Pop Up Studio
imagination network at sunnycrest mall
Organized by Deer Crossing The Art Farm and Good Samaritan Canada Christenson Village, this project aimed to engage the wider community—from high-school youth to shoppers to young children—in the creative engagement process . This project took place at our local shopping mall using a space previously utilized as a restaurant. Seniors from Christenson Village were driven to the studio so they could participate with the community and visiting groups. Over the course of one month, it was transformed into a colourful, open studio where we hosted workshops, and brought the community together to create hundreds of art pieces, culminating in a final showcase gala event.
Artists facilitated creative workshops where participants shared their stories through music, visual media, shadow puppetry, collage, poetry and sculpture. The studio was open four days a week, and once per week an artist facilitated a specific workshop. A shuttle service brought participants from Christenson Village to the studio. Youth, children and the broader community were invited to participate.
Each week, the space came more to life. Art was hung from the walls and ceiling, and started to spill out into the mall. Tiny painted butterflies and invitations with “What is this curious place?” “Come on in.” were placed outside the studio to encourage people to venture in. Many art projects were inspired by the stories and images from Christenson Village Art Crawl project. There was a fun variety of creative options, including a large mural, collage, painting, shadow puppetry, and story-telling activities. Many passing shoppers entered tentatively while some enthusiastically, and after a month-long creation period, hundreds of community members had taken part in a unique experience alongside residents of Christenson Village.
At the end of the creation period, we had produced a spectacular mural, hundreds of mixed media art pieces, poetry and sculptures. To celebrate, we held a gala showcase and invited friends, family, collaborators, residents of Christenson Village, and the public to savour the world we had created together with our community, right in the heart of our local shopping centre.
Many people who had hesitantly stepped foot inside the studio came to the final event, proud of their work and feeling more connected to others who had worked alongside them.