Yellow Box poses questions to community

(William Cumming/AQ)

St. Thomas University’s Yellow Box Gallery has a new exhibit on display.

A rolling chalkboard has been installed in the gallery, with prompts written on both sides that students are encouraged to respond to.

One side reads: In my lifetime I would love to…

The other: My favourite place is…

Kim Vose Jones, curator of the Yellow Box, said that this is gallery is a chance for students and staff to take a breather and share their thoughts during a busy time of year.

“I want students, faculty and the community to have fun with it,” said Jones. “To give pause during a busy stressful time of year to where we go to unwind, share our hopes and dreams and maybe learn a bit about each other.”

The Yellow Box’s newest exhibit looks to give its community a voice. (William Cumming/AQ)

The exhibit was inspired by the work of a New Orleans artist, Candy Chang, who painted the words ‘Before I die I want to…’ on an abandoned house in 2011. Many have followed her example; more than 2000 sharing walls have been created since her original work.

Jones believes community engagement is a vital part of art.

“I believe community involvement in art is vitally important,” said Jones. “We often talk about the idea of the viewer completing the artwork. The artist puts it out there, but the viewer interprets it.”

Jones said this philosophy holds true no matter the medium.

Yellow Box curator, Kim Vose Jones, says that community engagement is a critical part of the artistic process. (William Cumming/AQ)

“This is true if the work is a painting or an interpretive dance,” said Jones. “With art that engages the community this places the viewer in direct interaction with the concept, they become co-creators and this is exciting.

“When the community invests and reflects on the work, a new platform of experience opens up; we learn from each other, we share, we empathize, we feel empowered, and we grow.