A Brief history of The LivingRoom Community Art StudioThe studio space at 149 Simcoe was a special place...
In 2013, the LivingRoom started as a weekly pop-up in a local restaurant that let us make use of their space after they’d closed. With the help of folx like you we opened a bricks and mortar store-front studio space in 2014 where people could walk in, grab materials and tools off the shelf to make whatever they wanted or needed to make in a supportive environment, welcoming around 15,000 visits a year from community members across Durham Region. Through the art we created and the conversations that occurred around the art, we also learned about one another and ourselves. We explored and discovered ways to question, and clarify, resist and support, speak and embody our truths, and be ok with uncertainty and the weirdness of becoming. We discovered that the Art of Human-ing was perhaps the most exciting creative process that we were engaging in, and that the things we made often supported or facilitated that exciting work.
With the 2020 pandemic, the tiny storefront studio space was no longer safe or suitable for the diverse needs of the community members we worked with. Rather than compromise the quality of the experience, we decided to close the storefront studio in order to find new ways of bringing the studio to you and sparking the art of Human-ing.The studio space at 149 Simcoe Street South was a special place, but what made it special were the people who used it, and how we used it together. As long as people can come together - in person or online - to create, the LivingRoom continues.
The Mobile Art StudioWe bring the studio to you
The Mobile Art Studio is a 2009 Chevy short bus that has been converted into an Art Hive, Creative Re-Use centre and place making machine on wheels, with the generous support of the Ontario Trillium Foundation. Part arts outreach adventure and social practice enterprise, the Mobile Art Hive enables us to travel from neighbourhood to neighbourhood, meet people where they are at, and provide free and low cost opportunities for under-served communities from across Durham region and beyond to connect and express themselves creatively. It enables us to learn about what creativity in community means, and explore the ways we can support and be of resource to one another, while honouring the voices of citizen artists and change makers.Making art together, sharing supplies, hosting participatory art making events, traveling art exhibits, open mic performances and more - If you would like the Mobile Studio to visit and make art with your community, organization or school, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more.
The Virtual Art HiveFrom our LivingRoom to yours
Initially a stop-gap service during the pandemic, our online programming has become an important part of our creative outreach, enabling us to connect and create with community members from around Durham Region, Canada and the world. In the LivingRoom’s Virtual Art Hive livestreams and zoom groups we create and maintain space for connecting, catching up, sharing our stories, and making art in ways that help make meaning of our experiences in playful and profound ways. Join us for our live events, or catch up on archived livestreams on our YouTube channel once they’re done. Subscribe or follow the LivingRoom on Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Twitch and TikTok to keep up to date on virtual art hive workshops and events!We’re always happy to welcome to community members into our livestreams and zoom groups! However, If you’re Interested in having us host a private online workshop for your group, organization or school, email us at email@example.com to learn more.
Mary Krohnert is an actor, art therapist and social arts practitioner with a passion for intersectional community engagement through the arts. Currently based out of Durham Region, Ontario, Canada, she is a graduate of Ryerson University and The Toronto Art Therapy Institute, and has studied Community Art Studios, Methods and Materials at Concordia University under Dr. Janis Timm-Bottos. This program was instrumental in helping Mary envision and initiate the LivingRoom project, as was a childhood shaped by community based arts and culture experiences in the homes of friends and neighbours.
The LivingRoom project emerged out of a desire to explore and inhabit the areas between her various professional pursuits, in an effort to live, learn, work and self-care with greater honesty, responsiveness, sustainability and joy. The LivingRoom and it’s related projects offer practical opportunities for citizen artists of all ages, abilities and walks of life to explore how processes of creative self expression can be integrated into day to day life for the benefit of all.