Intersections – Pia Braza

Kitchener-Waterloo is growing, but it’s important to recognize that its evolution would be impossible without the people who live and work here. ‘Intersections’ is a commemoration of the structural landmarks throughout our region, celebrated through sharing the stories of community members whose lives intersect these sites.

Online Exhibition:
Extended until January 3, 2021

Artist talk with Pia Braza

Recorded Thursday October 1, 2020

Join artist Pia Braza as they answer questions with our Director/Curator Tabatha Watson about their online exhibition “Intersections”.

Click on the images below to view a larger version.

8×10 art prints of all the images available at the Homer Watson House & Gallery Gift Shop.

Ahrens & Queen
“I spent my high school and post secondary years studying in the heritage room at the main branch. Little did I know that I would spend my 30+ career years here, but here I (still) am. I started with card catalogues and pre-internet, to now offering completely virtual programming during this global pandemic. This building is so many things to so many customers. A warm place on a cold day, free internet access to keep people connected, books, and digital resources, free programs making learning accessible for everyone, and children’s program to help both parents and babes learn and connect with others. Libraries enrich lives and I #lovemylibrary” ~ Sheila, Waterloo ON

Charles & Francis
“I had the keys to the tannery building one summer. It was the early 90’s and I was stage managing a play for a local theatre group that rented a floor of the old factory. Walking up the staircase, treads visibly worn by the scores of workers who used them over the years, I couldn’t help but feel humbled. Here I was, one person with the keys to a nearly abandoned factory, which once employed and sustained so many. Sitting on the 4th floor fire escape, I’d watch the sunset over the city and marvel at the history of it all.” ~ Tasha Glover, Waterloo ON

Joseph & Gaukel
“I only remember my parents as being divorced and in some of my earliest memories Victoria Park had become my family’s meeting place. I recall playing on the metal climbers, while my parents talked. I remember feeding the ducks together then skating on Victoria Park Lake in the winter, and trying new food at the multi-cultural festival at the beginning summer. Through all the years of visiting the park, I especially remember being in awe of it’s old landmarks like the main gates, Queen Victoria’s statue, the gazebo, and of course the clock tower. Victoria Park ignited my imagination and planted in me a love for history, nature, my city, and my family. I am so thankful that Victoria Park continues to be a meeting place for thousands of other families and festivals.” ~ Lara, Waterloo ON

King & Erb
“I came out to my sister here. She was the first person in my family to know and I was extremely nervous. I messaged her the night before at 3am asking if she wanted to get breakfast and I chose to go to Symposium. We sit down and I was so nervous I wrote her a note that basically said “I’m terrified of the coming changes that might happen, but I am who I am” and started to tear up in the restaurant. Fast forward a few years later, we visited that restaurant with my boyfriend of two years and her husband after they just got married to celebrate. While I don’t visit this restaurant often, it’s always been a place to enjoy memorable moment.” ~Shelby Randal, Waterloo ON

King & Francis
“My father worked at Kaufman for 27 years until they were forced to leave as Kaufman was bought out and the job had moved south. I remember a time when my mother and sister were at Sick Kids Toronto for one of my sister’s surgeries, I must have been around 10 years old at the time. There was no one to watch me during my dad’s overtime shift so he brought me to work, at Kaufman Footwear. The plan was to let me sit in the corner where my dad works and not make a sound for 8 hrs. Understandably, my dad’s supervisor just couldn’t let a child on the work floor so I had to stay at the front lobby of the factory. This wasn’t the best place for 10 year old on a summer day but they made the best of it. I got to meet all my dad’s friends and coworkers. They all arranged their shifts so that every 30 minutes, either my dad or one of his coworkers would come by and hangout with me and make sure I was ok, safe, and still smiling. The next time I saw most of these people were at my dad’s wake and funeral. Sad that this was the only time I saw them again, but beautiful that after 40+ years they still came to respect my dad. Kaufman may have been a rough downtown, rubber smelling factory – but it was the job that fed our family for years. When I drive back home to KW and I see that building, I will never forget that day.” ~ Gary Aguto, Guelph ON

King & Princess
“It was two years ago. I was bright eyed and bushy tailed and ready to change the world. I was going to host an arts open mic, for anyone and everyone, and guess what? The Jazz Room in the Huether Hotel was going to let me use their space! Well, as far as first events go, seven people isn’t bad. But when the Hotel is making money off the food and drinks from the event, they also might not let you back… I might not have gotten the event of my dreams, but this place marks the beginning of a journey into my self, my passion, and my community, and I will cherish this memory forever.” ~The Blank Page Initiative, Kitchener ON

Queen & Weber
“About a few months ago, I had some work at Service Canada. Being the coldest day of winters and not wanting parking hassles, I took an Uber. Due to a funny coincidence, the driver dropped me a little further away from the office. The little walk seemed daunting for it felt like a snowstorm. Being lost for a few minutes, I ended up at the courthouse. Funny, how it would mean different things to different people, it was my 2 minute refuge from the biting cold. The place of calm before I could find the right directions.” ~ Gagan, Waterloo ON

8×10 art prints of all the images available at the Homer Watson House & Gallery Gift Shop.

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The Loch Doon area was memorialized in celebrated Scottish poet, Robert Burns piece “Ye banks and braes O’ bonnie Doon”

Ye banks and braes o’ bonny Doon,
How can ye bloom sae fresh and fair?
How can ye chant, ye little birds,
And I sae weary fu’ o’ care?
Thou’lt break my heart, thou warbling bird,
That wantons thro’ the flowering thorn:
Thou minds me o’ departed joys,
Departed, never to return.

Aft hae I rov’d by bonnie Doon,
To see the rose and woodbine twine;
And ilka bird sang o’ its love,
And fondly sae did I o’ mine.
Wi’ lightsome heart I pu’d a rose,
Fu’ sweet upon its thorny tree;
And my fause lover stole my rose,
But, ah! he left the thorn wi’ me.

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