More than 20 new contributors have joined the project since we opened the studio two weeks ago, and one (of seven) panels is nearly completed, and two others are in progress. As the saying goes, many hands make light work.
Every open studio session — indeed, every hour — is different. Some folks drop-in for half an hour on the way to or from an appointment in the Sherbourne Health Centre, and others come to the centre specifically to work on building the mosaic. As project contributors gain experience and technical skill, they pass on what they’ve learned to new contributors. Hand tools — files, tile nippers, chisels — are shared back and forth. Music is often playing in the background.
While setting tiles, we tell stories from our lives or newspaper headlines. Just this week, I learned a bit about container vegetable gardening and the principles of chiropractic care. One contributor told us about a short video they made and posted on youtube in response to the violence on the York University campus. The conversation moved fluidly from art, activism, and community safety, to social media (like facebook, youtube, and twitter).
Open studio is like an ecosystem — dynamic, constantly changing, and cooperative. Everyone is welcome.