In April 2015, teachers from the York Region District School Board were invited to tour the Artscape Youngplace building, and to participate in a diverse range of hands on workshops as a professional development initiative. Led by the Koffler Gallery in cooperation with our partner organizations, the workshops included paper making, 3-D printing, letterpress processes, and photography.
The Koffler’s workshop, “The Narrative Selfie”, was inspired by the concurrent Koffler Gallery exhibition Erratics The workshop invited teachers to activate everyday objects found in their wallets, purses, and pockets. They created artful arrangements of those objects, photographed them, and printed the images to postcards that they could then distribute to friends and family.
Throughout the process, the teachers were educated on the intersecting histories of the picture postcard, the photographic portrait, and the historical hybrid object, the cart-de-visite, as mediums for conveying personal narratives across distance and time.
They were also guided in meaningful personal discussions about the objects they selected, the often-hidden meanings behind those objects, and what their “narrative self portraits” revealed about them as creators, as thinkers, and as people.
They were invited to keep one of the postcards and to display the other in an exhibition presented in Artscape Youngplace, Wish You Were Here.There the public could reflect on their memories, and attempt to separate the real version of Toronto from the teacher’s ideal version of the city.