Tau Lewis in her Ontario Hall Studio on campus. Photo: Tim Forbes
This year’s 13-week residency through summer and early fall 2018 was a rich platform for Toronto-based artist Tau Lewis’s artmaking process, culminating in the solo exhibition when last you found me here. Especially exciting, recent and current Queen’s BFA (Visual Art) students Ramolen Laruan and Julia Fast-Grass worked closely with Lewis through the creation phase of the residency in a spacious sculpture studio at Ontario Hall, where she made new work for her exhibition at the Agnes and other forthcoming shows.
Artists and audiences from across the community connected with the work and ideas of this extraordinary, generous young artist. Tau Lewis met with BFA (Visual Art) seminars and with MBA students in the Art Worlds: A User’s Guide workshop series, led a hands-on sculpture workshop, and created a podcast with CFRC radio. She gave a moving Artist Talk focusing on the inspiration she found in the powerful vernacular art of civil rights movement-era Birmingham, and participated in Art and Black Canada, a panel discussion with Yaniya Lee, Charmaine Lurch and Katherine McKittrick.
Lewis shared her artmaking process in workshops, including one with Roots and Wings Kingston, a program for racialized girls. “Getting to be a part of the Roots and Wings program was a great privilege for me,” she says. “I always feel blessed to encounter children’s artworks and the process by which they create them, because you’ll rarely encounter a more honest kind of storytelling. I feel honoured to work with such a talented and diverse group of young women, and happy that I’m able to contribute to something that was crucial to me as a kid, and I think in some ways helped me to arrive to where I am now.”
The program was generously supported by the Stonecroft Foundation for the Arts, the Queen’s University Department of Gender Studies through Dr Katherine McKittrick and the Queen’s Arts Fund–Visiting Artist in Residence, and the BFA (Visual Art) Program.