Art Windsor-Essex respectfully acknowledges that we are located on Anishinaabe Territory – the traditional territory of the Three Fires Confederacy of First Nations, comprised of the Ojibway, the Odawa, and the Potawatomi. Today the Anishinaabe of the Three Fires Confederacy are represented by Bkejwanong. We want to state our respect for the ancestral and ongoing authority of Walpole Island First Nation over its Territory.
Centre for Art & Wellness: Multicultural Council of Windsor and Essex County
September 5, 2023 - February 29, 2024
As part of AWE’s Centre for Art and Wellness, participants from the Multicultural Council of Windsor and Essex County’s Newcomer Women’s Arts and Crafts Group partook in an abstract painting series led by artist Niku Koochak.
With the support of their artistic mentor, the women gathered in a safe space where they were encouraged to explore new artistic skills that support their mental health and overall well-being. In addition to the social and emotional benefits of this program, the newcomer women are able to make new connections, learn new skills, improve language ability, and gain self-confidence. Each of their women harnessed the power of art to communicate their own journeys and lived experiences through painting.
Some of their works are currently on display on the second and third floors of Art Windsor-Essex.
"I feel at ease when I am drawing."
"I like this place. It makes me feel positive and happy."
"I feel confident and happy when I make art. I'm so thankful for all the staff - they help us to be happy."
"I am proud of my work."
"Art makes me happy."
"This was a new experience."
About the Facilitator: Niku Koochak
Niku is a mixed media artist based in Windsor, Ontario. She was born and raised in Tehran, Iran where she completed her undergraduate degree in architecture at the University of Tehran and worked as a graphic designer for several years. Currently, she is in her second year of pursuing her MFA in visual arts at the University of Windsor School of Creative Arts. In parallel to her studies, she is currently conducting an abstract painting workshop as an instructor at Art Windsor-Essex.
As part of her MFA project, she focuses on abstract painting and calligraphy, as well as drawing performance. The main concept of her project revolves around self-complexity and identity paradoxes. Additionally, she has been awarded the Warner Lambert scholarship for excellence in printmaking from the School of Creative Arts in Winter 2023.
About the Partner: The Multicultural Council of Windsor and Essex County
The Multicultural Council of Windsor and Essex County creates a welcoming community for all through education, community engagement and the promotion of diversity and equality. The Community Connections Program connects newcomers with their community as an important step in the settlement process by establishing social and professional networks so that they are engaged, feel welcome and at-home in Canada.