Michelle Exhibition 2023 5

Exhibition Info

Dec 21 - Jan 13, 2024
10572 115 st, Edmonton, AB T5H 3K6

Wed-Fri | 12pm – 6pm
Sat | 12pm – 5pm

See current gallery hours

Free Admission Donate today

We are pleased to have an exciting project by Michelle Lavoie in the Window space over the winter break! Featuring artists Dez, Valkerie Dunn, Meaghan Ray Peters, lara pinchbeck, Lulu, Michelle Lavoie, Max Quilliam, Ariel John and Orion Gilchrist, with art created at SNAP during workshops led by Michelle.

The 2SLGBTQ+ Intergenerational Art Project:
Making Visible 2SLGBTQ+ Silent Stories of those Living in Amiskwacîwâskahikan (Edmonton) through Intergenerational Storytelling, Artmaking, and Exhibitions

Dr. Michelle M. Lavoie (she/her) Ph.D., MFA: Primary Investigator/ Artist/ Curator
Max Quilliam (all pronouns): Project Assistant/Artist/Assistant Curator

The Project:

The 2SLGBTQ+ Intergenerational Art Project brought together youths (12-25), Adults
(25-55) and Older Adults (55+) from various 2SLGBTQ+ communities, to learn together
through storytelling and art-making projects in at SNAP community printmaking studio.

Goals and Motivations for the Project

This project seeks to hold open a space for 2SLGBTQ+ Intergenerational Dialogue
within communities and in public spaces by using art-making and public exhibition, to
show and tell 2SLGBTQ+ silent and silenced stories. Dr. Lavoie’s previous work with
trans young adults, demonstrated how artmaking can powerfully and positively impact
lives. She found shared art practices can mitigate social isolation and build community
networks, leading to personal and collective resilience. As public spaces become
increasingly fraught and spaces of public dialogue shrink, this project is a critical and
timely response to foster personal and collective agency by bringing together
2SLGBTQ+ youths, adults and older adults to support one another and hold open space
for dialogue. When 2SLGBTQ+ youths, adults and older adults share stories and
collaboratively work together, they build personal and community networks and
community-based resources and future community capacities.

This project supplied artists with: art supplies, mentorship in printmaking, a 2SLGBTQ+
safe learning space, nested within a supportive community space at SNAP printmaking
studio. Artists had opportunities to make art while learning from other 2SLGBTQ+
artists. Artists also had opportunities to exhibit in public exhibition spaces and be paid to
exhibit their artwork. Framed artwork will be gifted to artists on return of their artwork.
These cumulative supports are meant to begin to supply 2SLGBTQ+ emerging artists
with some necessary materials, skills, and networks, and encourage 2SLGBTQ+
individuals and communities to seek future initiatives.

This project has culminated in three public exhibitions: at MacEwan University (October-
December 2023), SNAP Gallery Window Space, (December 2023) and The Stanley
Milner Public Library (December 2023-March 2024).

I turn to superheroes when i want to feel brave in situations where i find i am having a
hard time being brave. Like getting the flu shot or going out and about to new places
and meeting new people. 

Chosen families can be small or large. They are made up of many different people. All
of whom nurture us

One day when I was in the car with my Dad we saw a Coccinellidae (ladybug) on the
window and I said: “look it’s a ladybug”. But my Dad asked how I knew it was a lady. I
said it could be a manbug and my Dad also suggested the possibility of a non-binary
bug. So, we asked his car display what the scientific name for ladybug was and it said
Coccinellidae. Ever since then that’s what I’ve been calling them.

My images are dedicated to Alice, Arwen, Anya, Basil, Jane and Gillian who shared
their stories of being 2SLGBTQ+ youth and working through mental health challenges
during the COVID-19 Pandemic. Your strength and courage to navigate challenges and
build bright futures for yourselves and others is an inspiration every day.

To live is to be reflected in the people you love, the places you visit, the things you
create – but reflections warp and expand our sense of selves beyond what we believe
exists. These pieces try to capture that effect, over Time and Space, as we try to cobble
ourselves together from the pieces we see reflected.

My first linocut print. Fireweed is a symbol of resilience. I, too, am resilient.
Signed, my two spirits craving inclusive home community only to find some semblance
of that space in the urban indigenous world.
Ariel John is 2S, Inuvialuk from Tuktoyaktuk, NT, and Nehiyawak from Onion Lake, SK.

No matter how much pain we have in our roots, we can always grow. The pain may
make us stronger, or gnarled and twisted, but we can always reach for the light.
Meaghan Ray

Part 1 ( top)

Curious, crafty
    and courageously loving,
    I am empowered.

Part 2 (bottom)
    Grounded in my roots
    and attuned to higher truths,
    I am made anew.

Thanks to:

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SNAP is happy to provide this programming at no cost to participants.

We hope you will consider making a donation to keep programs accessible in the future.