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New art project aims to bring communities together

By Joel Wittnebel/The Oshawa Express

A new art project is looking to inspire creativity by bringing together community members and organizations who may have never known the other existed.

The initiative, being dubbed The Cycle, will showcase the works of various artists in an event on March 25 and is meant to break artists out of their shells and create a new way of looking at and creating art.

“By involving a myriad of different community groups…people who normally wouldn’t collaborate and work, or even know of each other’s existence or what they offer, we’re going to put them all in the same room at the same time,” says Councillor Rick Kerr, a main driving force behind the event’s creation.

That same room at the same time occurred in late January at UOIT’s downtown campus when The Cycle kicked off with a night of generating ideas and partnerships around the inaugural exposition’s theme; hope.

“What I really like about it is it’s going to get all of these groups together,” Kerr says, “Art shouldn’t be dependent on anything.”

The organizations taking part in the initiative include the Oshawa Art Association, the Durham Youth Orchestra, PFLAG, the Islamic Centre of Oshawa, Metis Council of Oshawa Durham, the Durham Folklore Storytellers and the Living Room Community Art Studio, along with a collection of local artists and musicians.

“I’ve told the artists to come with a blank canvas, and when they hear this, hopefully what they get is inspiration to create something new,” Kerr says.

Kerr says the inspiration for the event came from the community itself, and the desire to showcase the vibrant arts and culture community that the city has. It’s something that city staff have also been trying to do in recent years with the launch of its Culture Counts plan and an increased focus on arts and culture events.

“We have an incredibly vibrant community of all genres of art,” Kerr says.

“I think it has an amazing potential to really unite and show people Oshawa is more than a GM town.”

The March 25 event will also be held at the UOIT downtown building at 61 Charles St. and is free for all to attend. More information on the event can be found on The Cycle’s Facebook page.