Skeleton Park neighbourhood art project encourages rest of Kingston to follow their creative lead

Click to play video: 'Covid-19 forces Skeleton Park Neighbourhood art festival to stay close to home' Covid-19 forces Skeleton Park Neighbourhood art festival to stay close to home
WATCH: Going city-wide after success of neighbourhood outdoor art installations in Kingston – Aug 4, 2020

Limestone City, get creative.

That’s the challenge from Kingston’s Union Gallery. It comes on the heels of the very successful COVID-19-inspired Next Door: A Skeleton Park Neighbourhood Art Project.

There’s no doubt the 16 art installations scattered throughout the downtown area helped to brighten things up in these not so colourful times.

Read more: How Kingston is doing good, staying connected during the coronavirus pandemic

Diane Black is a Kingston artist taking part in the project.

“They had big plans for the music festival and that obviously wasn’t going to happen, so what are they going to do to keep the neighbourhood sort of engaged with the artists that live here,” Black said.

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“So I thought that this was a brilliant turn-around.”

Click to play video: 'Skeleton Park Arts Festival goes virtual' Skeleton Park Arts Festival goes virtual
Skeleton Park Arts Festival goes virtual – Jun 16, 2020

And so do others. Black’s contribution is called “Schooling”. It’s acrylic on canvas draped across the front of her house. The “school” of fish in the piece is moving together, which the artist hopes will encourage viewers to reflect on how the community is moving together through a challenging time. Madelaine Nelson lives in the neighbourhood.

“It’s wonderful. During isolation and lockdown, people had all sorts of time of their hands all of a sudden and it’s great to know that people used it for creative means,” said Madelaine Nelson, a resident of the neighbourhood.

“Their life didn’t go on pause — it wasn’t on hold — they kept creating and kept the community thriving.”

Read more: Kingston political, academic, economic forces team up to guide organizations through COVID-19

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Skeleton Park’s Next Door project comes to a close on Aug. 17. Now, the Queen’s University-based Union Gallery wants the entire city to create and display works of art in front of their homes with “My Door YGK”. Carina Magazzeni is director at the gallery.

“A lot of the artists as a part of Next Door were very creative in their material approaches and we want it to be a project that anyone at any artistic level, experience can be a part of,” said Carina Magazzeni, the gallery’s director.

“So yes, become a part of My Door YGK.”


Oscar Wilde once said imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. Maybe the rest of the city can get creative just like those in the Skeleton Park area.


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