Digging deeper at Greenest City

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We’ve been a bunch of busy bees at Making Room this summer, more so than ever before! Every year, we take some time off of our Sand in Water and Drop-In workshops at PARC to relax, focus on artist development and plan for the year ahead. But since our newest partner, Greenest City, works with gardeners in the Mazaryk-Cowan Park and elsewhere primarily during the summer months, we knew we couldn’t miss out on the opportunity to make new relationships and get to know the urban gardeners and community members over there!

Starting in May, Making Room artists have been working with people of all ages in the park, in and out of the garden. In collaboration with Greenest City community artist Helen Melbourne, we made weather-durable garden number placards at the
Summer’s beginning.

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After that, we made dozens of paper lanterns and braids from which to string them. In an effort to reimagine our mobile art cart for use at the park with Greenest City, we stripped it down and made shingles for a new roof and wove strings together through chicken wire for the outside window panels.

But most fun of all, we’ve been dying and sewing huge strips of fabric towards making a great big canopy for the Harvest Festival, the first collaborative celebration between our two organizations. The festival will take place in Masaryk Park at 2pm on September 19th. There will be lots to dive into, including art-making, a tour of the Hope Garden, music from local artists, a special Harvest Ceremony, and the unveiling of Parkdale’s newest mural! Keep watching our page for more information about the event. In the meantime, join us in Masaryk Park from 3-6pm every Wednesday for art-making and fun!

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Working at Greenest City has been a totally riveting new experience for us at Making Room. We’re used to working in spaces that have many purposes for many people, but the particular cross-streams of communities and uses that we see at Masaryk Park and in the Hope Garden are a different palette than what we’ve done at PARC. We’ve been making art with urban gardeners from all over the world and Canada, with children and youth bursting with creative energy, with local business owners and with many of the folks we know from PARC in a totally new context.

So, as we often do, we started our project here with simple and big questions like, what is here in the park? What are it’s rhythms and how do people make and respond to its landscape? And how can we celebrate and elaborate that through art?

Folks at Greenest City and in the park have been incredibly welcoming, delightfully curious, and healthily suspicious of us as we begin to lay roots in this shared space and community. It’s an organization that brings us closer to our food, our planet, and our neighbours. But we’re finding that it also helps us understand urban space, the way that our public and private rhythms respond to each other, and the way we make ourselves legible to each other.

Here’s to digging deeper at Greenest City!

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