2020 Artist in Residence: Behnaz Fatemi

The Pegman Project: Let's Make a Mark Together!

Each year, for the past 25 years, the City of Kitchener has welcomed an artist who shared their practice with the community. Indeed the mandate of the residency is a strong commitment to community engagement. 

Last year, the City of Kitchener welcomed Behnaz Fatemi as the artist in residence. Behnaz is a visual artist who explores various media including painting, drawing, installation and sculpture. The artist was ready to start her community engagement when we entered the first COVID-19 lockdown. She diligently worked to pivot her original proposal of delivering activities in the community in response to the fluctuating restrictions related to the pandemic throughout the year. Behanz successfully led The Pegman Project – named after the small icon on Google Maps. With help from the community, the artist attempted to answer the question of how cultural background, past experiences and social values can shape people’s views towards immigrants and refugees. She facilitated virtual and small group activities where participants used clay to explore healing properties of creating with clay and expressing their view on the residency theme.

Thanks to the hospitality of Art$Pay, Behnaz has installed all the artworks in a window space for passive viewing. Please see the final exhibition accordion below for more details.

Thank you Behnaz for leading the 2020 residency!

Introducing Behnaz Fatemi

Behnaz Fatemi - originally from Iran - moved to Canada in 2018. She received her Bachelor of Arts in Fine Arts from the University of Guilan, Rasht, Iran. She has an extensive exhibition history in Iran, and an upcoming exhibition at the Cambridge Centre for the Arts and the Canadian Clay & Glass Gallery in Waterloo. She is also scheduled to show her work at the studios of Art Incubate in Waterloo, which are part of Art$Pay – a not for profit local organization that provides in-depth tools for the visual arts sector.
Her interests include the human condition, politics, religion and personal beliefs. She hopes to encourage our community to share stories and reflections of how people’s lifestyles have been affected by the pandemic and the resultant quarantine.

 Hear Behnaz speak about what inspires her. 
 Visit Behnaz's website to see all her artworks.
 Social media
 Visit Behnaz's Instagram account to see what she's up to.

Final exhibition

See the sculptures and written reflections of our community members from the residency, in the window of Art Incubate at 56 Regina Street North, Waterloo. On view until April 30, 2021.

Past activities

Art kits

As part of her residency, Behnaz invited volunteers of all ages and cultural backgrounds, to make a small clay sculpture - the Pegman. Adults, seniors and children were encouraged to participate by filling out an intake form to receive an art kit in the mail. Thank you to our partners, Artshine Inc. for their assistance in safe packing and distribution. Thank you to all volunteers who participated!

Be sure to visit this page for updates what happens once the Pegmans are fired.

In the meantime, if you missed the opportunity to participate, and have some modelling clay at home, check out the instructional video on how to make a Pegman of your own.

Canadian Clay and Glass Gallery artist talk
Look for Behnaz sharing her work, processes, inspirations and stories through a virtual art talk as part of the Gallery's In the Kiln Room: Digital Artist Talks series.
Make your own Pegman instructional video
If you missed the opportunity to receive an art kit, and have some modelling clay at home, check out the instructional video on how to make a Pegman of your own. 

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