Resistance and Resilience is a joint collaborative effort between two of Dawson College’s distinct departments: the Warren G. Flowers Art Gallery and the Peace Centre. Originally conceived by the director of the Peace Centre, Diana Rice, in late 2018, Resistance and Resilience highlights the narratives of under-represented and—by extension—under-heard communities of Canada: Legacy, and migrant/immigrant experiences are expressed in this unique exhibition, with themes of resistance and resilience. Even the curation itself is an act of resistance and resilience. Oftentimes, we do not find student artworks next to established professionals; in this exhibition, student, emerging, and professional artists share the same space, and each story is equally important.
While the exhibition’s theme and the selection of the art was worked on in 2019, with a projected opening of late April, COVID-19 has stalled this carefully laid out plan. The Peace Centre and the gallery worked tirelessly to reimagine the exhibition framework, translating the experience to a virtual world. It was during this time that Resistance and Resilience’s themes and messages became much more salient.
The relevance of Resistance and Resilience is echoed in the recent Black Lives Matter movement. The exhibition mirrored the need for racial equity and justice, and the events of 2020 makes this exhibit all the more urgent. The BLM movement which has gripped our society underscores the need to listen to unheard narratives, and through the act of storytelling, creates a platform in which art becomes more than a tool for political and social expression. Art becomes the means by which we resist injustice, we are resilient to the pressures to conform, and we create equity, justice, and peace.
We have a responsibility to share that platform. While on the surface, the pandemic may have caused great upheaval, it has given time to expand the way the exhibit—and its themes of Resistance and Resilience—is shared with not only the Dawson and Montreal communities, but with Quebec, Canada, and the rest of the world. Art is no longer limited to a small geographical area, accessible only to those who live nearby. Art, and its message, is open to all.
Resistance and Resilience is Dawson College’s sharing of that platform to the College, Montreal, and to the world.
Director General of Dawson College
Each artist in Resistance and Resilience enshrines this unique expression of identity, power, and strength. Carefully curated to include professional, emerging, and student artists, Resistance and Resilience was generated in 2018, to be held in April of 2020. But fate, it seems, is not without a sense of irony. With the onslaught of COVID-19, the sheer weight of the wave becoming an unprecedented pandemic, we were forced to reevaluate. With the rise of BLM and the demand for equity, justice, and social responsibility, we realised if there was a time to resist demagoguery, violence, injustice, and inequity, it is now. If there was a time to hear the voices that have often been cast into the margins, trampled on, and forgotten, it is now. If there was a time to listen, to act, to resist and to be resilient, it is now.
Through the generous support of the Entente Canada-Québec, Dawson College, the Warren G. Flowers Art Gallery, and Dawson College Peace Centre, we were able to do just that.
Interim Programming Coordinator
Dawson College Peace Centre
Andréa C. Cole
Dean of Creative and Applied Arts
Director, Warren G. Flowers Art Gallery
Rhonda L. Meier
(Exhibition curator), Warren G. Flowers Art Gallery
Dean of Academic Development
Dawson College Peace Centre
Interim Coordinator, Dawson College Peace Centre
Debbie Resurreccion, Faculty, Community Recreation and Leadership Training
Louise Paulauskas, Coordinator of Special Project Funding
Janet Pakulis, Executive Secretary, Director General’s Office
Christina Parsons, Communications Counsellor
Karina D’Ermo, Administrative Support, Dawson College Peace Centre
Sylvia Trotter-Ewens, Gallery Assistant
Derek Gaucher, Coordinator of IT Solutions
Chris Georgieff, Web Professional, IT Solutions
Jonathan Perlman, Programmer (Web), IT Solutions
Patrick Phuttavong, Programmer (Web), IT Solutions
The Jury for Student/Emerging Artists:
- Lina Benredouane
- Saša Andie Buccitelli
- Karina D’Ermo
- Ildikó Glaser-Hille
- Mari Heywood
- Rhonda L. Meier
- Carey-Ann Pawsey
- Ramona Ramlochand
- Debbie Resurreccion
The Warren G. Flowers Art Gallery Committee:
- Andréa C. Cole
- Gwen Baddeley
- Peter Berra
- Joe Di Leo
- Raymon Fong
- Meinert Hansen
- Rhonda Meier
- Scott Millar
- Ramona Ramlochand
- Michel Seguin
Website Design: Rodolfo Borello, Jennifer de Freitas, and Alejandro Natan, Associés Libres Design
Finally, we would like to thank the artists, who have, without exception, been gracious, patient, wise, and willing to embark on this unanticipated journey with the gallery.