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Fallingwater and Other Treasures by Frank Lloyd Wright

By Nan Hogg

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Image By Daderot - Own work, CC0

I was one of the lucky people who joined the group heading south on October 13 for a delightful tour of Frank Lloyd Wright’s famous Fallingwater in Pennsylvania and a number of other architectural gems in and near Buffalo.

This tour was beautifully planned and led by Sharyn Seibert and Brian Lauder. It was a packed three-day schedule, but all went off like clockwork. Our big highway bus was a comfortable home and Brian kept us busy with commentary and a quiz about FLW. (There was much discussion and some cheating at the back of the bus, but we still didn’t win.)

As well as Fallingwater, on the itinerary were two more Frank Lloyd Wright buildings: Greycliff in Derby NY and the Darwin Martin House in Buffalo. I had been to both of those before, but was happy to return. I was able to see how the renovation work had progressed since my last visit, and also to have the benefit of Brian’s knowledge. In all our visits, our leaders had booked the most extensive tours, which meant we got extra tidbits from the most knowledgeable guides.

The Roycroft ‘campus’ in East Aurora was a new experience for me. Not a campus in the usual sense, it was an artistic community based on the philosophy of the Arts & Crafts movement. Beginning with a print shop in 1894, it grew to include a bindery, a leather shop, a metalworking shop and a furniture shop. Today, the campus is managed by a foundation that has restored several of the buildings, including the Roycroft Inn, where we had a fine lunch in their private dining room.

I know Wright is criticized for his tendency to put design considerations ahead of the comfort of his clients, but I must say Fallingwater with sunshine pouring in through its many windows felt like a place to linger, more so than the Roycroft Inn with its heavy, dark furniture and its heavy dark panelling. Just my impression; I know there were others on the tour who are very fond of the Arts & Crafts style.

We spent one night at the Summit Inn in Farmington, Pennsylvania. Built in 1907, it is an interesting combination of the old and the new. Truly on a summit (our poor bus driver had a challenge on the twisting road to the top) the view is spectacular. In the morning, the inn was in sunshine, but heavy mist had settled into the town below. I very much enjoyed the grand lobby of the hotel with doors leading to an upper terrace, a huge boulder fireplace burning brightly, and vintage chairs in which to cuddle up. Amenities included boards for chess and checkers; it was that kind of place.

Our other night was spent at a Hilton Hotel in downtown Buffalo. It was fine, but much less interesting. We all appreciated Sharyn and Brian’s exceptional organizational skills. At both our hotels, our evening meals were ready for us when we arrived.

Many, many thanks to Sharyn and Brian for all their hard work and to my fellow travellers for all the fun.

2016 Guelph Arts Council Jane Graham Memorial Award

Guelph, ON – November 8, 2016 – Guelph Arts Council is pleased to announce that the 2016 Jane Graham Memorial Award will be shared by two local artists, Christina Kingsbury and Garth Laidlaw. Both artists live and work in Guelph, and submitted requests for assistance to pursue specialized professional development opportunities.

Christina is a multidisciplinary artist who explores place, ecology and labour through paper sculpture and installation. Her request for assistance was to cover the costs of two intensive courses in papermaking as well as a one-on-one mentorship, all at a professional and educational paper art studio. In thus gaining a more solid technical and professional understanding of papermaking, she will be in a position to move beyond her current DIY approach to work with paper in a more proficient, experimental and sculptural way and create new monumental works that integrate landscape, sculpture and installation. The jury commended Christina for her vision, and appreciated her commitment both to her practice and to working with other artists and the public.

Garth is a painter/illustrator/storyteller who writes and illustrates children’s stories that encourage discussion about our society and cultures. He requested assistance to attend the 2016 Packaging Your Imagination Conference hosted by CANSCAIP (Canadian Society of Children’s Book Authors, Illustrators and Performers). In addition to the experience of attending several workshops and panels by established writers and illustrators, this conference will afford him the opportunity to meet art directors and get critical feedback on his work as a foundation for creating another children’s book within the next year. The jury recognized his hard work and his commitment to the local artistic community.

Both Guelph Arts Council and the jury panel were extremely pleased with the applications for the 2016 Jane Graham Memorial Award. The applicants’ stories were all inspirational, presenting the jury with some challenging decision-making.

Established in memory of local artist Jane Graham following her untimely death in March 2005, the Guelph Arts Council Jane Graham Memorial Fund is managed by The Guelph Community Foundation. As a result, Guelph Arts Council is annually able to assist visual artists residing and actively practising in Guelph or Wellington County, helping them to pursue professional development opportunities that will contribute to individual personal artistic growth. For more information about the award program, contact Guelph Arts Council at 519-836-3280 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Since 1975, Guelph Arts Council has been dedicated to supporting, stimulating and promoting arts and culture in Guelph. Guelph Arts Council is funded in part by The Guelph Community Foundation and City of Guelph. We also acknowledge the support of the Ontario Arts Council, an agency of the Government of Ontario.

Gerald Neufeld & The Musical Family of Guelph Chamber Choir

“One of the things that I have always cherished about music is that it brings people together.”
- Gerald Neufeld

 

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Gerald Neufeld, Conductor of the Guelph Chamber Choir, has been a life-long student of early music. Gerald explores how and why music from the Renaissance, Baroque, Classical and the early nineteenth century is so expressive. Gerald explains that early music scores have minimal guidance and notation so we can never perform them today as they were originally intended. Instead, through the study of the original meaning and spirit of both text and music, it is possible to pull gestures in phrasing and articulation from these outlines to create an incredibly impassioned performance. There is a saying about early music that goes, “The old music is the new music,” Gerald noted, “Because it allows for reinterpretation and improvisation similar to jazz.”

Gerald is a Doctor of Musical Arts and has cultivated his historically informed practice over many years of studying choral and orchestral conducting in Winnipeg, Germany, and the United States. Through his intensive studies, Gerald can rejuvenate his repertoire of traditional early music and complete choral rehearsals with the use of time and precision needed for the complex productions.

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A catalyst or facilitator for the music, Gerald describes a collaborative process where he works to draw out what his performers do best. Gerald begins with a discussion of the affect or mood of the original text and, once the performers understand and can ornament the work, Gerald and the performers work out the score with a variety of tone and expressive shading. On the ability to achieve balanced and complex layers of sound that are difficult to do with modern instruments, Gerald notes, “An orchestra of people who play period instruments love what they do, and they love working together."

It is this collaborative and community spirit which has driven Gerald’s work. Always a student, Gerald has also taught at the University of Guelph and the University of Western where he works to share his philosophy of, “Education through music, not music through education.” Gerald also conducted the University of Guelph Choir, the Thames Scholars, and the Western University Singers. Gerald describes working with these groups as, “Pure pleasure,” and that being a part of these communities in Guelph and London was a fantastic experience.

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Throughout his career, the Guelph Chamber Choir has been a constant for Gerald since its inception in 1980, and is at this point a, “Musical family.” A group now forty voices strong, the Guelph Chamber Choir performs from a repertoire ranging from early music to contemporary works.

This November, the Guelph Chamber Choir will present David Fanshawe’s jubilant African Sanctus, featuring noted multi-instrumentalist artist and expressive arts therapist, Gary Diggins. African Sanctus promises to be an exciting fusion of traditional African and European music and will be performed by the Guelph Chamber Choir and conducted by Gerald Neufeld at the River Run Centre on Saturday, November 5, 2016, at 7:30 pm. Get tickets here.

Other upcoming performances by the Guelph Chamber Choir include:

Carols for Christmas, on Sunday, December 4, 2016, at 2:30 pm at St. George’s Anglican Church.

Messiah, on Saturday, December 17, 2016, at 7:30 pm, at the River Run Centre.

St. John Passion, Saturday, April 1, 2017, at 7:30 pm, at the River Run Centre.

Visit here for more information about the Guelph Chamber Choir and where to get tickets for their upcoming performances.

“I am delighted to have been able to live and work in Guelph. It has been a privilege to work with these people.”
- Gerald Neufeld



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A War Story

By Lyn Westfall

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I always knew from a young age that my father was killed in WWII. But, I confess, it wasn’t until I was in my mid-forties, that I began to research his story. A well-loved children’s book was to become the trigger.

While in a French Children’s Library with my bilingual girlfriend and her three young boys, I casually picked up the only French book I could remember - Histoire de Babar by Jean de Brunhoff. As I began to turn the pages, I realized I often knew the page ahead - even before I came to it. After signing out the book, I wrote my mother a letter asking her why this book would be so familiar to me. She wrote that my Father’s family gave me a copy when I was just two years old! (I was only three months old when my father was killed). I then realized that I knew very little about my father, as my mother later remarried and I became the eldest of eleven children.

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Once my husband and I began our research, no stone was left unturned. We contacted Veteran Affairs, RCAF Archives, the Commonwealth War Graves Commission and any other military archive that might provide information. My father’s death is listed as September 10, 1942, on which he took part in a night sortie in a Wellington Bomber flying over Dusseldorf Germany. No plane or crew members survived. The plane’s disappearance is described as 'without a trace!' However, we did learn that his name is recorded with the names of over 20,000 Commonwealth aircrew at the Runnymede War Memorial near Windsor England. All have ‘no known grave.' But there, when I visited, I was able to see my father’s name and those of his fellow crew members - carved in stone.

Now as a retired Visual Arts Highschool Teacher and a full-time painter, images of WWII, Wellington Bombers, along with pictures and text from the book ‘Histoire’ - including my childhood friend Babar - often appear in my paintings.

Needless to say, November 11 is always a sad day for me, but a day in which I feel immensely proud of my father, Flight Sergeant Wildfrid W. H. Lavers RCAF - age 23 years.

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