Yesterday afternoon saw the opening of an exhibit of works done by Thunder Bay area high school students participating in the Thunder Bay Youth Art Exchange. Students aged 14-18 from seven area high schools participated in the exchange, which began in the summer of 2015 in Duluth with the Art = Bridges to Understanding project.
During the course of that summer, selected Duluth middle school students attended class where they created works that were intended to educate others about their town thanks to funding from the Arrowhead Regional Arts Council and the Lloyd K. Johnson Foundation, with the intent to showcase the art in each of Duluth’s Sister Cities. After being exhibited at the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Duluth and the Duluth Art Institute these works traveled to Thunder Bay in 2016 and were shown at the Baggage Building Art Center; thus beginning the exchange as it is now.
The Thunder Bay Sister Cities Committee facilitated the current exchange, and Thunder Bay artist and educator Elizabeth Buset curated the works. Selected “for their content, craftsmanship and creativity,” this grouping of various themes and mediums reflects “the diversity and strength of youth voices and culture in Thunder Bay,” Buset explains.
Now on display at The American Indian Community Housing Organization (AICHO) galleries, the works are able to be viewed as per AICHO’s open hours: Monday through Friday from 8:00AM to 5:00PM until they travel back to Thunder Bay in mid-September. Students from Dennis Franklin Cromarty High School in Thunder Bay were able to attend the opening yesterday, allowing the public to interact with a handful of those “youth voices” that Buset made mention to.
It is of note that many of the works that were featured included themes from First Nations culture, pairing well with the venue within which they are housed. DSCI looks forward to being able to partner with First Nations communities in Thunder Bay and Native American communities here at home in the future.