Little Free Pantry - 2022

At the beginning of the pandemic, I had the opportunity to collaborate with fellow neighbour, Peter Pook,  to create a Little Free Library. The installation and current use of this project is successful. Little did I know that another project similar to this existed, involving food sharing. I have always loved the idea of sharing books - read it once - pass it along - etc…. But to share food, this was something new to me and I got excited at the thought of creating a place where community members would benefit at a basic human level. With many new families moving into our neighbourhood, I was delighted to accept this project when Peter asked me a second time to collaborate. 

The Little Free Pantry works just like the Little Free Library. The motto is  “Take what you need. Give what you can”. Only non-perishable food items are allowed, and include toiletries, like soap and feminine products.

As I had been working at an alternative high school nearby, I immediately thought this would be a project they’d want to be involved in. My role at this school is to teach  new and exciting art techniques, so this was a perfect opportunity. They agreed, and over the next couple of weeks we worked together applying basic stained glass cutting and mosaic art techniques. Together, we created a flora themed mosaic to embellish the surrounding structure. I brought in a selection of colored glass sheets, shiny mosaic tiles, beads, and glass trinkets to add as they desired. Students learned to apply tiles to the design by cutting and shaping the materials, as well as mixing mortar, and polishing grout. 
Gary Allan High School -

The project was then picked up by the members of the Anglican church community that had offered their land to have it install in. They were thrilled this was becoming a community art project their members would benefit from but also the surrounding neighbourhood. Personally, I was thrilled the students would have an art project they could view in public and be proud of. 

Furthermore, in a public space, neighbours and friends  have the chance to engage with this structure on a regular basis. So everyone benefits. A classic example  where community art meets positive social engagement.