Project as

Project as

CohStra (Lucia Babina, Emiliano Gandolfi, Gabriela Rendón and Miguel Robles-Durán)

Commissioned by

-Amery Calvelli, curator
-Art Gallery of Alberta

In collaboration with

Production and Content Contributions
-Tiffany Shaw-Collinge
-Lori Gawryliuk

Worksop Participants
-Alberta Native Friendship Centres Association
-Christel Kjenner, department of Housing and Homelessness at the City of Edmonton
-iHuman youths
-Josh Kjenner, architect
-Lori Gawryliuk, artistic director of Quarters Arts Society
-Miranda Jimmy, RISE
-Ron Walker, executive director of Canadian Native Friendship Centre
-Shawn Tse, producer of Figure installation for A Year in Chinatown
-Steve Pirot, artistic director of iHuman
-Tiffany Shaw-Collinge, core member of Ociciwan Contemporary Art Collective

Exhibition Contributions
-Tiffany Shaw-Collinge, core member of Ociciwan Contemporary Art Collective
-Matthew Kennedy and Mark Erickson, founders of the design+build practice Studio North


From Here, Convening Place is a collaborative project envisioned as part of Cul-de-Sac, an exhibition connecting planning with our natural environment, curated by Amery Calvelli at the Art Gallery of Alberta in Edmonton. Aligned with the exhibition premise, this project is a local response to the current neighborhood restructuring taking place in the vicinity of the gallery which is affecting a number of long-term residents and local groups rooted in and around downtown Edmonton. From Here, Convening Place sparked a dialog among individuals, artists, designers and civic organizations invested and concerned about the future of the area through a number of activities including a neighborhood walk, discussions with local politicians and community leaders, and a workshop facilitated by Cohabitation Strategies’ co-founders Lucia Babina and Gabriela Rendón. Edmonton-based artist, curator, architect and collaborator of this project Tiffany Shaw-Collinge organized along with Amery Calvelli a number of visits to local organizations and a walk guided by Lori Gawryliuk, artistic director of Quarters Arts, through the Boyle Street neighborhood and part of Chinatown. Afterward, a number of meetings were arranged with key community leaders and public officials where aspects related with the revitalization of the area came to light. These valuable conversations informed the workshop in which residents and members of local organizations participated.
The workshop got started with the creation of a sociogram which is a tool to chart and visualize relationships between individuals and groups. Over the activity, participants discovered how disconnected were some of them despite living and working in the same space and facing similar threats due to the ongoing development. Seeking to understand new ways of defining home, participants discussed a number of questions during the second session of the workshop. What is home? How can our urban habitat be more hospitable to the act of convening or gathering? What is the role of habitat/home as it relates to multiple generations? And, what opportunities are there for a deeper re-connection with the land in an urban setting? The outcome of the discussions led to the acknowledgment of the different perceptions and visions of the participants which materialized in strong statements, and five of them were selected by the authors to be shared.
The dialogues and relationships that emerged out of these activities inform the creation of an installation on the gallery’s terrace which continued promoting discussions and ideas about community, indigenous definitions of the land, and the notion of shared habitat.