Oct 3, 2013

A Weekend of Thinking Hat

Following the success of our opening night, Thinking Hat had an additional 150 people come through the exhibition on Saturday and Sunday afternoon. Things were noticeably more relaxed, which gave us the opportunity to engage in longer discussions and soak up the experience.

Over the weekend Phil, Jessie, and I shared some of our favorite discussions from Friday night, I got a chance to tour the Beveridge more thoroughly, and I found time to shoot a short video on Sunday afternoon. Phil and Jessie also had more time to share their ideas with city councilors and candidates who stopped in. When all was said and done we'd had 500 people visit Thinking Hat over Culture Days. For the next few weeks you can now catch Thinking Hat on display in the Medicine Hat public library.

The faces of Thinking Hat - Jessie Andjelic, Philip Vandermey, and Luke Fandrich.

Thinking Hat

In September 2013 SPECTACLE Bureau for Architecture and Urbanism and Editing Luke teamed up to create Thinking Hat - an exhibition about urban renewal and historical preservation in the downtown core of Medicine Hat, Alberta. The project, which had its debut in the historic Beveridge Block, embodied two main themes: to celebrate the existing and to imagine the possible. I shot this video during that opening weekend to mark the occasion. More about this project here: http://goo.gl/JZqz4X
Posted by Editing Luke on Sunday, October 18, 2015

One of my favorite moments of the entire exhibition was when this sweet old man (above) walked in. He must have been in his eighties, and had spent his whole life living in Medicine Hat. He started talking about how he remembered 2nd street, and then proceeded to list the exact order of what businesses were on each side of the street. His eyes widened as he told Phil and I about going to Woolworth's to get 5 cents of candy. His cousin was married to the cashier, and then he smiled, telling us that's why he always got a bit extra.

Stories like this have been one of the best parts of doing a photo series about my hometown history. Knowing how much the downtown has changed over the decades and then seeing how this man remembered it was really special. It reaffirmed that these downtown locations are more than just buildings. These were (and are) places where people lived there lives, grew up, celebrated, went to work, fell in love, etc. I was already enthusiastic about the idea of revitalizing the downtown, but listening to this old man reflect on what it used to be like really brought it home for me. 

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