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Michaëlle Jean Foundation

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Art Gallery of Nova Scotia

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4th Wall: Make the Invisible Visible Youth + Arts + Justice Project

When the time comes to address issues related to justice, youth often have many ideas, have relevant experience and are able to demonstrate creativity. This however is largely unknown to their peers or to the broader public. The Art Gallery of Nova Scotia and the Michaëlle Jean Foundation are offering a new way to give greater visibility to this creative activism through an art challenge and exhibition, a youth forum, and a panel mural to facilitate public expression.

The project aims to:

  • support emerging youth artists by offering them a cash prize, access to mentors, and activities that will provide them with increased profile.
  • promote public conversation on the ways in which the arts can be used to address issues of justice whether it be public safety, social justice, reintegration  and incarceration.
  • leave a sustainable arts-based collaboration and foster public engagement

We invite emerging creators (ages 15-30) from all visual arts disciplines to participate in a
Nova Scotia-wide open call for artwork submissions. The eight finalists, either individuals or collaborative groups, will each receive a $1,000 prize from the Michaëlle Jean Foundation to create artwork that will be on display in an exhibition at the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia in fall 2014.

The public will be able to respond to the winning emerging artists’ exhibited works by contributing to a solidarity panel mural. In turn, youth will be able to discuss their justice-related ideas at a public solidarity forum with Michaëlle Jean and Jean-Daniel Lafond, Co-Founders and Co-Chairs of the Michaëlle Jean Foundation.



About the 4th Wall: Make the Invisible Visible Program

In theatre, the “fourth wall” is an imaginary screen that creates a virtual separation between actor and spectator, and, by extension, it is an unperceivable wall that envelopes the excluded and renders them socially invisible. The Michaëlle Jean Foundation is mandated to help youth facing exclusion to better their situation by using the arts to cross through the wall of invisibility, to transform their pain and anger into creation, and to make a place for themselves in their community and consequently to help transform that community, which often faces difficulties and is at-risk. That is why the Michaëlle Jean Foundation created the 4th Wall: Make the Invisible Visible program inviting museums and art galleries across the country to participate and collaborate. The 4th Wall is a wonderful way to open the doors of our major cultural institutions to emerging creators from marginalized backgrounds, to enable the public to discover extraordinary, talented youth, and to break down the walls of exclusion by promoting dialogue and seeking peaceful and community-based solutions.