Blessing Stick is a collaborative project between Jenny Lee Craig and Heidi Nagtegaal. Based in participation Blessing Stick aims to bridge the gap between education, curation and socially engaged practices. Their first project, Winter Beach Tour, uses the transitory nature of beaches as a provisional curatorial setting for artists to engage with nature, community and artistic communities along the coastlines of B.C. In this project and in the projects to come Blessing Stick hopes to highlight marginal spaces by using them and enlarging them, within a multi-community framework. This action is both practical, activistic, educational and resourceful; through drawing attention to overlooked spaces Blessing Stick activates the publics knowledge of spaces and alternative ways of working within material structure.
Blessing stick works within curational frameworks, education and workshop based practices, and researches into the forays between the two dialogues, pursuing residencies, festivals, educational mandates of various institutions and independent projects. Their mandate is to create non-hierarchical spaces that are based in mentorship and peer to peer learning while maintaining respect while acknowledging accumulated wisdom and the opportunity to learn. Blessing Stick frames itself as an art project and works primarily through a social practice lens.
Between Heidi and Jenny there is over 30 years of programming and community involvement and are interested in strengthening communities and social engagement. Theoretically their projects draw from a multitude of academic subjects, including literature, fine art, women’s studies, queer theory, decolonization and more.