Updated: Aug 2, 2018
On July 18th, the Small Arms Society partnered with the Great Art for Great Lakes (GAGL) project in association with Waterlution in creating a spectacular community artwork. As part of the Mississauga Waterfront Festival, visitors were able to contribute to one of the eight community participation projects in Waterlution’s Ontario-wide initiative highlighting the grandeur of the Great Lakes. Intended to show our connection to Lake Ontario, the GAGL project has partnered with Lake Ontario community groups interested in the environment, their history, and people’s diverse cultures. We were delighted that Vanessa Logan, herself a resident of Lakeview, was the artist chosen to work on a beautiful piece destined to be installed at the Small Arms Building once renovations are complete. Vanessa’s piece, entitled MiLake, is truly a testament to what we at the Small Arms Society (SAS) want to achieve, combining unique snapshots of the community into a beautiful mosaic piece that represents both our heritage and our everyday lives.
MiLake asks community residents to reflect on their relationship with Lake Ontario, and how it affects their lives. The sculpture pulls together the theme of memory; a sense of place and community through archival images, community submitted images and personal local photographs. While at the Mississauga Waterfront Festival, participants were encouraged to share images of their own memories or impressions of our lakefront; these were then transferred to beach glass by Logan. Each individual beach glass fragment then displayed a unique image representing the bond between residents and the lake. Mimicking the nearby waves of Lake Ontario, the water-coloured shades of sea glass create a cultural mosaic. From a distance, its water-like presence shimmers, but up close, its images beckon the viewer to get up close and browse the images. For those in the community who submitted content, it allows them to explore, in search of their own personal artifact.
“I have always been drawn to images of the past. Their raw honesty and beauty draw you in to learn more. Who were they? What was life like? They are representative of a time that's foreign to us now, but still have a deeply recognizable sense of place. I find it fascinating to watch how history is often dug up in fragments - artifacts that when studied together can make up a whole history of place. It was very important to me to juxtapose the faces of current day Mississauga with historical images of inhabitants, architecture and culture. Our vibrant community today is the culmination of what was built up piece by piece over many years and those pieces are represented here.” - Vanessa Logan, Artist
A huge thank you to everyone in the community who participated in the creation of this spectacular piece of artwork. We hope to see you at our follow-up event on October 1st to celebrate the unveiling of Vanessa Logan’s finished masterpiece! Keep your heads up for the invites, as we’ll be sending them out in the next few weeks.
More from Vanessa Logan can be found here:
For more information about the event, please contact the Small Arms Society at email@example.com.