North Central Halifax - Jessica Winton

About Jessica

An advocate for art in the public realm, Winton creates performative/sculptural installations to provoke civic engagement on socio-political issues. Her recurrent experience as a prop builder in the Film & Television industry has influenced her atypical approach to material usage. Having recently attained an MFA from NSCAD, she continues to investigate the role of the citizen artist in the public spheres we occupy. Her practice aims to unwind public ambivalence through participation in common metaphors and intriguing illusion. Her studio is based in Halifax, Nova Scotia though her projects often carry her off into the streets, woodland and open fields.

So, what’s your work with VANS in Residence all about?

This residency enables me to work together with community members to create sculptural and performative elements of one or more entries in the upcoming Halifax Natal Day parade.

Particularly in Halifax at this time, it is vital for communities to recognize this parade as an invaluable resource already supported by the municipality. It’s an unusual and fun opportunity to present issues that are important to different cultural groups to a public who may be unfamiliar with them.

Through both the visual example provided by my previous work, Ris Publica, (which included four entries in last years’ parade) and participants experiences of previous parade events, I’m hoping that we can imagine, describe and create new and wild forms of parade “floats”, that represent issues local people really care about. 

Friday and Saturday afternoons at Wonder’neath on Isleville St. during their Open Studio program, we’ll determine, refine, construct and rehearse content of the parade entry with anyone who wants to be part of it..

I will also be collaborating with the Halifax North library branch to develop work at this second location. I am keen to engage with community groups and form new ways they can participate in the reality of Halifax’s north end through the imaginative frameworks of these projects. Participating in a parade is a real-life public encounter that has the power to redefine the meanings of art and widen its purposes.

There will be talks, workshops and other activities taking place at the Halifax North Memorial Library and at Wonder’neath Open Studio, for youth and adults. Details are still being sorted out.  Some workshops are already designed, some Jessica will create in collaboration with people in the community.  Dates & times TBA


MOVING MOUNTAINS  is the title for the series of workshops at Wonder’neath. Participants and facilitators work together to “move mountains” together in the upcoming Natal Day Parade.

Workshop ONE – Creating mountain HATS:

Workshop TWO – Creating small inflatable tyvek BALLOONS mountain/foothills – on sticks

Workshop THREE – Making bas-relief MAGNETS of personal “mountains to move”

Workshop FOUR – Creating large inflatable tyvek MOUNTAINS – two sides parade.

Workshop FIVE – MOVING the mountains

Workshop SIX - Making T-SHIRTS