Virtual Community Panel: Engaging with our Communities through Art
Wednesday, April 21 | 7 pm – 8 pm
Join the Art Gallery of Windsor’s Special Initiatives Coordinator, Derrick Carl Biso (they/them), for a virtual Community Panel with local artists Ostoro Petahtegoose (they/them), Nola Cooks (her/them), Cri Kosti-Cutforth (she/they), and April Morris (she/her) on April 21st from 7pm-8pm.
This digital conversation will feature discussion by each artist about their artistic practices and projects, and how they engage with their communities through their creative works. Also to be discussed is the impact of the global pandemic on their artistic practices, experiences of developing relationships and community through art, and the importance of the Arts now and post-pandemic.
About the Artists:
Ostoro Petahtegoose is a biracial, Nishinaabe of Atikameksheng Anishnawbek with European descent, born and raised in the traditional territories of the Three Fires Confederacy of First Nations, comprised of the Ojibway, the Odawa, and the Potawatomie, also known as Waawiiye’adinong-ziibing (the place where the river bends - Windsor, Ontario.) Ostoro is an Indigiqueer, transgender, nonbinary writer, Goldsmith and multi-media artist who goes by “they/them” pronouns. Ostoro is attending the University of Windsor to finish their English and Creative Writing and Visual Arts BA and will be taking a summer sabbatical to work on an anthology of short stories centering an Indigenous perspective. They were granted the Arts, Culture and Heritage Fund in 2018 by the City of Windsor for research for a sculptural project titled “Deracinated,” and was the BIPOC Artist in Residence at Artcite in August of 2020. In Ostoro’s personal and professional life they continue to work at finding meaningful ways to connect back to their Indigenous identity through the work of building relations while learning their cultural language Nishinaabemwin, all while being obsessed with themes of hauntings, ghosts and land.
Well hello there! I’m Nola (Her/Them), and I’m a lot of things. I’m a writer, a visual artist, and a humorist. I started comedy school in Toronto at Humber College. There, I won the Eugene Levy for a short meta-comedy play I wrote called “All for Nothing”. After moving to Windsor, I decided to enroll in film school as a way to have complete and total control around all things “Nola” and execute my voice exactly the way I want to. I recently moved back to Toronto from Windsor and took a deep dive into the analog film community. I’m unapologetically Southern Sudanese American and I’m thrilled to be able to represent my heritage. I love to capture light on celluloid, I love writing irreverent pieces about films with @to.the.town and I love speaking truth to power - especially if I can make you laugh! You can find all things me @nola.by.mm or @H8.M0SS my comedy alter ego. (You should also check out ACWR BIPOC Film Resources!)
Cri Kosti (she/they) is an emerging photographer and experimental filmmaker from Windsor Ontario. She is a mother to three and a full time Visual Arts, Media, and Filmmaking student at the University of Windsor. After spending their twenties having children while being isolated due to poverty and complex health concerns, Cri went back to school with the purpose of refining their skills in their artistic practices and finding a safe community. Cri’s work aims to highlight the universal need for human connection and understanding, not just with each other but also with our environments. Whether that be built or environmental. They feel that acknowledging our needs for connection and collaboration are vital for our society to flourish, and that by encouraging our natural curiosities to explore our understanding of ourselves and our environments will ultimately lead to the strengthening of our communities. Cri is passionate about helping marginalized individuals tell their stories with their own voices as an effort to promote their authentic representation in all forms of media. She has produced several student short films, both narrative and documentary. In early 2021 Cri had work featured in the University of Windsor’s SoCA Student Visual Arts Winter Exhibition. She is currently working on an ongoing Windsor West End urban landscape photography series and filming a documentary chronicling the inner thoughts, lives and artistic practices of mothers and primary parents during Covid.
April Morris (she/her) is a visual artist and an arts educator who lives and works in Windsor, Ontario. She holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts (Honours), a Bachelor of Education, a Certificate in Arts Management, and a Masters of Fine Arts from the University of Windsor. Her paintings study urban spaces that she photographs on her exploratory walks in the city. April sees the city as a place of unnoticed messages and questions how it impacts her and her sense of place.
As an arts educator, April has worked within her immediate community to foster ongoing professional development and to instill creative learning. April has taught various art lessons at local public schools, the Art Gallery of Windsor, SB Contemporary Art, and the University of Windsor. In each of these educational facilities April has designed and delivered a variety of lessons teaching individuals of all ages about the value of the creative arts. April is an advocate for the arts and is dedicated to encouraging art and creativity in her hometown Windsor.
Mx. Derrick Carl Biso (they/them/theirs) works at the Art Gallery of Windsor as the Special Initiatives Coordinator. They are a queer non-binary white settler with European ancestry, born and raised in the territory of the Abegweit Mi’kmaq First Nation, also known as Prince Edward Island. They labour as a designer, artist, educator, and philosopher living in Windsor, Ontario – the territory of the Anishnaabe, and the Three Fires Confederacy comprised of the Ojibway, Odawa and Potawatomi Nations. Derrick Carl’s artistic practice and research is currently focused on identity, relationships, responsibility, ethics, the erotic, history, myths, anti-racism, reconciliation and conscientization. They graduated from the University of Prince Edward Island with a Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy and Diversity and Social Justice Studies and studied Graphic Design at Holland College. They are studying Psychology & Visual Arts at the University of Windsor and live with their wife, Janet, and cat, Eleanor.