Winter Clothing and Soup 2016 was a great success that happened on February 4th to February 5th. Winter Clothing and Soup was a pop-up art performance hosted by Sofy Mesa from VIBE Arts’ Emerging Artist Residency Program, along with fellow artist Oliver Roberts. They invited the diverse downtown community to come together, and get to know each other, while collecting much needed winter clothing and blankets. The artists saw an increased number of shelter closures, and the threat of losing warming stations as a direct result of gentrification in the downtown core; they hosted a space for this important discussion about the polarization of their neighbourhood.
Winter Clothing and Soup is a social sculpture; a curated event and space produced within the Arts for Social Justice Project, a Ontario Trillium Foundation funded collaboration between VIBE Arts and the Canadian Civil Liberties Education Trust, which explores Social Justice education through the arts. The curated event creates a space that facilitates connection and conversation between people, on the concept of a winter clothing drive and an open soup kitchen. This curated event and space looks through a social justice lens of the increasing closures of shelters, the threat of losing warming stations around the city, and the rapid gentrification of the downtown core.
Check out this piece by Vice Daily News Canada spotlighting Winter and Soup and homelessness in the the city of Toronto.
About the Artists:
Sofy Mesa is a 20-year-old integrated media student at OCAD University and a member of VIBE Arts’ Emerging Artist Roster. Winter Clothing and Soup is the first social sculpture installation for her, which ties to themes she explores in her work of social action and participation with people or communities.
Oliver Roberts is a Sculpture/Installation major at OCAD University. He has been living and making work in Toronto for the past four years. The creation of Winter Clothing and Soup with Sofy Mesa is a direct result of their discussions on the accessibility of space and opportunity in the downtown core.
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