Thursday, November 10, 2011

Blog Guelph | Boundaries, Territories, and Edges: Let's Delimit

Stop Ahead by Royal_Rivers
Stop Ahead, a photo by Royal_Rivers on Flickr.

Boundaries, territories, and edges. Every day we face and negotiate limits. We touch on edges, stretch circumferences, walk a mile on a line. Play a game on the square. Every day we are challenged with bounded, fixed, and forced frontiers in our lives.

How do we break away, differentiate, and challenge these borderlands? How do we as individuals and a community, cross thresholds creatively and with vitality in order to make important, supportive change in our lives ?

A confluence of recent events have caused me to think about territory and boundary and  where and how people stake out claims and why. It is probably a deeper social project; a somewhat perilous foray into social and interpersonal introspection. I think it is something feared. For we like our fences. We stand behind our walls. We protect our lands from trespass. But isolated, we are ineffective, diminished, and unfulfilled.

Occasionally I am reminded of the absolutely amazing things that can happen when we break down those barriers. Mayor Karen Farbridge's State of the City  address this morning was one of those moments when we had the opportunity to see really shining examples of how collaboration, sharing, and innovation can truly affect change. One of the examples was the  Ward One Arthur Street South Woods' Site project which is part of the Places to Grow/Smart Growth Plan spearheaded by Maria Pezzano and her amazing team. For those of you who don't know about this incredible project, I encourage you to learn more. Maria is also the agent behind the plans for Guelph Art Works, an artist driven/focused centre dedicated to providing facilities such as studios, gallery spaces,  resources, and educational initiatives to our community. Maria, through trust, collaboration, and by taking down fences, continues to be one of the formidable forces of change in this city. 

Finally, in thinking about boundaries, I can say that our annual fundraising art auction was once known as Framed. Some time ago it was changed to Beyond the Frame - a testament to the fact that art and creativity and culture keeps priming its edges for crossings, mixings, and metamorphosis. I hope you'll come to this event on Saturday to help us celebrate over 40 artists from the community and MSAC's over 30 years as a public art gallery serving Guelph.

Thank you for taking the time to read this and I thank Sue Richards for her continued support and vision for Blog Guelph; yet another example of diminishing barriers, crossing over the wall to other perspectives, and realizing change.

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