Edmonton - Class Maintenance, a photo-montage celebrating the work of school custodians in Edmonton opens at the Edmonton Art Gallery September 26 and runs through to November 30, 2003.
The exhibition by Toronto artists Carole Cond 0061nd Karl Beveridge was done in collaboration with Local 474 of the Canadian Union of Public Employees representing custodians with Edmonton Public Schools. The exhibit is part of the Public Relations exhibit by the two artists portraying issues related to labour, environment and social action.
We are very excited about this collaboration. Carol and Karl have captured our work with a great deal of creativity and meaning, says Doug Luellman, President of CUPE Local 474.
This kind of very public art is grounded in our community. Clean, safe schools directly affect student achievement. We believe art should be about the concerns people confront on a daily basis such as quality education for our children and the meaning of our work, says Luellman. Therefore, Local 474 has enjoyed a long commitment to participation in community based art.
A special daylong forum on Art and the Community will be held Saturday September 27, 2003, from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m., at the art Gallery. The Forum is free to the public. (Schedule attached)
Class Maintenance is another important example of our union working directly with artists which is an important alternative to the corporate partnerships that dominate the arts, says Luellman.
CUPE Local 474 has previously worked with local artist Memi von Gaza and playwright Jane Heather. Heather wrote and directed the play Running at the Fringe about CUPE 474s longstanding involvement in the Edmonton Kids Fringe.
Members of the CUPE 474 involved in the project are available for interviews.
Enclosed is a schedule for the Saturday forum. Further information on the show can be found online at: www.edmontonartgallery.com
CUPE is Canada’s largest union with over half a million women and men who provide public services. In Alberta, CUPEs 32,000 members work in health care, municipalities, schools, colleges, universities, libraries, emergency medical services, social services and now casinos.
Email: cupe474@ telusplanet.net