Learn with Us

  • MAMC’s mandate is to work with all people regardless of national origin or racial, religious, ethnic, age, gender or cultural differences
  • MAMC honours the fabric of memory, the thread of imagination and the texture of speculation as participants weave their voices together
  • MAMC’s projects allows participants to the exercise their rights, and to be be free from discrimination of any kind

About Us

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Dedicated Educators

  

  • Vanessa Barnett and Elena Soní are educators and creative partners in Making Art Making Change (MAMC). We both immigrated to Canada from South Africa and Venezuela respectively, escaping the climate of oppression and racism in our home countries. MAMC's mandate is to initiate conversations between communities, priority groups and institutions giving voice to the project participants. 

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  • The projects we offer are often sculptural with individual pieces assembled alongside one another in interesting configurations to mirror the authentic voices of the group. 


  • Experimentation with materials is an element of the art making. MAMC works with mixed media, through the layering of video, sound, performance, textiles, materials and found objects creating installations reflecting the conversation where intersectionality emerges provoking new questions. 


  • The work engages the larger public to become active participants in a dialogue with context and content so that we better acknowledge and ground the commonality amongst us.

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OUR PROCESS

 

  • MAMC believes in the universal power of art as a language for communication


  • MAMC intentionally builds relationships with the different community organizations to identify relevant social concerns


  • MAMC designs and implements art based projects that highlight existing conversations in communities


  • MAMC’s provide a forum for participants self expression 


  • MAMC’s creates a bridge between participating communities and cultural and civic spaces


  • MAMC’s team facilitates the creative process for participants to delve into and analyze the emergent conversations in a safe and stimulating environment 


  • MAMC seeks partnerships with cultural and civic organizations to exhibit the resulting work where the wider public becomes part of the dialogue


  • MAMC honours the fabric of memory, the thread of imagination and the texture of speculation as participants weave their voices together.

About Us

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El Anatsui in conversation with student/participants in Walls and Barriers. A Collaborative Project opening

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Accordion book creative process. Making Voice. Women's Creative Narratives. Participant D.Gladstone building her story in MAMC's workshops

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MAMC's response to the participants of Making Voice. Women's Creative Narratives. As artists our practice reacts to the conversations and interactions with the communities we create. Embroidered portraits and layered text.

2010 Walls and Barriers. A Youth Collaborative Project

Unprecedented in its scale and conception, Walls and Barriers: A Collaborative Youth Project inventively connects young artists from different backgrounds and initiated a conversation on themes of overcoming obstacles.  The participants engaged in dialogue with El Anatsui when he visited the student exhibit in Toronto during his retrospective When I last spoke to you about Africa in 2010.

2016 Finding Homes. Personal Journeys and Visual Narratives

 

MAMC developed in partnership with  the Aga Khan Museum and created Finding Home. Personal Journeys and Visual Narratives,  supported by a grant from the Ontario Arts Council, MAMC worked with  more than 250 students from Greenwood Secondary School and Marc Garneau Collegiate Institutes. Their art-based responses of their idea of Home were exhibited  for a month in the Museum’s Education Centre. 


2018 Making Voice. Women's Creative Narratives


Using tools and materials of domesticity to assert and subvert  women’s work participants used  text and mixed media to create an artist’s book illustrating individual experiences and identities that also tie into larger global and social issues. Each artwork served as a metaphor for the secret lives of women, who may have been deliberately silenced or purposely unheard.  

Between the covers, are the intersectional and interdependent issues that comprise these women’s experiences.

FACE UP. Interconnecting Communities. October 2018

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Face Up was a remarkable interaction with a group of newly arrived students to Greenwood Secondary School in Toronto. The purpose of this interaction was to creatively integrate the Hungarian Roma students into the wider school population.

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MAMC generates excitement with their tailor made projects

Countering disengagement, absenteeism  and indifference to formal schooling by offering a project that offered novelty, personal relevance through an interactive,  lively social encounter

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Total Buy In

Istvan, who  was weary of sharing his story made a resounding statement of place and self identity

MAMC at The Power Plant Contemporary Art Gallery

MAMC's Collaboration With The Power Plant Contemporary Art Gallery May 2019

 


The Winter Exhibition at The Power Plant became the catalyst for MAMC’s newest venture.

In Alicia Henry, Omar Bâ, and Shuvenai Ashoona’s work, three common themes emerged for us:

  • the tension between the physical, psychological and social self
  • the notion of duality 
  • the order and safe predictability of life undermined by the intrusion of new and unfamiliar forces.

We saw great potential for a dynamic partnership between The Power Plant, MAMC, Wexford Collegiate  School of the Arts and Ursula Franklin Academy, where a conversation between the issues generated in the Winter Exhibit mirrored the social and cultural challenges  youth encounter and the discomfort many Canadians feel when told that we are all treaty people.

  • Alicia Henry’s Witnessing depicts notions of gender and family as physical layers suggesting multiple and unfixed identities; Omar Bâ’s Same Dream questions about immigration, post colonial relations and our changing relationship to the natural world; and Shuvenai Ashoona’s Mapping Worlds her highly personal and imaginative iconography imply a sense of disruption in the life of the Inuit people. These provocations provided rich themes for the students to explore and as they navigate their homes, identities and memories.

Teachers Lynda Hattin, (Wexford) and Yolanda Mak Ursula Franklin) facilitated the creative responses shown at the gallery during the month of May. The students visited the gallery and enjoyed seeing their work exhibited alongside the artists from whom they had drawn inspiration.

Wexford Collegiate School of the Arts

Exhibition Statement

My Grade 9 art students at Wexford Collegiate School of the Arts were motivated by the height and Verticality of art works in Alicia Henry: Witnessing at The Power Plant Contemporary Art Gallery. The concept of layering appealed to them as they used ideas that reflected their inner voice. Mono printing is a very fluid process and the theme of self identity is expressed through colour and texture. The Colours evoke emotion, joy, angst, passion and fear. The contrast of warm and cool colours was intentional as we explored the conflict of innocence and growth (similar to concepts explored in the exhibition Omar Ba's Same Dream).  Thee prints express the teens' unique selves, real world realities and hidden struggles. 


Lynda B. Hattin

Assistant Curriculum Leader

 Visual Media Arts

 Wexford Collegiate School of the Arts

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Ursula Franklin Academy

Exhibition Statement

 

Unsettled: An Exploration of Identity In Transition Towards Post-Colonialism is a series of individual cinemagraphs created by the Grade 12 Film and Video students of Ursula Franklin Academy in response to The Power Plant’s 2019 exhibitions of artists Omar Ba: Same Dream,  Alicia Henry: Witnessing and Shuvinai Ashoona: Mapping Worlds

The cinema graphs consider notions of witnessing, mapping worlds, dreams, duality, disruption of order and imagery located in a place and time relevant to the artists.  Elements such as scale, texture, the land and use of the human figure specifically influenced us, and are mirrored in our work.

The students also explored the intersectionality of our own identities through the lens of Settler/ First Nation and Treaty Partner identities. These are identities for all who live on this land at this time.. They found the process unsettling at times, yet also hopeful. A way forward.

The responses to this endeavour are highly personal. Concepts such as ‘disconnection”, ‘shame”, “anonymity”, and “hope” arose, and were foundations for creating these cinemagraphs. 

Viewers are invited into the poetic space these works generate and to locate themselves within the unsettling and hopeful narratives.


Yolanda Mak 

Visual and Media Arts Instructor

Ursula Franklin /Academy

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MAMC Collaboration with The Power Plant and Ursula Franklin Academy

Ursula Franklin Academy. Grade 12 Response. Unsettled

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What happens in a MAMC partnership

 

  • Sense of accomplishment
  • Sense of pride
  • Community’s name recognition
  • Personal interaction with the broader public
  • A social gathering and memorable experiences
  • A new group of people seeing themselves represented
  • A new community

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MakingArtMakingChange

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es@makingartmakigchange.com vb@makingartmakingchange.com