At the halfway point in her term as artist in residence, we check in with Jessie Beier to talk about her experiences at the ASSIST Community Services Centre
On a sunny spring morning, Jessie Beier is zooming around a darkened classroom putting the final touches on her students’ art show. “I wanted to give them a gallery experience,” she says. “This is normally their computer room, so I imagine it will come as a bit of a shock when they see it.”
For approximately the last three months, Jessie Beier has been working as the artist in residence at the ASSIST Community Services Centre – a centre that aims to provide diversified services to Canadian immigrants and their families, equipping them with the tools to more easily integrate into life in a new country. Unlike other artist in residence programs, Beier was able to come into the position without a set game plan and was instead granted the opportunity to work collaboratively with the students and staff at ASSIST to create a unique way to integrate art into their everyday operations. “I didn’t want to come in and do a mural. That’s just not my thing as an artist.” Luckily for her, the staff at ASSIST were more than supportive of her artistic experiments using varied forms of technology to create visual representations of the conversations between the artist, students, and staff.