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Posted December 28, 2012

Arts & Culture

City announces 2013 artist in residence

KITCHENER – Making art out of garbage is Susan Coolen’s goal as the City of Kitchener’s 2013 artist-in-residence. Her photo-based project, the Litter-Arti Project, emerges from debris found in the local urban environment and includes such items as factory remnants, water bottles, hubcaps, paper coffee trays, drinking straws and more. She scans, photographs, draws and explores the garbage using computer media, including video and computer animation.

“All of my imagery is underlined by interests in the museum, collections, the history of photography, culture readings and more,” she says. “I explore the links between nature, visual language, graphic form, pattern and organization, which take me back to my early background as a graphic designer."

Some of the activities Coolen has planned include work-in-progress exhibits in the Berlin Tower artSPACE, a full exhibit in the Rotunda Gallery at city hall and opportunities to engage with the community through collection and dialogue.

Although initially working in photography, she also produces installation projects and works with video, new media and paper. Coolen anticipates her large-scale graphic work will be suitable for billboards, bus stops and buses, as posters, and as animated video projections in windows and on buildings such as the Kitchener City Hall Sky Gallery, on the Cube at the top of the Berlin Tower.

Born in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Coolen graduated with a bachelor of design from the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design. She has a bachelor of fine arts in photography from Concordia University, followed by a master of fine arts in photography at Columbia College, Chicago. She has participated in solo and group exhibitions across Canada, the USA and Europe.

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