This week, we’re featuring another guest spot from Great Art for Great Lakes.
GAGL sat down with Manitoulin Artist, Julieanne Steedman to discuss her completed Great Art for Great Lakes piece, Stories of the Lake, her experience creating community-engagement artwork, and what she’s working on these days.
GAGL: Who is Julieanne Steedman? Tell us a bit about yourself.
I am a visual artist from Northern Ontario. I like to think of myself as a ‘maker.’ I’m always making things by hand. I grew up in a family that made things, my mother crocheted and sewed, and my father worked in his workshop building things. I believe this is a core element of who I am.
I am also a wife, mother, teacher, and world-traveler. I love learning new things, adventuring to new places and spending time outdoors with my family. My husband and I lived and travelled for nearly ten years before settling back in Canada and I this was time well spent in ‘the school of life.’
GAGL: Let’s start by talking about your motivation to create community-engaged, collaborative artwork.
I grew up on the shores of Manitoulin Island and have loved growing up and working in various communities around the Island. The opportunity to create a community-engaged collaborative work of art seemed wonderful, such a gift to me to build further connection to this place and the people who live there.
GAGL: What interested you about the Great Art for Great Lakes Proposal?
I was extremely excited to work with the community in an area that I feel such a strong connection to. As well, I feel lucky to be part of a project that focuses on water, and the Great Lakes. I feel a strong connection to ‘lake life’ after growing up on the shores of Manitoulin Island.
GAGL: What were your favourite moments during the process of creating Stories of the Lake?
The emotion that was shared during the telling of the some of the stories was really raw and at times, unexpected. People got really deep – sharing special moments, it was really touching. I also loved hearing some of the funny stories and laughing with people, there are some hilarious lake stories out there!
GAGL: In addition to Stories of The Lake, what are the other types of art that make up your body of work?
I am really interested in maps and map art. I research and explore different areas around where I live and make maps of our local area. I love learning about the land through this work. I also create watercolor works of the different lakes in our area and love learning more about each lake as I work on it.
GAGL: What is your perspective on the role of public art for the community?
I think that public art is important because it gives everyone the opportunity to take part. Public art can build connections as well as add creativity and uniqueness to our communities.
GAGL: If people missed seeing you at the GAGL events, when is your next program or event?
In Sudbury, I have a display of my work up at the Sudbury Theatre Centre on until early November.
Stories of the Lake is on permanent public display at the Providence Bay Village Square park. Make your own great lakes story by taking a photo and captioning why our great lakes are important to you. Don’t forget to tag @callofgreatness!