45 YEARS OF ART
AND COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT
Modern Fuel and the Kingston Women's Art Festival 1980s - Present
"The Women’s Art Festival is a beloved city event, and its role goes far beyond expanding the visibility of art produced by women; it champions important feminist causes and raises funds to organizations that support women and children in Kingston".
On June 17th, 1977, Modern Fuel, formerly known as the Kingston Artists’ Association Inc. (K.A.A.I.) held its first public function. The Association’s gala opening took place at 325 King Street East, its first headquarters, with over 350 people attending the festivity. For 45 years, Modern Fuel has been not only a place to see art, but a focal point for community engagement: proposing, presenting, and supporting countless key cultural activities in Kingston.
On August 14th, 1983 Modern Fuel/K.A.A.I. was involved with the organization of the 4th Annual Kingston Women’s Art Festival, helping to put together a juried exhibition of 28 works of 24 different artists in its former address at 21A Queen St. The 1st Kingston Women’s Art Festival or “Her Medium is Her Message” as it was also called at the time, held at Kingston’s City Park in the summer of 1980, featured 35 artists and performers and attracted more than 500 people.
The Women’s Art Festival is a beloved city event, and its role goes far beyond expanding the visibility of art produced by women; it champions important feminist causes and raises funds to organizations that support women and children in Kingston. The K.A.A.I partnership with the Women’s Art Festival contributed to the organization of other women’s art juried shows at Modern Fuel/K.A.A.I. in the following years. The records you see here tell a small but quite significant part of Kingston’s history with the Kingston Artists’ Association Inc. fonds preserved at the Queen’s University Archives and digitized thanks to a grant from the Canada Council for the Arts.
See the exhibition poster on display at Novel Idea Bookstore, August 17 2022 until September 15 2022.
About the Curator
Gabriel is an archivist and historian who is responsible for digitalizing the past 45 years of Modern Fuel Archives. In addition to his role as an archivist, Gabriel has curated a series of off-site exhibitions titled, "45 years of Art in Kingston Through the Lens of Modern Fuel Artist-Run Centre," which includes the exhibition above.
He holds a Master of Science degree in History where his research focused on databases and digitization and conservation of performance and conceptual art in Brazilian and Canadian art museums. He is the collection manager of the aarea.co digital art platform and a consultant in cultural heritage digitization and preservation projects. He has been working with cultural heritage collections for the past 20 years. He was an archivist and collection manager in Brazilian art museums such as the Pinacoteca do Estado de São Paulo and the Instituto Moreira Salles. He served as a board member of the ICOM Brazil National Committee, ICOM International Committee for Documentation (CIDOC), Associação de Arquivistas de São Paulo (São Paulo, Brazil) and the Instituto de Arte Contemporânea (São Paulo, Brazil). He also works as a volunteer and collaborator in cultural heritage projects and organizations such as the Vulnerable Media Lab (Queen's University) and the Museu Afro Brasil’s documentation and reference center (São Paulo, Brazil).