City of Kitchener
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2017 Artist in Residence

Introducing Julie Sperling and her project, Climate in Pieces: From Art to Action

Julie in her studio (photo by Darin White - makebright.com)

For her yearlong project as 2017 artist in residence, Julie Sperling will engage the community in an open dialogue about the environment using a series of mosaics.

"I have been creating mosaics that reflect changes in our climate for three years and have found that mosaic is a powerful medium for communicating about the environment," says Julie. "I am excited for the opportunity to engage more meaningfully with the community. Exploring the environment through art offers the chance to talk about local initiatives like light rail transit, local food and stormwater management."

Residents will have the opportunity to create a small modular mosaic symbolizing their commitment to take one practical action to reduce their carbon footprint. These community-made pieces will be used to create a larger mosaic representing the community's collective effort to protect our natural environment.

Make a mosaic and contribute to Julie's community project! 

Date & time

Activity

Location

Saturday, June 3

1-4pm

Workshop at REEP House
(participants must be age 18 or older)

Learn about energy and climate change from experts at REEP House and join Julie on an expedition to forage for materials, use a traditional mosaic hammer and make a small mosaic to contribute to Julie's final project.  

Pre-registration required. Register now!

REEP House,
20 Mill St. 

Sunday, June 4

1-3pm

World Environment Day

Be part of the Blue Dot movement and celebrate World Environment Day at city hall. Take part in a variety of activities and stop by Julie's booth to make a mosaic that shows what action you'll take to act on climate change.  

Kitchener city hall, 200 King St. W.

Saturday, June 10

8:30-11am

Neighbours Day at the Downtown Community Centre
Stop by Julie's station to make a small mosaic.

Downtown Community Centre

35-B Weber St. W.

Saturday, June 24

1-4pm

 

Workshop at Huron Natural Area
(participants must be age 18 or older)

Learn about stormwater management (like rain gardens and wetlands) from the experts at Huron Natural Area.  Then join Julie on a guided walk to gather materials, try your hand using a traditional mosaic hammer and make a small mosaic to contribute to Julie's final project.  

Pre-registration required.  Register now!

 

Huron Natural Area

801 Trillium Dr.

Thursday, July 27

6:30-9:30pm

Workshop at Steckle Heritage Farm
(participants must be age 18 or older)

Learn about local food and climate change from the experts at Steckle Heritage Farm. Then join Julie on a an expedition to forage for materials, use a traditional mosaic hammer and make a small mosaic to contribute to Julie's final project.

Pre-registration required. Register now!

Steckle Heritage Farm,
811 Bleams Rd.

Month of August

Work in progress exhibit

Check out Julie's beautiful mosaics and learn about climate change through art.

Berlin Tower ARTSPACE, ground floor, city hall

Tuesday, Aug. 15,
3-7pm

'Open Tuesday' at Steckle Heritage Farm
($5 entrance fee per family to Steckle Farm)

Explore this educational farm, learn about the importance of local food in the fight against climate change and make a small mosaic to contribute to Julie's final project.

Steckle Heritage Farm,
811 Bleams Rd.

Saturday, Aug. 26,

10am-1pm

Guided Bike Ride and Workshop
(participants must be age 18 or older)

Join a guided bike ride to get to know some of Kitchener's bike infrastructure, with stops along the way to forage for mosaic materials. Then use a traditional mosaic hammer to make a small mosaic to contribute to Julie's final project.

Pre-registration required.  Register now! 

Breithaupt Community Centre,

350 Margaret Ave.

Saurday, Sept. 9,
1:30-3:30pm

Sustainable Living Speaker's Series

Hear Julie's thoughts about climate change from a mosaic artist's perspective. Tour REEP house, and make a small mosaic to contribute to Julie's final project.

REEP House,
20 Mill St. 

December 2017 and January 2018

Climate in Pieces: from Art to Action closing exhibit

This exhibit celebrates the culmination of Julie's work as Kitchener's 2017 Artist in Residence. Using the small mosaics made by the community throughout her residency, Julie has created a intricate artwork that powerfully illustrates the community's commitment to the environment. 

Berlin Tower ARTSPACE, ground floor, city hall

"This is the first time we have a mosaic artist as our artist in residence," notes Silvia DiDonato, manager, arts and creative industries. "We're thrilled Sperling will bring the community together to open a discussion about an important topic that touches all citizens who can get involved and share their efforts through visually stunning mosaic art."

Four mosaics will be created focusing on energy, transportation, food and natural stormwater management. Community engagement will consist of partnering with environmental organizations to engage and connect with residents at festivals, events and workshops. The materials used will be sourced locally to emphasize the connection to the community. The final exhibition will include the community-fabricated modular mosaics and a large mosaic showing Kitchener residents' commitment to the environment. 

Julie's mosaic work

About Julie Sperling

Julie Sperling is a mosaicist camped out at the intersection of art, environment, science, and policy. She believes in the important role that artists play as advocates, activists, and change-makers.

Since 2014, she has been dedicated to the creation of an ongoing series of climate change mosaics. A passionate communicator and seasoned analyst on the environment file, she brings a unique perspective to activist art. As an artist who uses a majority of foraged and reclaimed materials (geologic, natural, industrial, urban, and more), her work has a strong connection to place. 

Follow Sperling's blog and Twitter account @jsmosaics for updates by the artist.

Julie in her studio (photo by Darin White - makebright.com)