The POPway


During the 2020 – 2021 school year, artists Hannah Jickling and Reed H. Reed of Big Rock Candy Mountain convened local artists, including MacEwan alumni and students, to co-create a soda-based drinkable publication, POPOPOPOPOP, following workshop-based Critical Soda Studies with Ms. Chong’s Grade 6 class, and their music classes with Mrs. Andrews, at John A McDougall Elementary School.

POPway, which is located in the Pedway between the Robbins Health Centre and Allard Hall (104 Avenue between 111 and 112 Street), features artwork made by the Grade 6 students who learned about graphic notation alongside Jickling and Reed, with the assistance of artist Gina Pasaran, as well as workshops with guest artists Andrea Shipka, Brady Marks, Biboye Onanuga and Gareth Gilliland, Carla Lenfesty, Charmaine Lee and Mustafa Rafiq. Taking the idea of written music and abstracting it into playable shapes and forms beyond the conventions of key signatures and music notes, the students created drawings inspired by the percussive sounds of the carbonated drink.

Designer Jeff Kulak has pulled elements of these drawings into a wild magnum opus of soda sound-as-visual score—as if you are walking through a bottle of POPOPOPOPOP in the collective imagination of our neighbourhood grade six students.

POPOPOPOPOP was supported by teachers Ms. Chong, Mrs. Andrews, and principal Mrs. Zmurchik at John A. McDougall Elementary School. Participating students were: Adnan, Arnaud, Khaila, Fardosa, Boubacar, Nora, Paul, Lasiya, Ritvik, Ngoc, Sophia, Jonah, Marki, Maryan, Vincent, Angelica, Ben, Ireland, Myka, Fakiya and Ruftael.

Big Rock Candy Mountain is an artist-run flavour incubator and taste-making think-tank that is initiated by artists Hannah Jickling and Reed H. Reed, along with a variety of guest artists and elementary school students. Big Rock Candy Mountain produces edible editions, workshops and installations with a focus on sensory experience and cooperative cultural production. In each project, the school becomes a candy factory, where artists and children work together to critically riff on the industries that address young people.

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POPOPOPOPOP was commissioned by the Mitchell Art Gallery and the Edmonton Arts Council, and produced by Boocha Beverages.

edmonton arts council

The POPway is supported by the RBC Foundation.

rbc foundation

John and Maggie Mitchell Art Gallery (MAG)