Justin Langlois, An incomplete glossary of sustenance, AKA, 2017 (PAVED Arts billboard: We are the River by Susan Shantz and Barbara Reimer)
Justin Langlois (Vancouver, Lead Artist) with Alana Bartol (Calgary), Lisa Hirmer (Guelph), Vanessa Kwan (Vancouver), Michael Peterson (Saskatoon), Marcel Petit (Saskatoon), Janelle Pewapsconias (Saskatoon), Jordan Schwab (Saskatoon), Holly Schmidt (Vancouver)
Curated by Tarin Dehod, organized with Yvonne Hanson
AKA and CHEP Good Food Inc.
Developed by Justin Langlois, for AKA in collaboration with CHEP Good Food Inc., Locals Only is a large-scale multi-year art project that explores food security, community-led resource development, and intergenerational exchange in Saskatoon’s core neighbourhood of Riversdale. As one of the oldest neighbourhoods in the city, Riversdale hosts some of the most diverse and culturally rich communities in the region, and yet is simultaneously facing unprecedented pressures from encroaching gentrification along with long-standing challenges related to accessing locally-sourced sustenance. The project responds to these critical issues in the form of a mobile food service truck that deploys socially engaged art, local knowledge, and long-form hospitality to cultivate a community-based exploration of reciprocity by redeploying symbolic representations of gentrification into the hands of longtime community residents.
Locals Only will operate as an elder-guided, artist-designed, and youth-operated mobile programming space, and will serve as a platform for intercultural dialogue and intergenerational capacity building by sharing traditional knowledge around food, hospitality, and community development. Beginning in 2017, the project extends until June 2019, and will encourage meaningful participation from community-based youth and elders, as well as deep collaboration with local and national artists.
Justin Langlois is the co-founder and research director of Broken City Lab, an artist-led collective working to explore the complexities of locality, infrastructures, and participation in relation to civic engagement and social change, and he is the founder of The School for Eventual Vacancy and curator of The Neighbourhood Time Exchange. His practice explores collaborative structures, critical pedagogy, and custodial frameworks as tools for gathering, learning, and making. He is currently an Assistant Professor in the Faculty of Culture + Community at Emily Carr University of Art and Design.
Alana Bartol is an interdisciplinary artist that comes from a long line of water witches. Investigating alternate epistemologies within and beyond the human body, her site-responsive works propose dreaming, walking, and divination as ways of understanding across place, species and bodies. Through performance, video, drawing, and socially-engaged art, her work aims to make visible the unseen forces and histories in our everyday environments.
Vanessa Kwan is a Vancouver-based artist, writer and curator. Her work often involves the production of work in public space, and is often collaborative, site-specific and interdisciplinary. Recent projects include a large-scale permanent public artwork called Geyser for Hillcrest Park(with Erica Stocking), Sad Sack, a series of public events and collaborations on the subject of melancholy, and This Creeping Root, a moonlight garden.
Lisa Hirmer is an inter-disciplinary artist working at the intersections of visual art, social practice, and art-based forms of critical research. Her experimental public-focused practice DodoLab explores and responds to the complicated and nebulous reality of public opinion (acknowledging that this is itself a complicated idea). Her work as a photographer and writer explores contemporary landscapes and built environments. Operating both within gallery and non-traditional settings, she has created projects across Canada and internationally, at art galleries, including Harbourfront Centre (Toronto), University of Lethbridge Gallery, Peninsula Arts (U.K.), Flux Factory (USA), Kitchener-Waterloo Art Gallery and Doris McCarthy Gallery (Toronto); for art events including Nuit Blanche Toronto and CAFKA (Kitchener-Waterloo); for municipalities, including Breckland Council (U.K.) and the City of Guelph; and academic groups, including the International Institute for Critical Studies in Improvisation (University of Guelph). Recent residencies include the Centre for Contemporary Art & the Natural World (U.K.), Time_Place_Space by Arts House (Australia), the Santa Fe Art Institute, and the Robert Rauschenberg Foundation (USA). She is a graduate of the University of Waterloo and is based in Guelph, Canada.
Holly Schmidt is a Vancouver artist with a research-based practice that engages processes of collaborative research and informal pedagogy. Moving across disciplinary boundaries, she explores the relationships between practices of making, knowledge creation and the formation of temporary communities. Her recent exhibitions and residency projects include Till with the Santa Fe Art Institute Food Justice Residency (2014/15), Mess Hall as part of the residency Society is a Workshop at the Banff Centre (2013), Moveable Feast at the Burnaby Art Gallery (2012) Grow with Other Sights for Artists’ Projects (2011) Moveable City with Cineworks (2009) TEI: Tangible, Embedded Computing Conference with M.I.T (2010) She is the Assistant Curator, Learning at the Contemporary Art Gallery and a sessional instructor at Emily Carr University of Art and Design.
AKA supports the creation and development of artist driven initiatives and emerging practices that speak to, reflect and encourage dialogue in our culturally diverse communities. This includes work in all media by local, national and international artists. Their venues consist of a street-level gallery, billboard and multi-use screening and performance event space; they also source off-site locations for site-specific projects. AKA is committed to acting as a centre for risk-taking and artistic self-determination produced by a diversity of voices; engaging in critical discourse and intersections with related cultural practices.
CHEP Good Food Inc. is a 27-year old charitable organization based in the Saskatoon neighbourhood of Riversdale with significant expertise in food-based community development through working with children, families and communities to improve access to good food and promoting food security. CHEP believes that food is a basic right and that a community development approach that brings people together around good food is essential.
Locals Only is one of 200 exceptional projects funded through the Canada Council for the Arts’ New Chapter initiative. With this $35 million initiative, the Council supports the creation and sharing of the arts in communities across Canada. Locals Only was developed with preliminary research funding from the Saskatchewan Arts Board Artists in Communities grant. Thank you to Saskatoon residents, small businesses, artists and academics who generously gave of their time and knowledge in the first research stage of Locals Only. Special thanks to Cory Schewaga.