Matthew Grogono is an artist and a small business owner who has found his way to turn his passion for art and recycling into not only a business, but a collaborative effort for artists from all over the world to engage and have a safe space to create and appreciate art in the North.
“I kind of stumbled into it back in the late eighties, early nineties, when I was an auto mechanic and I was learning about the city’s waste management program. We have one of the most affluent landfills on the planet, and we still had public access to it, and it was described as a Ikea of the north. And all kinds of creative activity was coming out of the landfill where products were being repurposed.
As Matthew continues his quest to preserve art in Yellowknife, his art shop, Old Town Glassworks, is now looking at what the future looks like. As popularity continues to grow.
Yellowknife, we have to think 10, 20, 30, 40, 50 years ahead of here. You know, what do we look like in 50 years time? We could be a thriving art center. You know, we’ve got the indigenous arts, we’ve got the land, we’ve got people from all over the world here, and if we were to collaborate together, I really believe. And the new maker space. You know, it’s a, it’s a step in the right direction towards getting that kind of thing going, and the public awareness is growing.
Ever since Old Town Glassworks’ inception, Matthew has looked beyond conventional recycling and resource management to figure out what exactly the key to preservation is in Yellowknife.
I mean, our biggest resource is the human resource, and tragically in the north here, suicide is very high. And if we can do anything to help address that, that’s recycling and its cutting it off at the pass I mean, it’s human resources squandering themselves and the things around them. We have to find ways to start addressing that. And that art and art expression is a short path towards change.” – Matthew Grogono, Local artist and buisiness owner.
lISTEN TO THE tRUE nORTH tALE HERE!