It Takes a Community to Build the Story

It Takes a Community to Build the Story by Jay Havens is one of over 35 public artworks on display across the City of Mississauga.

Colourful artwork that shows different aspects of theatre production through an illustration of people playing instruments and singing.

Jay Havens, 2022
Digital Illustration, back printed on glass
Meadowvale Theatre

About the artwork

In conversation with community members and theatre users, artist Jay Havens created this dynamic storyboard artwork, which spans 50 feet across the bulkhead in the newly renovated Meadowvale Theatre lobby.

The artwork celebrates how community comes together to create performance events. Different aspects of theatre production are highlighted across the artwork – from performers doing a curtain call, a group of scriptwriters, directors, and dramaturges, to a carpenter, technician, and a stitcher.

The artwork speaks strongly to the local area and Indigenous culture, providing a Territory Acknowledgement at one end, visible right when you walk into the theatre, and views of the Credit River and Lake Ontario in the background of the artwork throughout the piece.

About the artist

Jay Havens (he/him/they) is a multi-media 2Spirit artist, educator, and collaborator of Kanien’keha’ka and Scottish Canadian ancestry. Havens was born on Haudenosaunee Territory known as the Haldimand Tract and raised on Unceded Sto:lo and Musqueam lands close to Vancouver, Canada. As a professional stage and costume designer, It Takes a Community to Build the Story celebrates a field of work that the artist has been involved in for over twenty years.

For more, follow the artist on Instagram, @jay.havens, or visit their website

More information

As part of the artwork design development, the artist hosted a series of online engagement sessions where he shared more information about the public art project, his artistic practice, and his vision for this project. Watch a recording of one of the sessions.

The artwork was commissioned in celebration of the renovation of Meadowvale Theatre.

Photography by Tori Lambermont.