John Abbott College

21Mar2011

I’ve put off posting about this event now for sometime now, as it’s a bitter-sweet tale. Sweet first.

The EN MASSE initiative was invited to John Abbott College to create what would become our largest event by a long shot, involving a handful of artists working with well over 65 + incredibly talented Cegep students! This project marked a return to an important aspect of EN MASSE; an educational branch of activity that had been placed on hold for nearly a year, since our first scholastic/mentorship project at the Red Bird Studio as part of ART POP Montreal, in 2010.

 

Spanning three COLD days in late October 2010, shivering through the damp cold and rain, this incredible collaboration stretched across 350 linear feet of plywood, covering an enormous  construction site on the front lawn of the school. We warmed ourselves over cups Tim Horton’s coffee (read crack), taking turns heading into the foyer of the building to find feeling in our hands and feet for the next round of mark-making.
As with our Art Pop/Red Bird production, Katie Green and Darryl Climan once again jumped into the fray in a massive way, bringing to the table years of experience in the school systems in order to make help bring to life this beast!  A huge thanks to you both, and to the rest of the staff of JAC who played key roles in supporting the project, and bringing the students out to participate in the creation of one of the most impressive drawings i’ve seen in my short life!

However, the story ended with a bitter twist.  Tragically, only days after the completion of the event, three artists were struck by a train and killed while writing on the tracks, a couple of whom we had just finished working with.  This devastating news  spread rapidly throughout the artistic community, stirring up tremendous grief over the loss of these students/friends, and fueling a fire of heated public debate over the often controversial practice of graffitti.

 

Our hearts go out to the friends and families of these three departed, and if not already formally said, would like to dedicate the work we did together over that chilly October weekend to their memory.

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The results of this incredible experiment in collaborative drawing can be seen in scrolling through this very small sampling of images that follow.  I’ll be posting many many more on our Facebook page in the coming days…check ‘em out!
Our list of artists was relatively small:

The list of students is ENORMOUS!  If someone has one, or would like to take a shot at putting one down, I’ll post it with great pleasure…three cheers to you all!!!!!

 

 

Click on the images for a larger view… there are a couple that scroll horizontally for a longgggg time…SOAK IT UP!!