Walking, Mapping, Art-making, Workshop and Exhibition

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Walking, Mapping, Art-Making Workshop and Exhibition
Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden
October, November 2011

During the spring of 2011, Catherine was asked by Garden Executive Director Kathy Gibler to create an innovative workshop designed specifically for youth aged 9 -12, an age group the Garden would like to increase creative engagement with. In memory of the life of Kitty Heller, a supporter of the arts and Chinatown community, Catherine proposed to pilot a two day workshop with youth living in the Downtown Eastside of Vancouver, an inner city neighbourhood. The curriculum would integrate many walks exploring and mapping the broader neighbourhood, including:

  • researching housing types in Strathcona, the city’s first residential neighbourhood, also the site of Vancouver’s first school
  • exploring historic Chinatown, including architecture, cultural societies and markets
  • the original CPR train and Interurban rail systems, accessed on Hastings Street
  • understanding Carrall as Vancouver’s first street, connecting False Creek and the Burrard inlet, and
  • the creation of the Garden for Expo ’86, and interpreting this Ming Dynasty Scholar’s home.

We spent two great days exploring with wonderful youth from the neighbourhood, who contributed incredible insights and tacit knowledge to the workshop. We also worked on journals and collages expressing our experiences over the weekend. These and photos, maps and interactive pieces were installed in an exhibition in the Hall of One Hundred Rivers at the Garden in November. We were pleased to host a reception for the exhibition, for an important reflective discussion with youth participants of the workshop, their families, and Garden staff and board members. We look forward to creating an annual workshop with young people in 2012 and beyond, expanding on what we learned from our pilot experience.