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August is Share - an Artful Pledge Update

Sarah Goldrup

The artful pledge for August is Share. A month dedicated to sharing with you some of the things we are most passionate about, be it authors, musicians, artists, makers or innovators.

I am sharing this video https://vimeo.com/102248581 about Katherine Jones, a printmaker living and working in England. I have been greatly inspired by her works, but even more so how she talks about her practice. Printmaking becomes the process through which she creates her finished works. Working in a playful, intuitive way, the medium of printmaking allows her to reflect on her initial research, which includes drawings and small paintings, and move forward to the final work.

As a printmaker myself, I love this video not only because it shows printmaking as I see it; A medium that combines the best aspects of painting and drawing, with processes that encourage exploration and play. The video also shows printmaking as a way to gain a new perspective on a work through the process.

Printmaking is not a well know or understood media, but I have been so excited to see its impression on the Guelph Arts community. There are many strong printmakers in the roster of amazing Guelph artists. If you are looking to round off your summer by trying out something new I could not recommend printmaking more, there are great classes available through Idea Exchange and Guelph School of Art.

As Katherine puts it, “Like any artist using print, I know that the medium and the infinite possibilities it affords deserve to be understood and elevated in line with other media. Printmaking and other forms of artistic practice remain divided, to the detriment of every artist, and I feel heartened to see the increase in the understanding and recognition of the medium year to year.”

http://www.katherine-jones.co.uk/

Guelph has an amazing arts community, and I am so thankful to have had this opportunity to get to know it better. Thank you for a wonderful summer.

 

Katie Wilde

This is a dangerous topic for me; let’s see if I can restrain myself. I know we always say there’s so much to see and so much to love in the arts, and particularly here in Guelph, but I’ve found it to be true. I am a visual artist but I love performance, sound, and kinetic sculpture. I’ll try to be brief as I share only a few of the artists that have made an impression on me in recent years.

David Caesar was one of the first artists I came across when I moved to Guelph. I was at the Cornerstone enjoying a refreshment and had to catch the attention of a server to ask who had done the beautiful painting of a pigeon on their menu board, so precise and effortless-looking at the same time. They pointed across the room and said “He did”. So I was fortunate to meet the artist without a moment’s delay, but since he’s not one to talk up his own art, and I discovered on my own later just how much impressive work this artist had created. If you spent any time at Ox before it closed for renovations, you’ll know the large painting of the crow featured there, and you’ll have an idea of what I mean. David Caesar teaches at Guelph School of Art and sells exquisite originals and (very reasonably-priced) prints. www.davidcaesar.com

Terra Vista Studio’s (Randy Hobson’s) High-Dynamic Range photography is something I never tire of looking at, although it does make me go a little cross-eyed. One of my favourite things in art is the line between the real and not-real, and Randy’s work pushes this line from the real into the hyper-real. You can find his work at the Guelph Creative Arts Association’s Guelph Artisans Store in the Quebec St. Mall. Hobson is Vice President of that charitable organization, and their store and events are well worth a visit.

Ragnar Kjartansson and Anish Kapoor are contemporary world-renowned artists who have really changed how I look at scale, focus, and repetition in art. They’re the only non-local artists I’ve mentioned here, although if anyone hears of them coming to Guelph, I’d like to know! I recommend browsing their work online, but also really making an effort to see their works in person, as they exist at their strongest by making you aware of (or doubt!) your physical presence in relation to each piece.

Both Sona Mincoff (selected works available through Art Gallery of Guelph store) and Chris Evitts (currently up in the Joint Café) harness something in their paintings that could be called “what’s not there”, and possess a lot of intrigue with very little detail, something that fascinates me.

Gillian Wilson’s printmaking and painting always makes me happy and at the same time, slightly uncomfortable. Her prints, paintings, drawings and designs are memorable without being easily definable or digestible, and for that reason she is one of my favourites.

Lastly I want to share about an artist who has inspired me not just with their art but with their ethic. Over the past year since he did the electrical box in St. George’s Square, I’ve seen artist Jason Inglis really work hard to improve his art, try new techniques, and develop his own style. Inglis is an inspiration to keep going despite setbacks, to get out and share your own work and struggles with the community in a spirit of generosity and determination. You can find Jason Inglis’s work on display right now until the end of September at 10 Carden (10 Carden St, across from City Hall).

We weren’t able to share as much as we would have liked in August, so we’re extending the theme over the rest of the year with #haveyouheardof Wednesdays. We will post on Wednesdays but we encourage you to share anytime on Facebook or Twitter, using the hashtag #haveyouheardof and tagging @guelpharts (Twitter) or @Guelph Arts Council (Facebook) and share your artist, medium, author, movement - anything! We will be pleased to share it with our followers.

Hillside 2015 - One Volunteer's Perspective on a Unique Festival

by Taryn McIntosh

Taryn McIntosh worked with us here at GAC on a summer co-op placement. She has volunteered with Hillside for three years but has been an attendee for many more. We asked her to share some background on Hillside itself, her personal take on the experience as a volunteer and long-time attendee of the festival, and what stood out to her this year.

The Festival

Hillside is an annual, three-day music and arts festival held at Guelph Lake Conservation Area Island on the last weekend of July. There are three music stages, a poetry stage, and a children’s stage with performances running all weekend. Also featured are artisan booths, food, a kids area, workshops tents, the beach on Guelph Lake, camping, youth activities and more. The Hillside Festival is unique in its dedication to sustainability. Hillside is a Not-for-Profit organization committed to the community and the event, which has been around for 32 years, has won many awards and is one of the Guelph Fab 5 Festivals, along with Guelph Dance Festival, Guelph Jazz Festival, the Eden Mills Writers' Festival, and Guelph Film Festival. Unlike many festivals, there are no corporate sponsors and because of this, the festival does not run on headlining acts. However, the Hillside planners really have a knack for picking out talented bands and artists. The festival aims to welcome people of all ages, and there are designated licensed areas on the island during the festival (the Lake stage and Island stage) where folks looking for a cold refreshment can find a beer tent. There is plenty of parking available, but don’t worry if you can’t drive yourself out there – there are bus shuttles running continuously from the island to downtown Guelph all weekend. Run by a small staff and about 1500 volunteers, Hillside Festival prides itself on being eclectic, family-friendly, sustainable and community-based.

Hillside Image 1

Photo credit: Chris Monteiro

 

The Music

Doldrums

Doldrums are an electro-pop band from Montreal. Their songs are beat-based and synth-heavy, mixing pop tracks and ambient, industrial sounds. Their latest album The Air Conditioned Nightmare reflects the experience of growing up in the United States. The performance garnered mixed reviews, but I loved it; it definitely had a darker, more processed vibe than most other Hillside performances. I was a fan of Doldrums before Hillside, so I was happy to see them in the lineup. The show was great for me, and I really liked the energy of the crowd. If you like droning beats and a super hip, head-bobbing crowd, Doldrums are ideal. I think the show contrasted the folkier daytime Hillside sounds, and did so successfully, which is impressive on the part of the organizers and the band. Check out Doldrums.

The Galacticats

The Galacticats make jazzy rock/pop music. They had great energy and the music was highly-danceable, which I love. And they’re from Guelph! I really recommend checking out their bandcamp and buying their studio EP. Their album art is awesome, too.

Bedsheets

I was on a volunteer shift when Bedsheets played, however the hospitality tent is right behind main stage so I still got to hear/dance while making mass quantities of coffee and lemonade for fellow volunteers. The band is lead by Sam Boer, a multi-instrumentalist, vocalist, and songwriter. The band has a very genuine and unique presence, and their music mixes a variety of styles. Their songs are catchy and skillfully orchestrated. Personally, hearing a crowd singing along to lyrics about the Speed River is pretty great. I was so pleased to see them play Hillside (finally), and I very strongly recommend checking them out. Bedsheets bandcamp.

Dakha Brakha

This band was a big hit at Hillside, and were definitely my favourite performers. DakhaBrakha is a world music quartet from Kyiv, Ukraine. Their music mixes elements of traditional Ukrainian folk music, contemporary ambient sounds, and powerful, soulful vocals. The spectacular vocalists are backed by traditional instrumentation taken from all over the world. Their live show is remarkably theatrical and dramatic. DakhaBrakha are extremely talented and skillful artists and amazing performers. I don’t think words can do them justice. Check out these live performances and their website.

Hillside as a different kind of Festival.

This year’s lineup was met with some negativity as the headliners were not as big as the headliners they have had in the past few years. This year is the first year of Wayhome festival near Barrie, creating competition for Hillside that they haven’t dealt with before. Often big music festivals have their performers sign contracts to only play their festival that weekend in competitive situations like this. Hillside would never have the same headliners as a huge festival like Wayhome, however many of the popular artists that have played at Hillside in previous years (July Talk, Mother Mother, Hollerado, Arkells) were performing at Wayhome as smaller acts to huge artists like Alt-J, Modest Mouse, St Vincent, Kendrick Lamar, Hozier and even Neil Young.

I’ve only been to a couple big music festivals of similar size & calibre to Wayhome: Osheaga in Montreal and Field Trip in Toronto. The energy and environment at those festivals was very different from Hillside. The amount of corporate sponsorship-based marketing that goes on gives them a different feel, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing. As far as a festival with a sense of community, however, Hillside is unique. The big festivals have their obvious draws, and are always a really good time. For me, however, I can’t really afford to drop $400 on a ticket for one weekend, not including the prices of food and camping or lodging off festival grounds. As a volunteer, the experience is even more unique, and it doesn’t cost me anything to get into the festival or camp. The community aspect is very positive and the reason why many people attend every year. Although the artists are smaller, there are always artists that I know and am a fan of, and every year Hillside introduces me to musicians that I would not have discovered otherwise.

The Food and Craft Vendors

Hillside food vendors are always diverse, and the prices aren’t very steep, especially for a music festival. Vendors include well-known local businesses like Salsateria as well as various other restaurants and catering companies. From what I’ve seen they are very accommodating of dietary restrictions (vegetarian/vegan, dairy free, gluten free, etc.), and offer cuisine from all over the world.

I recognized a few of this year's Art on the Street participants while browsing the artisan booths: Nicole Gagnon, StrayStones, Keri Rounding, and Pip Robins. There are always lots of cool artisan shops to look through, selling everything from vintage clothing, to jewelry, to handcrafted ukuleles.

Volunteering

Hillside is run by almost 1500 volunteers every year. My experience as a volunteer has been amazing. I think the sense of community is a huge draw to Hillside, and volunteering is the best way to feel like part of the community. You will meet really nice people, too.

In addition, you get free admission into the festival, free camping, and food and drinks at the Hospitality tent. Also, the volunteer camping area is always really fun. If it’s possible for you, I highly recommend looking into volunteering. Applications usually come out in March or April. All of the information is on the Hillside website.

Top 10 Ways to Connect with GAC

GAC’s staff and volunteers live for art in this city. Our vision is to champion Guelph’s vibrant creative community, and our mission is to advocate for and foster a collaborative creative community. It’s the artistic practice of our members, and the dedication of our community to the arts, that inspire us to live that vision and mission every day, so we want to ensure that our programs and activities serve your needs. Here are the top 10 ways to connect with GAC:

  1. Visit us. Have a little browse around and say hello. We’re open Tuesday – Friday from 10am to 4pm at 147 Wyndham St. North, Guelph ON N1H 4E9
  • Poster board with calls
  • Discover other artists, classes, events and exhibitions and resources
  • Mini-library with art books featuring local artists and exhibitions
  • Meet the staff
  1. Make an appointment. Need a bit more time or not available when we’re open? Just give us a call and we’ll book you in. Members, we especially want to get to know you! Tell us about yourself, show us your work, talk to us about your goals. We might know just the right resource or opportunity for you.

  2. Give us a call. We can be reached at 519-836-3280.

  3. Attend our events. Meet GAC staff, volunteers and other members. Share, learn, network — you’ll be glad you did!

  4. Engage with us online. Find us on Facebook, Twitter or our website guelpharts.ca. Let us know who you are, and tag us when you post about your activities. When you tag us, we’ll get a notificationand we can share your post to our thousands of followers. Tag @guelpharts on Twitter, and @Guelph Arts Council on Facebook. If you’ve got a message you’d like to share on short notice, or you really want amplified, call us or send us an email asking for us to share your news on our social media channels.

  5. Meet us for coffee. Well-caffeinated is our preferred state.

  6. Write us a story. Run it by us — we’re always looking for Arts Blast and social media content.

  7. Book a presentation slot. Want to meet the GAC Board? Request some time on a meeting agenda.

  8. Drop us a line. Send us an email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or put a stamp on it.

  9. Volunteer. Got a little bit of time? Help us on a committee or with a favourite program or event.

We look forward to connecting with you!

GAC Jane Graham Memorial Award in 10th Year - Deadline Sept 24, 4pm

The Guelph Arts Council Jane Graham Memorial Award was established in 2005 in memory of Jane Graham, a local teacher, artist, loving wife and mother of two, after her untimely passing. The Graham family worked with Guelph Arts Council to ensure donations could be made to honour Jane’s memory, as well as help artists advance their careers. Managed by Guelph Community Foundation, the resulting Guelph Arts Council Jane Graham Memorial Fund makes it possible for the Arts Council to offer this award annually. Working to support artists in Guelph and Wellington County, who want to pursue opportunities that will contribute to their individual personal artistic growth.

Ceramic artist and photographer Bunny Safari was the 2014 recipient of the GAC Jane Graham Memorial Award. The award allowed her to attend a workshop on “historical” photography techniques, with the goal of combining those processes with her ceramics. Other award recipients over the years have included an artist blacksmith, printmaker, multidisciplinary artist, bead artist, art quilter, and painters utilizing several different approaches. All of these individuals have indicated that the award helped them take their artistic work to the “next level.”

Any visual artist residing and actively practising in Guelph or Wellington County is encouraged to apply for opportunities that will be pursued after November 15, 2015. The deadline for applications is no later than September 25, 2015 – 4 p.m. Decisions will be made, and awards announced, in the fall of 2015. For more information, visit http://guelpharts.ca/gac-awards-bursaries.

See full press release

 

 

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