Bert is a multidisciplinary artist who works in drawing, painting, photography, sculpture, writing, film and acting. She shares her experience on how the Weave and Mend project has changed her life.
As an Indigenous artist, the Weave and Mend project was an incredible opportunity for me to claim and design a space that valued my cultural beliefs. By working on the project, I felt like I would be contributing to something beyond myself that would evolve over time.
My creative process is cultivated through my emotions. I draw from personal experiences, research and experimentation. I draw inspiration from what I see, often taking photos of videos of what’s around me.
I use art as a healing tool. Art has changed the way I look at the world and has instilled meaning into my existence. Art has given me a voice to tell my experiences and express myself in a way that goes beyond words and actions.
My biggest inspirations lay in my environment and those who I surround myself with. I am inspired by my Anishinaabe culture and the resilience of Indigenous people. Artists such as Rebecca Belmore, Kent Monkman, Bonnie Devine, J.L. Whitecrow and Nadia Myre inspire me in my artistic practice.
Weave and Mend has been a life changing experience. I am very thankful and blessed to be working on such an inspiring project with incredible people that promotes safe spaces and natural sustainability. I’ve gained experience in sculpture, installation, woodwork, curating an event, design and teamwork.
I’ve already gained such fulfillment by working on this project, but in the future I hope to gain recognition as an Indigenous artist by having my name attached to something as important as the Weave and Mend project.
I want people to know the creation story behind the project. A lot of love and thought went into the design of this project, and everything that people see about the space holds a purpose. I want people to know that this space was created for a reason and to respect and value that.
"You really want that utopian ideal of what our world could be? You want to be proudly and ACTIVELY anti-racist, more than fearing being called a racist? I want that for you too. If so, then do the work, educate yourself and others stand by us loudly, consistently, FOREVER." - Clara Amfo, BBC 1 Radio Host
Dear SKETCH Community,
The last two weeks have been yet another reminder that the Black community continues to be under attack by white supremacist systems. SKETCH's board of directors and staff sends their deepest sympathies to the families and friends of those who we have most recently lost including Regis Korchinski-Paquet, George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Tony McDade, and D’Andre Campbell, and all those whose deaths have not been televised.
In our grief and anger at these senseless murders committed by the police, SKETCH is ensuring that we stay accountable to our Black youth artists, staff and the Black community at large, by taking swift action to ensure that folks are supported, uplifted, taken care of and their voices amplified, as they continue to organize and march on the front lines for justice.
As an organization that is led by mainly white leadership, we are deeply committed to examining and activating our role as an accomplice to address violence, racism, oppression, and discrimination in our sector, in Toronto and in society generally.
We want to acknowledge the trauma and grief of those who create with and work at SKETCH, who are Black. We know you endure violence on a daily basis. We want to reach out to support you, stand and work together with you, to fight for justice, for your health, and for your futures.
We seek to learn daily, with you, how to enact a more just present and future. Thank you for your leadership. Thank you for calling us to be better. All of our liberations depend on it.
We join the movements for prison abolition, and for strong redirection of funding for policing to go toward community-based transformative justice efforts.
We call on the Arts Councils to create a Black Artists Fund to support Black Artists and Black Arts and Culture Organizations, recognizing and investing in their leadership in arts and culture, and in building fair and inclusive communities.
With so many ways to actively support the dismantling of systems that continue to oppress the Black community, silence is not an option.
We welcome you all to join SKETCH in allying yourselves with the Black community in the fight for liberation for all, not as a token event, but one that actually leads to a re-education, re-evaluation, and unbiased and selfless action.
SKETCH Working Arts
Artwork: Egwu Ogwu Mystic Dance by Kanna Anigbogu
Dear Friends and Investors,
Greetings from the SKETCH Project Home Team! We hope that you and your family are keeping well and safe during this time.
UPDATE: SKETCH is placing the capital campaign to purchase our studios on brief hiatus until the fall.
Our campaign has been a great success so far, with over $370,000 raised in funds and Community Bonds! However, in face of the COVID-19 pandemic, SKETCH is taking action to suspend the campaign to allow the time needed for those excited about our campaign to be in a more secure position to participate.
If you have already donated to the campaign, or purchased SKETCH Community Bonds, we deeply appreciate your commitment to Project Home. If you've just recently submitted your bond-purchase documents, we will still process your investment.
Have any questions about your donations or bond purchase? Please do not hesitate to contact SKETCH Executive Director, Rudy Ruttimann at email@example.com.
This summer, we'll be working with our campaign partners and SKETCH community to determine exactly when we relaunch in the Fall. We'll be sure to keep you posted over the summer.
You can still inquire about SKETCH, our capital campaign, and its progress at firstname.lastname@example.org or by following us at @SKETCHToronto.
Thank you for your time, and we wish all the best for you and your family.
-The SKETCH Team & Campaign Advisory