he mentions, still has not been actualized or received by mainstream culture.

Image: River Woman by Ovila Mailhot.

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