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Festival, artist address vandalism of art installation as part of ‘Next Door’

Nicholas Crombach, Every Slated lot has a previous story (post-vandalism), 2021. Photo by Nicholas Crombach.

The St. Vincent de Paul society began fundraising efforts to build a new location on the plot of land at the corner of Charles Street and Bagot Street. The following is a message from the Skeleton Park Arts Fest (SPAF) regarding the vandalism of ‘Every slated lot has a previous story’, located on the lot in question, as part of the SPAF ‘Next Door’ exhibit:

In the early hours on June 27, an anonymous person or group vandalized Next Door artist Nicholas Crombach’s installation Every slated lot has a previous story using paint and spray paint, adding the words “stop gentrification” to both the work itself and the proposed development sign for the lot put up by the City of Kingston.

With the support of Skeleton Park Arts Festival, the artist has decided to leave the artwork as is. Every slated lot has a previous story speaks directly to the dilemmas surrounding urban growth in Katarokwi/Kingston and invites reflection on the evolution of our urban environment. While we do not encourage vandalism, this response to this particular artwork is undoubtedly part of the conversation, and we do not wish to dismiss the feelings of this person or persons by hiding, revising, or removing the work. Every slated lot has a previous story has now been completed not by the artist himself, but by an unexpected occurrence; both the original artwork and the response from the community have become part of the story of this lot.

“I see the uninvited act that has taken place as a visceral response to the artwork and the complex questions and conversation I intended the installation to provoke. The additions made by the individual or group have completed the piece and are being embraced, as the reaction provides a new level of emotional and legitimate tension to the work.” —Nicholas Crombach

This act of vandalism comes at a time where tensions may be particularly high, with the public meeting regarding the proposed development taking place virtually this Thursday, July 8 at 6 p.m.

We are grateful to the St. Vincent de Paul Society of Kingston for supporting Next Door by hosting this installation, and for the value and support they bring to our community. For more information about the St. Vincent de Paul Society of Kingston, visit their website: http://www.svdpkingston.com/

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