Scouts Canada joins community program that makes art 'accessible for everyone'

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Scouts Canada joins community program that makes art 'accessible for everyone'

Scouts Canada joins community program that makes art 'accessible for everyone'

Scouts Canada has kicked off its Good Turn Week by installing the latest neighbourhood art display case in Roncesvalles Village.

Featuring the work of a 16-year-old student at the Etobicoke School of the Arts, the new box on Geoffrey Avenue is the latest in a series from Open Field Collective, which has eight other boxes around Toronto and four in Guelph.

The new box celebrates a partnership between Open Field Collective and Scouts Canada, the latter of which on Saturday kicked off its Good Turn Week to encourage Canadians to "do a good turn for others."

The Geoffrey Street box will be used to showcase works of art that explore how communities come together to form the fabric of Canadian society, in honour of Canada's 150th birthday.

"It's a really wonderful way to tie in a lot of the things that are happening for our country and the goals of Scouting, also while empowering young artists," said Spencer Julien, a youth spokesperson for Scouts Canada.

The first artist to showcase her work in the Geoffrey Street box is Annabel Berthoff, a 16-year-old artist from ESA.

Her piece is comprised of hand-spun wool that she has dyed using natural materials found around the city, including red maple leaves, forsythia and black oak bark from High Park.

The wool has been wound around a piece of red oak from the pile of firewood in her own backyard.

"[The materials] were found by the side of the road or near rivers," Berthoff said. "They are materials I associate with the communities around me."

The 16-year-old said it is "really exciting" to see her work on display, and hopes it inspires neighbourhood children to take up a craft.

"I think that the Open Field Collective is a great way to make art more accessible for everyone to see," Berthoff said. "Having it in the neighbourhoods fits in well with what this piece is about and the community aspect of it."

Scott McDermid of Open Field Collective said the idea is to put art right in front of homes to make it more accessible for people who don't have time, or are too intimidated, to visit traditional art galleries.

"This just brings it right to where they are," McDermid said. "I think they take it in almost by osmosis."

The group rotates the art every six weeks so there's "fresh entertainment" for the viewing public.

Meanwhile, Scouts Canada's Good Turn Week runs until May 7.