Barn Raising as Installation Art Turned into Community Memory Raising.

theartsBy Pepper Parr

October 15th, 2019



The city invests a considerable amount of money in public art and throughout each year contests are held that allow artists to pitch their ideas for what is referred to as “installation” art; something that is not permanent and is often work that can be interacted with.

The city announced seven installation art locations that were to be launched along with Culture Days which took place late in September.

A communications glitch got in the way of our publishing and promoting these events. The Senior Manager Strategic Communications prevented us from talking to the Manager of Cultural Services for some clarification.

The answers the Senior Manager Strategic Communications gave us were not clear and we didn’t have the time to do the back and forth that was required to get clear answers.

Cobalt Connects, the Hamilton based organization that manages the selection of artist’s process made what appears now available and we share it with you.

With information that is clear we can now share with you what the city made possible.

These installations will be on display until October 27, 2019. There are seven Temporary Art Installations

These artists transformed spaces across Burlington with temporary public art installations. By placing art in unexpected spaces such as parks and community centres, the Public Art Lab brings contemporary art to new audiences. All installations are free of charge! The Public Art Lab is produced by the City of Burlington’s public art program.

The art is pretty well distributed throughout the city – except for Aldershot – they got stiffed.

Thomas Sokoloski, Listening to the Walls has done a Photo and Sound Installation based on that phrase: “If these walls could talk…”.  It comes to life with Listening to the Walls, a site-specific interactive installation inspired by the memories of the Lowville community.

Art Lowville image

Done as a community ‘barn-raising’, residents were invited to participate in a ‘memory-raising’

In the tradition of a community ‘barn-raising’, residents were invited to participate in a ‘memory-raising’ to build and structure an oral history about their experiences. Adorning the upper walls of the barn will be photographic portraits of these storytellers, and below them designated areas where the public can listen to walls tell these stories from within.

Thom Sokoloski is a multi-disciplinary artist whose career spans over 45 years. He co-founded The Theatre Centre, the Native Theatre School and Autumn Leaf Performance. He directed and toured the music-theatre works of R. Murray Schafer as well as his own theatre and opera creations to LaMama NYC, COC, Montreal Opera, Lyon Opera, The Banff Centre and Toronto’s World Stage Festival.

His large-scale art installations were commissioned by Toronto’s Nuit Blanche, Art Toronto, McMichael Canadian Art Gallery, Art Spin and Socrates Sculpture Park (NYC).

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