‘Fast Forward Waterloo’ showcases local artists

Fast Forward Waterloo is an exhibit at THEMUSEUM showcasing the work of local artists within Waterloo Region, known as Collective Identity. The central theme is to showcase the artists’ interpretation of Waterloo Region in 50 years.

The exhibit includes a variety of installments such as photography, paintings, video and interactive spaces. One of the submissions for the exhibit called “Stone Soup” included an ongoing performance in which the artist, Nicole Battista, spoke about her installment. The meaning behind the performance was food scarcity and access in the region.

Another piece asked the viewer to write their vision for Waterloo in the future on puzzle piece, which will be assembled on the last day of the exhibit.

Terre Chartrand, curator and organizer of the exhibit, said the inspiration behind the exhibit came from challenging local artists to think about the future of Waterloo. She also said THEMUSEUM allowed for the opportunity by providing a space that would otherwise be limited for artists.

“We don’t have a lot of infrastructure around the arts and part of the reason why is that affordability is not a thing in Waterloo Region anymore,” said Chartrand.

Work for the exhibition began back in June, around the same time of Collective Identity’s inception. In total, over 20 artists contributed to the exhibit. Chartrand explained that the selection process involved three individuals who have “profound education” in exhibits and arts. Each piece of art was evaluated based on how it “fit” in with the rest of the submissions.

“If there were any exclusions that were made it was generally around us not seeing a fit with the other pieces or the topic of the show itself.  I would say that everything that we received was a high quality submission,” said Chartrand.

Brent Wettlaufer, senior interpreter at THEMUSEUM, said with Waterloo’s progression, arts and culture are still a necessary facet.

“Arts and culture are very critical. We need to champion them as much as we can,” said Wettlaufer. “There is so much more to explore in our community.”

As for next steps, Chartrand said other than planning for next year’s exhibition, the collective is looking to explore other options. But before this can begin, the group must raise enough through fundraising. It is a priority to compensate artists.

“Yet another thing in this region is profound inconsideration for the fact that artists need to live as well,” she said.

With a little over a week left for the exhibit, Chartrand expressed her satisfaction especially for its first run.

“We wanted it to feel like a collage — a unified show and it was challenging but I think we pulled it off.”

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