"Making Space”: The Works Canadian Aboriginal Artist Program

Natalie Castrogiovanni, Exhibit Technology & Production Assistant

As a visual art student two years into my BFA, I have come to see what an art education looks like in a university setting. Among many learning curves, I have internalized the compulsion and necessity of working with a theme in one’s work. A concept or theme is a point of reference from which ideas stem and through which creativity can flow. The Works Art and Design Festival selects a theme to work with each year, and this summer the theme is “Making Space." 

It is a particularly fitting one, because the Works as an organization that embodies this concept. The Works has carved out a place for itself and for Art and Design in Alberta’s capital city and sustained this for 30 years. Through projects, programs and events, The Works promotes and protects the artistic community. Amid its programs, and crucial to its 2015 theme is The Works Canadian Aboriginal Artist Program. The program invites established, up-and-coming and renowned Aboriginal artists Canada-wide to showcase their work and speak to issues and themes affecting all Canadians, but especially important to the Aboriginal community. 

The Works Art and Design Festival falls on National Aboriginal Day, giving it the elevated responsibility of making space for  the voices of the Aboriginal peoples of Canada. Creating space for marginalized and silenced voices is deeply ingrained in the visual arts, and the most powerful works arise from these potent voices, especially when they hold the key to the history and visual culture of our young country.  

To learn more about Festival programming, check out the Festival Guide.