Teresa Casas is an independent writer/curator who works with communities to develop their stories through the study of photographs, local landscapes and art.
back to the park consists of weekly pop up exhibits and animation activities that explore food, public space, memory, recreation and art at the Wychwood Barns Farmers Market. http://backtothepark.wordpress.com/
My gallery jobs always involved having one foot in the institution and the other in the surrounding park. I designed activities in the 1990’s and early 2000’s for the Power Plant and Oakville Galleries offering lakefront visitors light, interactive entry-points to exhibitions. Under the shadow of the Power Plant smokestack and outside its doors with Luis Jacob, Kika Thorne and other artists I produced “One Night Stand” a series of nocturnal events that heralded art’s move out to the street in the late nineties. Keeping with the impulse to exit or extend the gallery, at Oakville I designed “Site Scope” month-long blog residencies for writers and artists. Describing their ventures beyond established boundaries and official routes Jeff Thomas, Kirsten Fokert and others inspired residents to understand their own subtle geographies of place. In January of this year, drawn back to the park, I embedded myself in the year-round farmers’ market at Artscape Wychwood Barns. At dawn everty Saturday I set up a display alongside the local farmers, artisan food producers and start-up chefs. Mine is a harvest of texts and images from GTA archives and online databases illustrating an incident, or issue at the forefront of civic life a century ago that is still close to home. Past and present are brought together in conversation. Why does the St. Clair right-of-way first installed a century ago still trigger such angry debate? Why are farmers markets and local food essential to urban life? Why do some spaces feel charged with danger for women? How has photography been used to popularize a space as a park? How has the creation of local social networks gone to the dogs? And, what happened to the salad bowl hat with the declaration of war?