On January 24, 2014, Powell River Voices, in partnership with the Powell River Arts Council, the Malaspina Art Society, and the Powell River Academy of Music, brought Canadian artist Eleanor Bond to Powell River to talk about how art and social change can work together in times of change, with social change inspiring artworks and art reflecting on the events going on in the world.

Eleanor made a public presentation on art and exhibitions that address and enable social change, the potential of cultural spaces within a community, and the artist’s role in urban renewal and the changing perception of a town or city.

Eleanor Bond exhibit

“Arts, culture and creativity are thriving in Powell River,” says painter Megan Dulcie-Dill, the member of Powell River Voices who had the idea of bringing Eleanor here. “These values need to be supported at all levels and Eleanor will give us some ideas about what other artists and communities are doing. I am excited by the potential art has to enrich the quality of life in this region!”

On the same weekend, Eleanor gave a weekend painting workshop for experienced artists to explore and further their practice.

Among the outcomes from Eleanor’s talk were:

  • An invitation to artist Landon Mackenzie to visit Powell River in the early summer of 2014 to coincide with the “Converging Visions: Listening, Learning, Understanding” event in Sliammon. Landon’s visit will further highlight Powell River as a place for art brimming with creative potential;
  • The spreading of ideas around Powell River about diverse art practices, community engagement, and artist residencies;
  • a renewed interest in creating art for education and social change within our community.

Eleanor Bond is an artist known for her large-scale painted images of urban, architectonic and post-industrial spaces. The painting “Converting the Powell River Mill to a Recreation and Retirement Centre” (1985) was her first image based on an actual site. Her work, considered both utopic and dystopic, has been presented in group exhibitions such as Better Worlds, Future Cities, Brave New Worlds and the international project Shrinking Cities which opened in Berlin, 2005. She now divides her time between Winnipeg and Montreal, where she is Associate Professor (Painting and Drawing) at Concordia University.

Thanks to local videographers Claudia Medina & Zoë Ludski, we were able to capture Eleanor’s talk. You can view it here: