The Workers Arts & Heritage Centre’s new exhibits explore the multifaceted lives of workers
The People United and Bread and Butter tell the stories of workers.
This past February, the Workers Arts & Heritage Centre opened two new exhibits in their space. The People United and Bread and Butter each tackle different but meaningful conversations.
The WAHC emphasizes its connection to the labor history of Canada by exploring how people work within the world. They do this by hosting exhibitions, workshops and programs for a range of ages and a multitude of other components. Tara Bursey, executive director of WAHC, plays a large role in many of these events.
“We are interested in the ways people work in the world, both for pay and no pay, and preserve and protect the history of labor and social movements through our programming,” said Bursey, in a statement for The Silhouette.
The People United was curated last year by Tamara Toledo, who is the curator/director of Sur Gallery. The exhibit aimed to showcase the power that people have through the work of several groups and artists. These artists are the Beehive Collective, Colectivo LASTESIS, Carlos Colín, Cristian Ordóñez and Syrus Marcus Ware.
Now, the exhibit is mounted at WAHC where they highlight the work as well. People can come to view the exhibit on Saturdays from 12 P.M. to 4 P.M. and Wednesdays to Fridays from 10 A.M. to 4 P.M.
“Themes in the exhibition include Afrofuturism, protest movements in Chile, resistance to extractivist projects in Latin America, and the material culture of social movements like stamps, banners and posters,” said Bursey, in a statement for The Silhouette.
Simultaneously, the Bread and Butter exhibit is composed of works from the WAHC’s permanent collection. It explores how a variety of working people receive and view food. This includes how food is delivered to populations, the fight for ensuring everyone is able to have food, and even how food is made. The exhibit was curated with the acknowledgment of issues present pertaining to food such as food insecurity.
To highlight issues such as food insecurity, WAHC has collaborated with Strathcona Market and Community Fridges Hamont. For the past two months they have had a shopping cart placed in the gallery. The aim was to allow people to not only learn about the complexity of food through the exhibit but to actively participate in making a positive difference.
“[The shopping cart] made our second floor Community Gallery the site of not just a collection of objects, but a space of community care where visitors could be agents of positive change in our neighbourhood and beyond,” said Bursey, in a statement for The Silhouette.
Ultimately The People United and Bread and Butter touch on the stories of working people by giving a platform to artists whose work reflects the power of human action. The WAHC believes these exhibits mark the start of what will be a great year of programs.