SlowCity Magazine


my dad and me in front of the new Coupland sculpture

I recently submitted an article to a new, local, grassroots publication called SlowCity Magazine. 

Here's the magazine's facebook fan page. It just launched although the magazine is heading into its third issue.

I was asked by the publisher to write about the new Douglas Coupland sculpture, which I've posted about before here but I thought I'd share the article below. At left is a photo of my dad and I in front of the work on the day Mr. Coupland was in Oshawa to unveil it. It was a really exciting day for me as I'm a big Coupland fan-girl and I was so happy so many people came out and supported public art in this area. It was a standing-room-only event and had a fantastic vibe. And of course Mr. Coupland had the whole place laughing. My dad and sister came and though I see them both as really creative people I think they were both surprised at how much they enjoyed the art gallery that day and felt like they could understand the work and how it relates the the cultural heritage here. They left Oshawa after the talk and I headed up to Orillia after I finished work a few hours later and we all met up for dinner. It was really cool to sit around the dinner table, with the kids (no, not me, my sister's little ones) not able to get a peep in as my Dad and Sister buzzed about the event. Public art and artists like Douglas Coupland make art accessible and interesting and raises curiosity. It is good stuff any way you slice it.

Here's my article for SlowCity. The next one launches in December. If you're a writer, artist, photographer, musician or other creative type that wants to get involved join the fan page and submit work.

Douglas Coupland in Oshawa

Civic pride and culture go hand in hand. When people speak of cities that they want to visit or live in, they are usually speaking about cities that are cool, interesting and fun. Those cities are that way because they have great music, great art, great scenes to check out; culture is part of all of these things. Oshawa has some civic pride, but residents have disparate sources. Some have taken pride in our work ethic, some our gritty punk rock scene, some our green spaces. We all have something new to be proud of; our new Douglas Coupland sculpture.

Douglas Coupland is no slacker. One of Canada’s most internationally renowned authors, he’s also a practicing artist. Here in Canada collaborations with Roots, interviews on the CBC and installations in major parks and cities nationwide have made him one of the top cultural household names. And now, The Robert McLaughlin Gallery has brought him to Oshawa.

Oshawa, the city perceived as a nitty-gritty working class town is in transition, becoming a cultural centre. Oshawa, a city stuck between the big smoke and wide open spaces now becoming a cool destination, an interesting and fun place to live and work.

A visit from the artist himself got people excited; it got them interested in where we are headed, but better still where we could go as a community. The installation at the RMG relates to our cultural history too – the sculpture is inspired by the works of Painters Eleven, an important abstract art collective whose modernist works are collected across the country and internationally. The largest collection of these works is here in Oshawa at the RMG because one of the members, Alexandra Luke, resided here and helped keep that culture here. Her legacy, and those of her peers, is transmitted through the work of a new work of art, Group Portrait 1957 by Douglas Coupland.

Coupland’s work brings together residents, brings art to the masses (as it sits outside the gallery walls) and brings attention to our city. People are wondering, what is going on here? We’re honouring our history while we propel ourselves forward into the future, one drenched in circular waves of colour. Our civic pride and our culture are coming together, we’re becoming more cool, more interesting, more fun. That’s where our pride connects, no matter what your priority.

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