karen darricades - Never Gallery Ready
I am an artist, educator, writer and award winning youth worker living in Toronto. I have facilitated workshops and projects under my Never Gallery Ready banner to thousands of students and community members both inside the classroom and through community organizations throughout Southern Ontario since 2006.
As a tdsbCREATES Artist in Residence, I will be working with students grades 4-6 in 2019. I recently partnered with the city of Toronto's Cultural Hotspot Initiative to support young (new-)media-makers in Scarborough to create GIFs using a variety of hi and low tech frame-animation techniques. As Power Youth Artist in Residence at the Power Plant Contemporary Art Gallery (2017), I worked with young people in the Alexander and Regent Park communities to create installations, photography and GIFs that animated the Power Plant's Fall exhibition schedule. And in 2016 I used a variety of art mediums to explore the power of "mapping" to connect narratives and create change with community members at Cedarbrae Library as an Artist in the Library (a program of the Toronto Arts Council). My Never Gallery Ready program is an official partner of the TDSB.
My art works have been exhibited through Gallery 1313, The Gladstone Hotel, Toronto Free Gallery, The World of Threads festival: a Common Threads International Exhibit. I studied visual arts, linguistics, photography and visual communications, and have worked in film, forum theatre, publishing and anti-violence education.
Thoughts About Art and Community
My Never Gallery Ready programs and projects aim to EDUCATE on the role and function of media, ANIMATE a variety of content, tools and tactics available to message-creators and FACILITATE the creation of works of art driven by individual and community voice.
Never Gallery Ready’s inclusive cut & paste techniques allow community members of all ages and skill levels to:
NAME themselves as artists and critical thinkers;
REACT and RESPOND to the messages they see around them;
feel empowered to create new messages and SHARE THEIR STORIES.
My community engaged practice is multidisciplinary, using paper and digital collage, "culture jamming", sound art, site-specific art installations, digital photography and new media production (video loops and GIFs) to explore the politics of our interactions with images, objects, sounds and space. Each project is built around the needs and interests of participants and can be tailored to relevant curriculum or cultural programming.
A list of workshops and descriptions can be found at https://www.nevergalleryready.com/workshops/ but beyond the media-literacy and social justice lens of my core workshops, I have also facilitated projects in the past that: explored mapping as a communication tool, provided opportunities for contributing content to online image libraries, re-purposed clothing, supported the collaborative creation of works of fibre art and used image theatre to explore different "ways of being".