Over the course of the 2017-18 school year A New Path to the Waterfall was a collaborative art project that situated a CAG satellite gallery space within MaryAnn Persoon’s grade 6/7 class at Lord Strathcona Elementary School.
In 2015 the Contemporary Art Gallery invited Portland-based artist Harrell Fletcher for a residency at our Burrard Marina Field House. Growing out of that period of research, Fletcher proposed a yearlong project in a classroom connected to issues and topics in the school curriculum. The project was conceived to open up new ways for the students to engage with art and the wider world while re-shaping the ways in which we consider contemporary art, gallery spaces and public schools.
Within A New Path to the Waterfall, MaryAnn Persoon’s grade 6/7 class engaged in five projects created and led by six Vancouver-based artists; Justine A. Chambers, Elisa Ferrari, Hannah Jickling, Carmen Papalia, Helen Reed and T’uy’t’tanat Cease Wyss.
The students were encouraged to take creative risks and experiment with different ways of making to investigate local ecosystems and issues surrounding accessibility, inclusion, power structures and taste and consumption across all sensorial experiences. Aspects of each project in A New Path to the Waterfall were presented to the public through exhibitions, interventions, performances and public programming at six week intervals on-site at the school and in the surrounding Strathcona neighbourhood.