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Youth volunteers sought for new art installation

Industrial Arts Sculpture Garden 2024 invites you to experience a unique fusion of two artists’ visions that interweaves living native plants with historical imagery.

Corn = Life: The Power of Naming by artists Jeff Thomas and Ron Benner, is curated by Yuluo Wei and is a tribute to Indigenous Peoples’ agricultural and cultural heritage.

A white and purple trellis serves as an homage to the 1613 Two Row Treaty, a foundational agreement between Dutch settlers and Thomas’s Haudenosaunee ancestors. His photographs serve as personal and collective contemplation on the environmental and societal ramifications of broken promises and connect with Benner’s garden, which features culturally-significant native American plants and corn, including Peruvian Purple Maize, Mandan Bride, Assiniboian Flint and Iroquoian Rainbow, which will embrace the structure as they grow. The garden also incudes chilli peppers, marigolds and sunflowers, creating a rich flora that honours its Indigenous origins.

Corn = Life is presented by Steelcase Art Projects, a new space in Markham dedicated to exhibiting the work of innovative artists. It’s offering a Junior Placemaker program for youth volunteers ages 14 to 18 years. The educational program will teach volunteers about the sculpture garden and the history behind each component of the artwork.

Volunteers will also engage with other volunteers and create their own placemaking and community-building activities through painting, photography, storytelling and food-sharing picnics. Interested volunteers should complete an online form at https://forms.gle/mDTUjKpHAxS88Kx37 or email [email protected]. Steelcase Art Projects is located at 248 Steelcase Rd. E.

Photo: Industrial Arts Sculpture Garden 2024 invites you to experience a unique fusion of two artists’ visions that interweaves living native plants with historical imagery. (Photo courtesy of Steelcase Art Projects)

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