After spending time collecting stories with the community some themes arose:
Community members shared how much they are connected to the outdoor parks and pathways.
They also shared stories about renovating their houses, building fences, and general maintenance.
As well as, they shared the connections they have to people (and animals) of this community (for example, the people who shovel your walkway, people who have developed traditions of sharing a small gift, or other people’s thoughtful help at times of need).
There were also stories of shared events (such as the stampede breakfast and parade).
Many people mentioned pride in the diversity of people in this community (from different cultural backgrounds, to different economic levels).
Many people shared their love of the mature trees in the neighborhood.
I was inspired by the idea of creating a mural that would have a series of individual tree leaves along a fence to create one larger fence mural. This mural will represent how the individual stories of people can come together to create a shared story of community.
In workshops, over the course of the last 3 months over 218 people participated in creating leaf-shaped artwork.
Students from The Ranchlands School, Saint Rita's school, the Kids Come First Program, as well as community artists all participated in creating the leaf artwork. To make each piece of artwork a shared experience by community members, each leaf has had at least two people contribute to creating it.
Younger people participated in creating the background colours of the leaves. The youth were able to paint the colour that represents the community story (they choose what colour represented Ranchlands). They painted the colour on the background and added the lines for the veins of the leaf.
The background piece was passed to an older person who added zentangle patterns (patterns without images) and a word that represented the community. Some children chose a word from their own personal story, while other children chose to share a word that represents a story that someone else had shared in the community. During the workshops, the artist through storytelling and voice recordings of individuals, shared stories she had collected.
Creating the zentangle’s designs on the leaves:
The Printing of the Leaves onto Outdoor Materials: Thank you RunDigital
The Leaves Created by Community Members:
Community Celebration. Over 70 people came out to share in our community potluck and see the artwork. It was a wonderful opportunity to connect and share stories.
Community cards were given out during the event as a thank you as well as an opportunity to write your neighbour a note: