Beginning with individual stories, memories, personal histories, neighbourhood geographies and cultural identities and traditions, Mabelle artists work with community members of all ages and backgrounds to create work in a variety of disciplines including textile, environmental and research-based visual art, site-specific performance and public art. As our relationships with and connection to community members deepens, the artworks we're co-creating are indelibly imprinted with the memories and experiences we are building together. We begin to co-create visual archetypes, a performance vocabulary and overall themes that are neighbourhood-specific and reflect relationship and collaborative creation. At the same time, this material makes its way into the landscape in the form of physical elements - both lasting and transient.
Since 2007, MABELLEarts has worked with over 3000 community members of all ages and backgrounds to transform what is now the Mabelle Park. Once a neglected thoroughfare, the Mabelle Park has become a centre of artistic and communal activity in the heart of the neighbourhood. Involving over 50 professional artists, architects, gardeners and builders, MABELLEarts has worked with residents to create public art, performance, free art workshops, culinary arts, gardening and landscape architecture all as part of our diverse inter-arts practice.
Our work fuses a variety of visual and performative forms in order to spark new methodologies of collaborative planning, design and public space transformation that transcend traditional forms of community consultation. These exploratory and integrated artistic activities result in hybrid forms incorporating performance and visual arts with landscape architecture, land use planning and civic engagement.
We work in partnership with local organizations to:
- Produce new works of art and transform public spaces.
- Uncover and present stories, themes and imagery of public spaces, inspired by the people and cultures found there.
- Bring together artists, elders, writers, designers, meal-makers, seed planters, architects, performers, carpenters and others from across Etobicoke and beyond
- Create opportunities for neighbours to explore and develop their creativity and civic engagement through ongoing workshops, events and paid employment.
- Welcome those who are most likely to be left out by offering free activities, food, childcare, transportation and translation.
- Offer opportunities to explore and develop artistic practices in a community context under the guidance of skilled artists.
- Inspire a sense of connection to our creativity, each other, and the places we call home, through the creation of artwork, ceremonies and celebrations that revel in the beauty of the everyday.