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4 Questions With Community Engaged Artist… Brenda Dunn

This week for our ARTS Season celebration in Wellington West, our theme is “Art About Our Neighbourhood”. And when we thought about one artist whose whole career is about engaging neighbours through art projects that connect, delight, and build on our diverse “Community of Communities” of course the talented multi-disciplinary artist Brenda Dunn came to mind!!

To quote her own tagline, “I make things. I also make things happen.” And most importantly, Brenda Dunn works with the communities of Hintonburg and Wellington Village to make many of these things happen in Wellington West. During TASTE of Wellington West in 2018, Brenda got festival-goers to help her create The Mural That TASTE Built which is hanging in the Hintonburg Community Centre. Even more recently, Brenda was one of the artists who created a series of #Wellingtines that people could colour in and send on social media to show some love to their Wellington West merchants.

1. Tell us about some of the artistic work you’ve done in Wellington West:

I’m one half of the Hintonbeasts, a neighbourhood-wide project where we made little monster sculptures and hid them in businesses for people to find. I’ve hosted workshops with Makerhouse, I worked with the Happening Arts festival, I’m the co-founder of the Ottawa Gallery Map, and I’ve done all kinds of arts activations during our festivals. You can see one of my community-engaged art projects in the Hintonburg Community Centre! You can also find my greeting cards in Makerhouse and Flamingo.

2. What do you find inspiring about Wellington West?

The people are so friendly and up for fun. If you have a weird project or idea, guaranteed someone in the neighbourhood will be up for it. 

3. What are some of your favourite spots to visit when you’re out and about in Hintonburg and Wellington Village?

The folks at Les Moulins La Fayette will memorize your coffee order and greet you by name every day. I love our Rosemount OPL location where the staff kept smiling even at their tiny temporary location during renos, and Tooth and Nail has the best staff and the best beer and the best regulars in all of the ‘twa. 

4. What projects do you have coming up?

If you dig artsy antics, come join me on Patreon and get monthly goodies sent by mail!

I’m also teaching a bunch of virtual classes on Skillshare that you can access anytime from your home.

You can find my postcards at Makerhouse and my greeting cards at Flamingo Boutique  and my comic series on Instagram