The Green Footprints Project is the successful Community Cultural Development project proposal from the 2014 Artists Working in Community professional development course.

The Artists

The group is composed of Patricia Lortie, a French Canadian artist with considerable experience in various medium-sized and community art projects, Bill, an Alberta-born self-taught artist with a unique perspective on life as a former resident of the Calgary Drop-In Centre and Rasha Amen, a newly immigrated artist from Egypt with a high level of education in visual art.

Patricia, Bill and Rasha came together during the Artists Working in Community course to create the Green Footprints Project proposal.

Community Partner Organization

2014’s community partner organization is CommunityWise; an affordable, inclusive community space for Calgary grass-roots and non-profit organizations.

Located at 223 12th Ave. S.W. within the “Old Y’ building in the heart of Calgary’s Beltline, CommunityWise maintains a beautiful venue that provides offices, meeting rooms, activity spaces and both indoor and outdoor common spaces for over 100 member organizations. When diverse, multi-sector groups co-exist in the same location, the result is more than the sum of its parts.

The Project

The Green Footprints Project aims to highlight the diversity and connections between users of the “Old Y” building on 12th Ave., and their relationship to this special building and its community.

Users of the building and the larger community are encouraged to participate throughout three implementation phases. First, during the fall of 2014, the artists collected users’ routes to the building and photos of their footwear. They then used this information create a permanent art piece for the “Old Y”; A Plexiglas abstract map of the city that traces the routes of the people who use the building.

The route mapping information will be used to plan the second phase of the project in the spring of 2015. During this phase, the artists will use biodegradable green paint to print footsteps on the sidewalk from a limited perimeter around the building, tracing users’ routes from home to the “Old Y”. Any community members who stop to talk with the artists as they paint the footprints on the sidewalk will be invited to join regular users and tenants of the building at a garden party on June 4, 2015. The footprints will be finished in time to guide people to the event, which is the third part of the project and serves as a celebration and coming together of the building’s users and members of the community.

At the party, participants will be invited to join in the celebration by decorating pairs of boots and shoes that will be turned into planters, one of which they can take home while the other will be left at the “Old Y” building both in the back garden and the front yard. Passersby will be welcome to take herbs when they are ready to be harvested, serving as a symbolic gesture of the importance of having access to fresh food. The footwear used to create the planters will be donated by the Calgary Drop-In Centre.

The project’s expected completion is summer 2015.