Community Engaged Environmental Artist:
Sharon Kallis will share her personal and local journey of creating an arts practice (and non-profit) based in working with others exploring the plants and other local resources available for fibre and colour. Recent projects include Stinging nettle research in the Land & Sea project, forming a linen growers club, and a dyers cooperative garden. An avid 'spinner of anything', Sharon uses spinning and fibre processing as a way to understand a place from both an ecological and social history perspective. Recent fibre blending projects bring dog hair into the mix- connecting back to the Coast Salish history of this place and her own ancestral homeland of Northern Europe.
Using the lengthy title of being a community engaged environmental artist, what Sharon Kallis really does is commit to being a life-longer learner. Learning while teaching -and teaching while learning- Sharon partners with ecologists, gardeners, weavers and others with an interest in linking traditional hand technologies to what we can grow, gather and glean in our urban green spaces.
This “one mile diet” approach to sourcing art materials has led to experiments in both park design and planting choices that foster community connection back to place, the seasons, and our shared pre-industrialized cultural traditions. The founding executive director of EartHand Gleaners Society Sharon has worked extensively with Vancouver Park Board since 2008. Sharon’s book, Common Threads: weaving community through eco-art, is published by New Society Publishers and is a field guide to ‘making with others’ with what you find close at hand.