SlowCity.ca is one in a series of social practise art projects I have engaged in over many years, SlowCity.ca, along with The Vault creative space, Ziggy Pop new music nights at the Hub, the Woolly Tuque fanzine for Durham based alt-culture, are the main ones but the FitzAllsorts new music night in Whitby, the McLuhan Cafe gatherings to discuss art, and The Shwaltz of course, a festival for local original music, can be listed alongside them also. One never knows what impact one has or what ripples results from one's endeavours but occasionally one hears good things about the work one has created and the other works it has helped influence or nurture.
Jay Dart’s solo exhibit, “Greetings From Yawnder!” opens Friday Oct 7 at the Robert McLaughlin Gallery. The RMG show is the first in Dart’s self-described world tour which also makes a stop at Art Gallery of Sudbury Feb 3 2017. The RMG show runs until Jan 15, 2017.
Dart says the genesis for the exhibit was a show at one of the social practise spaces myself and others in Oshawa’s art community had created.
“I’ll tell you exactly where my relationship with RMG began. . . The Vault!,” says Dart, “(associate curator) Sonya Jones saw my work there and then contacted me. She offered me this solo exhibition two and a half years ago. It's the most amazing opportunity that I've had. There are about 80 pieces in the show. Half are brand new. Some will be featured in the 'Field Guide to Yawnder' that has been produced for the show. There are lots of highlights from the past (almost) decade of doing this series. I'm pretty excited, especially having it in my adopted community.”
Oshawa is my adopted community too and it pleases me no end when I can contribute to the growth of its arts and culture in some way.
It was the art of Jay Dart that spoke to Sonya Jones, Dart’s art speaks for itself, its wonderous and relevant, but I think the tale of their meeting speaks too to the ongoing need for the kind of spaces where serendipitous relationships can form and new opportunities for our creatives can be forged. For now RMG Fridays provide the casual meet-up of the arts community at large, we still however need more of them in Durham Region, and in Oshawa in particular.