Reclaim the Streets- a symposium on art and public space

From Katarina Thorsen:

On April 26, 2014 I attended a powerful symposium on Public Art at Open Space in Victoria, BC: RECLAIM THE STREETS– a provocative title that led to wonderful dialogue.


Screen shot 2014-04-27 at 10.08.13 AM


Passionate about our right as artists to freely express ourselves, I was intrigued by all the discourse.

publicly-owned public space, privately-owned public space, publicly-owned private space, private space…

creative city craze, rise of the creative class, successful public art causes a deviation in one’s trajectory, social space is a verb, in motion, a process…

How do we open up the ability for artists to feel free to express?  How do you engineer the space?  Should you?

I was so honored to participate in a panel discussion and was inspired by the passion in the room and on the panel.

Session 2: Making Space: Public Art and Youth Engagement 

In recent years, many artists have turned toward socially engaged and community-based art projects. These public works are predicated on a process of democratic dialogue and audience collaboration and are less concerned with a tangible end product. What are the ethics of socially engaged art? What is the artist’s role in these community-based projects, and conversely, what is the role of the community? How can youth become engaged with claiming public space for their art practice? How do we determine the success of the project? How do we ensure youth are able to assert their “right to the city”?

Moderator: Sue Donaldson

Participants: Sacha Ouellett, Hjalmer Wenstob, Will Weiglerand Katarina Thorsen

The best take away came from my fellow panelist, Will:

Only Connect. – E.M. Forster




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