To highlight the work CREation Grantees are doing in their communities, the CREation Community Grants Team sends out Q&A forms so they can share their experiences creating and carrying out their projects. Today we are featuring responses from Jacob Vickery and Garrett Vickery of Safe Water Studios, a not-for-profit organization created in 2019 to support Indigenous youth artists and clean water solutions. Their work is based in Peterborough and Omemee, Ontario.
Community: Red River Métis
Q : Tell us about your group and project!
A : Safe Water Studios is a not-for-profit organization created in 2019 to support Indigenous youth artists and clean water solutions. We operate primarily in what is currently known as Ontario and host workshops that are available across so-called Canada. We aim to create a safe and fun e-space for Indigenous youth and youth artists to learn and create.
Our group was formed by two Red River Métis artists Jacob and Garrett Vickery. This is the second project we have collaborated on with CRE.
We’re creating a network that breaks barriers. It’s been exciting to work with artists from such diverse disciplines. There’s a strong sense of collaboration here.Garrett Vickery, Safe Water Studios
Q : As the youth running the project, what impact do you hope it will have?
A : As artists ourselves we hope to provide guidance for Indigenous youth artists who participate in our programs. In turn, we also learn a lot from the artists who participate in our workshops and seminars. We aim to create an inclusive environment where Indigenous youth feel comfortable sharing and engaging with their art.
We hope our projects will help support youth artists of all disciplines. We have worked with musicians, beaders, visual artists, and more. As we grow our network, we hope to provide a channel for youth artists to connect and share their creativity.
As a mentor on this project, I learned as much from the youth as I taught. I wish we had programs like this when I was a young artist. It means a lot to have support from other artists in your community.Jacob Vickery, Safe Water Studios
Q : What is something you have learned?
During this project, we learned a lot about different Indigenous peoples and cultures. We love that our artists often share stories and pieces of culture from their communities.
As artists, we know how important community and culture are to the creation of art. We have learned so much from our participants about their stories, communities, and culture. In turn, we have shared elements of Métis culture with our participants, particularly through music.
When we started this project, we weren’t sure how many Indigenous youth artists would be interested in our workshops. We learned through feedback that our program has filled a need for participants and encouraged them to get involved in other capacities with their community and art. We’re really excited about the space we are building with artists.
As artists, we know how important community and culture are to the creation of artJacob and Garrett Vickery, Safe Water Studios
Have a listen:
Q : What is your favourite moment from running your project?
A : Our favourite moment of the project so far was reading the feedback from our first workshop. We were really excited to hear the positive feedback and that participants felt the program was an important support for artists.
I remember reading our first piece of feedback from one of our participants and how happy our team was that participants were as enthusiastic about the project as we were. We couldn’t stop smiling for the rest of the day!
Safe Water Studios helps to fill a gap for Indigenous artists like me.Anonymous participant feedback
We are so proud of the heart-work our young relatives like Jacob Vickery and Garrett Vickery from the Safe Waters team are doing across Turtle Island and are so lucky to be able to support them in their work.