In April, 2016, Kelowna Museums Society approached Metro Community and invited them into a collaboration. Lesley-Anne Evans, Metro Creative Curator, and Linda Digby, KMS Executive Director, began to envision how to creatively offer opportunities for story telling in the voices of the Kelowna street community.
Amber Krogel (Metro) joined the collaboration late spring 2017, and brought an exciting new element to bear, that is, the distribution of disposable cameras to project participants. Together with written narratives, these day-in-the-life photographs answer a deeper question, that is, what is important and beautiful to those with real lived experience of homelessness in Kelowna.
Amanda Snyder (Curatorial Manager, KMS) Lesley-Anne, and Amber melded artistic, educational, and relational approaches for the purpose of impacting the public perception of homelessness. Supported by key relationships within the Metro team and other social agencies, each project participant was gently encouraged to complete the task of offering their beauty and truth to the world.
SEE:kelowna is the outcome of the slow work of building trust, listening, coming alongside and facilitating for each individual storyteller. SEE:kelowna has developed into a compelling multi-media artistic expression of photographs, stories, and myth confronting elements that welcome museum visitors into each surprising and insightful story, to:
“this is what I want you to SEE”
SEE:kelowna opened at the Okanagan Heritage Museum on August 29, 2017, and is part of the KMS permanent collection. The creative installation includes an interpretive cart and contents, artistic creations, statistics and facts, a favourite photo of each participant offered as a postcard, visitor feedback in response to thought provoking questions, and an accompanying website. The installation continues to morph and change as community members become engaged with the work.
SEE:kelowna participants Rob and Diane offered music, poetry, and personal insights at the opening, a moving experience for those attending.