Let’s Heal The Divide (Edmonton Arts on the Ave)
Toni Latour, Canada
Title: Let’s Heal the Divide
Artist: Toni Latour (b. 1975, Canada)
Medium: Single white neon tube
Dimensions (H x W x D): 76 x 914 x 3 cm (30 x 360 x 1.2 inches)
Weight: 35 kg (77 lbs)
Location: East outside wall of the Nina Haggerty Centre for the Arts (118 Avenue at 92 Street) in Edmonton, Alberta
Let’s Heal the Divide was originally installed on the façade of Vancouver Community College from 2015-17. It marked the physical and perceptual divisions between the city’s Downtown Eastside, one of the most impoverished postal codes in Canada, and one of the wealthiest commercial and financial districts that borders it.
Created by Vancouver-based artist Toni Latour, the artwork was installed in the summer of 2021 and speaks to a multitude of “divides”: political, cultural, socioeconomic, gender, religious, educational, and familial—to name a few.
From a broader perspective, the artwork resonates beyond its physical surroundings. Globally, we have witnessed institutional and systemic racism and violence, intense political conflict, the rise of the Black Lives Matter and Me Too Movements, the fight to end targeted transgender violence and discrimination, the continued struggle for Indigenous rights and environmental justice, and of course, a world-wide pandemic.
At one of the most divisive times in recent history, we continue to make demands for a better world. While economies have been radically altered, and public and personal engagement restricted, we have still found ways to connect, learn, protest, preserve traditions, and build community. Let’s Heal the Divide acts as a reminder that we all share the responsibility for inclusion, justice and collective healing.