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Learn about the West End through Ken Boesem’s personal story and original artwork, Community Nest

Community Nest (West End) ~ by Ken Boesem (2021)

Acrylic and ink on canvas 50.8cm x 76cm (20in x 30in)


Through a personalized avian metaphor, artist/writer Ken Boesem’s West End story reflects upon his own queerness, finding a home, and gratitude for his time as a guest in this territory. At the same time, it circles imagery of community building.

Like the West End’s crows, who build their nests anew each season, West Enders like Boesem have repeatedly utilized the West End as a renewable source of incubation and growth, through multiple life changes.

Boesem symbolically posits the West End as a communal nest, creating a visual metaphor for the area as a safe place of incubation and growth. In this sense, we can conceive how the West End serves many as a place of individual gestation and rebirth, while also serving many disparate communities as a metaphorical “safety nest”.

What characteristics or qualities of the West End do you see in this story and art?

Learn about artist Ken Boesem here.

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