on the Mount Pleasant Community Art Screen
grunt gallery and Cool Indians On Main Street have teamed up on a project for the Mount Pleasant Community Art Screen! Charlene Vickers and Neil Eustache, the co-founders of Cool Indians on Main Street benchin collective have invited Indigenous artists to make an open ended statement about Indigenous presence and benchin. What is benchin one may ask? Benchin is the act of gathering socially to sit on a bench to people watch, share ideas, stories, and just be together. Moving through the uncertain times of a pandemic, benchin is redefined and expressed differently. Benchin happens in individual moments, alone or within one’s social “bubble.” Benchin is expressed via face-time chats, or by sharing benchin pics on social media, or by a regular phone call. This summer Charlene Vickers organized a dream team of Cool Indian benchers to create a series of digital media works for the Mount Pleasant Community Art Screen as the next iteration of what “benchin” could become.
Cool Indians Benchin Dream Team:
Jeneen Frei Njootli
Maria Hupfield (with collaborators Ester Neff, IV Castellanos)
Jenny Irene Miller
Manuel Axel Strain
The Human Nature Collective (Daina Warren, Kirstin Snowbird, Robert Snowbird, Theo Pelmus, with Kevin McKenzie)
Images, from top left: Wavers by The Human Nature Collective; Alas and Forsooth by Whess Harman; The Labour of Protecting by Manual Axel Strain; Cool Indians design by Neil Eustache; Prayers by Lucie Burning; We Practice Our Culture Because Our Parents Were Not Allowed To by Casey Koyczan; Swaying Praying by Tania Willard; Canuck the Crow by Robert Chaplin.