Two Rodman Hall exhibitions have been shortlisted for 2017 honours by the Ontario Association of Art Galleries.The annual awards are the only juried, peer-assessed awards of their kind and are designed to recognize excellence in arts institutions and professionals in the public art gallery sector. The awards celebrate gallery professionals, including curators and technical assistants, alongside artists.Also Also by artist and Brock Visual Arts instructor Donna Akrey was shortlisted for Exhibition of the Year with a budget under $20,000. Featured at Rodman Feb. 11 to April 30, 2017, the showcase included soft sculpture, interactive pieces and video work.Collaboration figured prominently in Akrey’s exhibition, with gallery visitors invited to interact with pieces and to contribute to a cumulative installation by creating sculptures with common items.“Rodman Hall strives to use contemporary art as an agent of social change,” said Marcie Bronson, curator for both of Rodman’s shortlisted exhibitions.“Also Also fostered a sense of belonging at the gallery and encouraged participation in the arts, while also advancing critical discourse on Akrey’s practice and Canadian community-oriented and activist art.”Also shortlisted, this time for Exhibition of the Year with a budget under $10,000, was local artist Elizabeth Chitty’s first solo exhibition at Rodman Hall, The Grass is Still Green. The exhibition explored ideas of place, land ownership and treaties while on display at Rodman June 4 to Aug. 21, 2016.Elizabeth Chitty’s exhibition The Grass is Still Green, encouraged visitors to reflect on ideas of land ownership, colonization and reconciliation. Chitty invited community members to help her plant a garden in a representation of the Two Row Wampum.Chitty’s work is characterized by social justice, environmental and community issues. The Grass is Still Green responded to the history of the Rodman Hall site and the touring exhibition Reading the Talk.Outreach programs associated with Chitty’s exhibition affirmed that we are all treaty people and have personal responsibility in reconciliation.As part of the exhibition, which included a video piece made with community members, Chitty invited Haudenosaunee and recent immigrant youth to help her plant a garden of white and purple sweet alyssum in a representation of the Two Row Wampum.“Her longstanding ties with the local First Nations community, and consultation and collaboration with them throughout planning made this exhibition possible,” Bronson said. “Breaking down barriers and forging new connections, this exhibition was transformational for our community.”Award finalists will be announced Nov. 27 at the OAAG Awards Gala in Toronto.