TRU arts residency focuses on reconciliation

'Once you get into artistic exploration, you can really start to see some changes'

A TRU arts media lab is turning talk of reconciliation into practice - artistic practice.

Six aboriginal and six non-aboriginal artists will gather at TRU from July 15 to Aug. 15 to develop new works on reconciliation in Canada.

Reconsidering Reconciliation is hosted by the Centre for Innovation in Culture and Arts in Canada with the intention of engaging reconciliation between aboriginals and non-aboriginals through creative practice.

"People have been talking about reconciliation issues for a few years, particularly since the TRC struck its mandate of residential schools," said Ashok Mathur, centre director.

Politicians and survivors have engaged the subject; this is an opportunity for artists to follow suit. Art has the potential to inspire change.

The residency supports a focus on reflection, innovation and socio-political engagement. Artists and critical thinkers will contemplate new possibilities, experiment with different technologies and materials, and engage with the community.

"It seems to me that on or the ways people can articulate these ideas is through creative practice," Mathur said. "Once you get into artistic exploration, you can really start to see some changes."

The creative output will be shown at venues across Canada. Mathur said a presentation near the end of the residency may be held in the TRU Art Gallery.

Co-ordinating artists include Chris Bose (Kamloops), Adrian Stimson (Saskatoon) and Tania Willard (Neskonlith). Invited participants include artists from across Western Canada and Ontario.

Anyone interested in the process can sign up for the MOOC (Massive Open Online Course) on the Art of Reconciliation. A free, non-credit space unaffiliated with TRU, the MOOC will run from July 15 to Sept. 30. For more information or to register, visit rmooc.ca.

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