Article, Social Justice, Urban Issues

Super Cool Tuesdays – Fall 2015

December 18, 2015

Super Cool Tuesdays wrapped up for the Fall a few weeks ago.  We were lucky to have welcomed a great selection of artists during this past session, and to have partnered with community organizations such as Heart of the City Festival (HOTC) and Hives for Humanities.

Highlights from the eight week program include: our offsite field trip to Hidden Past Digital Futures exhibition, where we donned 3D glasses and journeyed to Place Hampi, Columpa C. Bobb’s raven story as part of HOTC, and Carmen Papalia’s presentation on radical accessibility. Another artist, School for the Contemporary Arts faculty member Allyson Clay, shared paintings and poems.  Once such poem and its accompanying image had the attendees laughing and sharing other short and witty lines:

John Milton
Never stayed in a Hilton
Which was just as well
(by W. H. Auden)

The Fall 2015 session ended with a small celebration, honey tasting, and meal with Hives for Humanities and their friends as they were wrapping up their fundraising campaign.  It was great to work with all the artists during this past program, but to also rewarding to acknowledge and work with the individuals and organizations that have been advocating and creating alongside the community here in the Downtown Eastside.

A bit about Super Cool Tuesdays:

Super Cool Tuesdays, also known as Contemporary Arts 101, is a drop-in speaker series involving local and visiting artists in conversation with SFU students, faculty, and residents of the DTES. The series is also an ongoing Community Partnership program with the PHS’s Drug Users Resource Centre and takes place at the Interurban Gallery at the corner of Hastings and Carrall Streets. By fostering informal conversations about art and art practices, Super Cool Tuesdays addresses a range of social and political topics, while also responding to the interests and concerns of the members of the DTES community.

Over 35 artists have participated in the series to date, including Ken Lum, Sabine Bitter, Althea Thauberger, Walter Scott, Cathy Busby, the Instant Coffee collective, Damian Moppett and Jeneen Frei Njootli. Many of the participating artists make work that is based on social justice, activism, relational practices and other related and unrelated approaches. Other artists use informal and accessible materials, found objects, pop cultural references, and humour. All of them encourage active engagement as a way to help examine our contemporary moment. Ultimately, the goal of Super Cool Tuesdays is to provide a safe and open opportunity for people who may otherwise feel excluded from conventional art contexts and discourses to be able to experience, question, and critically examine contemporary art works and practices. The kind of sustained engagement the series provides, builds relationships between Downtown Eastside residents, university students, and artists in an environment in which there are currently few opportunities for reciprocal and respectful interaction and exchange.

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