Building Cultural Legacies with Art in Hamilton Exhibit

HAMILTON – On December 6th, the Hamilton Arts Council, in Partnership with Hamilton Public Library and the Art Gallery of Hamilton, will launch the BUILDING CULTURAL LEGACIES exhibition and digital storytelling project aimed to build knowledge, spark creativity and deepen connection by engaging citizens from diverse communities and generations in the sharing of stories about the history of visual arts in Hamilton between 1950 and 2000.

An official unveiling will kick off the exhibit.

“This is an important project. The fantastic stories that we will be gathering and sharing within Building Cultural Legacies are incredibly powerful in connecting us to who we are, where we came from, and where we are going.” Christopher McLeod, Project Director, Building Cultural Legacies

BUILDING CULTURAL LEGACIES has been long in the making and presents not only a survey of Hamiltonian artists and art institutions, but their personal anecdotes and perspectives, featuring community contributions from diverse writers, researchers and archives.

As the visual art world in Hamilton continued to branch with new growth at an increasing speed, Hamilton Artists Inc. co-founder Bryce Kanbara and friends felt the push to begin comprehensively collecting the stories of the near-past that had played out on the same landscape that they currently worked.

“We began contacting artists, visiting their homes, finding out that their whole lives had been centred around art. As soon as we stepped into the doorway, we could see that there were paintings lining the walls, lining the floors and they had scrapbooks full of information that were really valuable to us,” said Kanbara

BUILDING CULTURAL LEGACIES creates a space for artists, educators, researchers, students, connoisseurs and everyone in-between to easily access and actively contribute to Hamilton’s rich visual arts history. The stories told here are shaped by many voices, an essential element in order to provide a picture as intricate and layered as the people of Hamilton are. The current vibrancy of the city owes much to the efforts of those who came before us, many of whom still work and live in the area.

Generously supported by the Ontario Trillium Foundation, further support of this project
has been provided by Centre 3, City of Hamilton, Hamilton Artists Inc., Hamilton Arts & Letters, Hamilton Conservatory for the Arts, McMaster Museum of Art, Workers Arts & Heritage Centre and You Me Gallery.

Artists and related organizations working between 1950-2000 are invited to continue in sharing by submitting their images and stories to the BUILDING CULTURAL LEGACIES website in order to present a more truthful and dynamic snapshot into our shared past.

The exhibit will run from November 23, 2019 – May 18, 2020 at the Art Gallery of Hamilton. Featuring works by local artists Jim Chambers, Roger Ferreira, Conrad Furey, Cees & Annerie van Gemerden, Catherine Gibbon, Hortense Gordon, V. Jane Gordon, Elizabeth Holbrook, Donna Ibing, Bryce Kanbara, Peter Karuna, P. Mansaram and George Wallace, along with archival materials from Hamilton’s art history.

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