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Deadline for Jane Graham Memorial Award Approaching

Guelph, ON – August 24, 2015 – In memory of Guelph visual artist Jane Graham, the Guelph Arts Council
offers an annual award to a regional visual artist(s) to pursue professional development opportunities. The 2015
application deadline is Friday, September 25 at 4 pm. Any visual artist residing and actively practicing in
Guelph or Wellington County is encouraged to apply for opportunities that will be pursued after November 15,
2015. The award’s terms of reference and application instructions are posted at guelpharts.ca/gac-awardsbursaries.
The award(s) will be announced in late fall 2015.

Jane Graham was a much loved and respected visual artist who lived and worked in the Guelph area for many
years prior to her untimely death early in 2005. Working closely with the Graham family, later the same year the
Guelph Arts Council established a fund with donations made in Jane’s memory. The fund is managed by The
Guelph Community Foundation. With annual fund revenue, the Guelph Arts Council offers this award, now in
its tenth year, to support artists who wish to pursue opportunities that will contribute to personal artistic growth.

Annually, Guelph Arts Council appoints a volunteer award jury with representatives from the local visual arts
community, Guelph Arts Council, the Graham family, and The Guelph Community Foundation. The jury
reviews the applications and selects the award recipient(s).

Ceramic artist and photographer Bunny Safari was the 2014 recipient of the 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 ceramic work. Over the years, other award recipients 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.

For forty years, 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 (OAC), an agency of the Government
of Ontario, which last year funded 1,737 individual artists and 1,095 organizations in 223 communities across
Ontario for a total of $52.1 million.

HATCH art-spaces pop up around downtown Guelph


If you are as passionate about the HATCH project as we are, please consider volunteering with us to support the next round of artists. Tasks could include prepping the sites, helping to build components of the installation or lending a helping hand on install day. Having experience with and owning a set of tools or having a vehicle that you would be willing to lend to the cause would be a huge asset but the only requirement is a free pair of hands. Please help us in creating alternative art spaces in Guelph and support your local artists and community.


Guelph, ON – August 17, 2015 –

With the first round of HATCH [pop-up art-space] projects now installed, visitors to downtown Guelph can expect the unexpected. Projects in Round One of HATCH have brought new life to transitioning commercial spaces at St. George’s Square, in the former Guelph Jewellers and Sarah Jewellery stores, and at the Market Commons building on Gordon St. 

Artists have delighted in transforming these vacant and under-used spaces while engaging with the city and community in a new way. 

Artist Steph Yates had a wonderful time installing her works to create the Museum of Subliminal Objects: “After the brown paper had been peeled back to reveal the Museum pieces, I spent time over several days tinkering with the installation behind the enclosed display cases, where I was hidden from street view. I was delighted to discover that I could overhear the reactions of the people who stopped to look in. Exclamations of bewilderment, amusement, confusion, and curiosity are what I heard most. And I think because of the Museum's sign, which closely mimics the pre-existing Guelph Jewellers’ sign—even in adopting its slogan, "Serving Guelph Since 1980"—some people began to second-guess their perceptive faculties and wonder aloud whether the Museum had always been there and they'd just never noticed it before.”

More information about HATCH [pop-up art-space] projects by Korey Steckle, Robin Lynch, Greg Denton and Steph Yates can be found on the Guelph Arts Council website: www.guelpharts.ca/hatch-pop-up-art-space

HATCH [pop-up art-space] is a Guelph Arts Council project, presented in partnership with City of Guelph, Downtown Renewal and Downtown Guelph Business Association, that provides temporary space to artists for creative exploration, community engagement, and exposure while contributing to the shifting landscape of downtown Guelph.

Round One HATCH projects will run for the month of August, 2015 and artists can look forward to two more rounds of HATCH in 2015, with a Call for Proposals for Round Two circulating in September.

For more information contact:
Melissa Gobeil
Project Coordinator
Guelph Arts Council
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
519-836-3280 (office)

HATCH [pop-up art-space] is supported by Guelph Community Foundation - Musagetes Fund, The Elevator Project, City of Guelph, 10 Carden, Ed Video Media Arts and Hunch Manifest.

Guelph Arts Council is funded in part by Ontario Arts Council, Guelph Community Foundation and City of Guelph.

July is Attend - An Artful Pledge Update

July is one of the best months to get out and attend events in Guelph. We staff at GAC are excited to share what we experienced over the past four weeks. 

Sarah Goldrup, Communications and Events Assistant:

The Artful Pledge for July is Attend, which is perfect for a sunny month full of fantastic events. This July was my first Art on the Street, which I attended as part of Guelph Arts Council. It was a great day of sun, community, amazing art and music, though what made it special for me was getting to meet the artists of Guelph. It was wonderful to put faces to names after writing short posts about many of them that went up on our Facebook page leading up to the event. 

Something that I have loved this summer is going to Farmers Markets. The Guelph Farmers Market has been a focal point downtown for 108 years, running Thursday, Friday, and Saturday at 2 Gordon Street. There is always fresh produce, meats, cheeses and baked goods, as well as some great artists to check out. It’s great way to spend a Saturday morning.

There have been many other fabulous events and openings happening throughout July, and more are gearing up for August. With Guelph Arts Councils Historical Walking Tours starting up again in August, I know what I’ll be doing with my Sundays.

Taryn McIntosh, Summer Co-op Student:

This month I had the opportunity to attend a couple of events in Guelph. Last weekend I went to Hillside, an annual 3-day music festival at Guelph Lake. It was my third year volunteering and camping, which is my favorite part of the festival. The weather was beautiful and I saw some really cool artists, as I enjoyed the generally relaxed and welcoming Hillside environment. Attending Hillside is a great experience, but I highly recommend doing more than attending by getting involved.

I also attended the play “A Night in Flanders” at the McCrae House earlier this month. Guelph Museums commissioned the play as part of the 100th anniversary commemoration of In Flanders Fields. The play allows a glimpse into the mental anguish that prompted McCrae to write In Flanders Fields as it follows him on the night of May 2, 1915. I had the chance to thoroughly explore McCrae House as well. The experience really inspired me, which I admit was not what I expected as I am pretty far from the event’s targeted demographic. I think that getting out and attending and experiencing the things going on in your community is always really valuable.

Hillside is the last weekend of July every year, and A Night In Flanders runs Thursday – Saturday nights until August 8 at the McCrae House.

I’m excited to continue Attending next month and Sharing some of the incredible artistic experiences that Guelph has to offer.

Patti Broughton, Executive Director:

 On July 11 I attended my first Art on the Street since joining Guelph's arts community. I was thrilled to be involved in an event that showcases high-quality creative work in a variety of media, and is a dynamic and fun community event. It was also a wonderful opportunity for me to meet some of GAC's artist members for the first time.

I've also attended meetings this month with reps of some of the organizations that partner with GAC to develop and deliver arts programming for Guelph. I appreciate how willing my community colleagues are to bring their particular strengths to new or existing collaborations. I'm looking forward to Culture Days at the end of September, and other projects that will ensure Guelph remains a great creative city.

Katie Wilde, Office Manager/Membership Coordinator:

In July I had the pleasure of not only attending Art on the Street, but skipping ahead 6 months to December’s theme and doing a little bit of “Buy!” This year I am consciously saving a bit of cash here and there, and spending it on original art, small items though they may be. I’ve realized that to start a collection I can start small. So I purchased a couple of items from very talented Art on the Street vendors – this year they were photographer Jennifer Squires and well-known local printmaker Gillian Wilson.

I also attended Good/Bad + Bad/Good, a lighthearted exhibition of little-seen works from the MacDonald Stewart Art Centre (now Art Gallery of Guelph) collection. Curated by Verne Harrison, this show is currently set up at the Boarding House Gallery on the corner of Dublin and Waterloo, while the AGG’s Gordon Street location undergoes renovations (reopening Sept 17, 2015). Stop by to see this fun grouping of oddities, and while you’re there, pick up 5 catalogues of past exhibitions for only $20 at their art book fire sale like I did! They also have catalogues of recent exhibitions available and they are each beautiful and fascinating.

Thanks for Attending with us here at GAC. We look forward to Sharing with you in August!

From Artful Pledge Part 2: August's Theme is "Share"
By Sonya Poweska

Do you have a favorite artist, musician, maker, event, or artisan? August is the month for sharing!

We here at Guelph Arts Council love discovering new artists. We also love hearing why your favorite artist has captured your attention. They can be seasoned or fresh, emerging or established, unknown or famous; we would love to hear them all.

For those of you who don’t know, we three staff members here at Guelph Arts Council have all worked in the creative industries in different capacities for many years. We each have our own artistic practices and love hearing about other artists’ processes, disciplines, mediums, and experimentation.

Each day in the month of August, we will share the work of a local artist on Facebook and twitter. Although we have many members whom we can brag about, we would like to hear about your favorite artists. We would also like artists to share images and links to their websites. Bonus points go to artists who share images, videos, or links that detail their creative process. What you share with us we’ll proudly share again with the rest of our network.

Helps us spread the word about Guelph artists, musicians, authors, makers, media artists, and innovators. Join us throughout the month of August as we share, share, share and open a dialogue about the art in our great city! Who knows, you might even discover something new!

Scrawls on Walls - a Look at the Bigger Picture of Street Art vs. Graffiti

By Sarah Goldrup

(All photos in this article taken in July 2015 by Sarah Goldrup.)

With spaces in Downtown Guelph being tagged and vandalized, many with explicit imagery, the issue of graffiti in Guelph seems to be a hot topic around town. Guelph is no stranger to graffiti and vandalism, and we were not the first to notice that it is difficult to find full studies on the subject, especially in Canada. So we thought we’d take a deeper look and see what we could dig up.

Edmonton, like many cities, responded to the issue of unwanted tagging by developing a graffiti management plan. The impacts were quantified by MGM Management's audit of the graffiti in  Edmonton from 2010 through 2014. The study consisted of tracking the increase or decrease of graffiti throughout the city, the types of graffiti, and the number of taggers.

“During the 2014 audit, the audit team traveled over 560 kilometres within Edmonton’s 20 sample neighbourhoods, on streets, in alleys and laneways recording graffiti observations. During the course of this audit over 1,200 photographs were taken recording the graffiti observed… The method used by the City of Edmonton, as developed by the consultant for this audit provides a repeatable and unbiased way of auditing neighbourhoods for graffiti vandalism. The neighbourhoods examined in this audit can be examined in the future to determine whether the amount of graffiti vandalism is increasing or decreasing.” (City of Edmonton Graffiti Vandalism Audit – 2014)

There is a stigma that goes along with graffiti and vandalism, one that should be understood as separate from street art. Under the criminal code, graffiti is considered vandalism. It is a bylaw infraction in cities across Canada with a charge of “mischief over or under $5000.” But what is graffiti? Through the 2014 study, Edmonton found that the majority of graffiti was tagging, with less that 5% of overall graffiti being artistic in nature.

“In regards to the artistic nature of graffiti vandalism observed throughout the 2014 audit, it was repeatedly observed that graffiti appeared to be scrawled quickly onto property, in a stylized design as free hand text and not completed with artistic merit. Of the 1,071 observations made in 2014 fully 93.9% was “text only”, which is consistent with the observation made in 2013.” (City of Edmonton Graffiti Vandalism Audit – 2014)

web - Graffiti Which Side Are You On - photo credit Sarah Goldrup

This difference is important in understanding the positive impact that street art can have on communities. While tagging is an individual leaving their mark on a space, street art is an effort to bring art to the community. Community artwork can constructively change the perception of space and decrease vandalism.

“The City of Edmonton is committed to promoting safer, cleaner communities by reducing and preventing graffiti vandalism, while at the same time recognizing the artistic and cultural value street art can add when done tastefully, with permission and so that it does not contravene the Community Standards bylaw.” (City of Edmonton Graffiti Vandalism Audit – 2014)

Graffiti management plans for removal, prevention, and enforcement, in which the city works with the police, citizens and the street art community, have a demonstrable effect on communities. The findings of the MGM audit describe the impact that the City of Edmonton’s graffiti management program had on the frequency and prevalence of graffiti in their municipality. From 2010 to 2014 the audit studied 20 hot spot locations for vandalism in the city, and a similar number of random control areas in the same regions. The 2014 audit showed 11% fewer sites tagged with graffiti compared to 2013, and a 24% decrease in tagging overall. Downtown graffiti was seen to decrease by 31% in comparison to 2013. Encouragingly, overall graffiti in Edmonton saw a whopping 45.9% decrease since the inaugural audit of 2010. (City of Edmonton Graffiti Vandalism Audit – 2014)

These numbers show the positive effect that a cooperative effort from the city, citizens, and street art community can have on vandalism. In addition to enforcement and removal, prevention is a major factor. Public projects liken to the stunning traditional murals in Pembroke, as well as innovative, interesting street art that can creatively beautify necessary eyesores such as hydro or telephone boxes, are vital. In addition to its visual benefits, street art can flourish into a number of important commnity opportunites, including the creation of alternative art spaces, and new avenues for youth outreach. These efforts to connect to our urban landscape address the needs of communities, business owners, and artists alike. 

We’ve been proud to partner with the City of Guelph and the Downtown Guelph Business Association on local projects aimed to address these issues, such as Graffiti Fest, Guelph Mercury Mural by Andrew Frazer, Electric Street Art, and HATCH [pop-up-art-space].

Strolling around Guelph, it’s clear that – as in any city – there is graffiti present, but we also have some great street art to enjoy. You’ll notice that most proper street art pieces are not tagged with graffiti, and those that do have graffiti are either are situated in an area so dense with graffiti that it seems no surface could escape, or the tag appears in blank space around the art. In all cases however, it seems that artistic pieces are tagged far less frequently, if ever. These observations are confirmed by the City of Edmonton’s study in which they report, “In the 2014 audit the consultant observed that murals, throughout the City, were not generally defaced by graffiti tags. This reinforces previous observations that in general graffiti vandals avoid tagging murals.” (City of Edmonton Graffiti Vandalism Audit – 2014) MGM Management is now working to create a graffiti audit with the City of Hamilton.

web - Fox at Red Brick by Andrew Frazer 2012 - Photo by Sarah Goldrup 2015

Red Brick Cafe's cheeky chic fox, untagged. 


web - Bird Mural at Guelph Mercury by Andrew Frazer 2012 - Photo by Sarah Goldrup 2015

Part of mural on Guelph Mercury building by Andrew Frazer, created in 2012, photographed July 2015 tagged. Consider level of postering and tagging that might be on a typical downtown corrugated metal wall and garage door with no art on it.


web - Mural at The Joint Cafe by Mark Zilio 2012 - photo credit Sarah Goldrup 2015

Cheerful alleyway street art on Joint Cafe by Mark Zilio, created 2012, photgraphed July 2015, untagged.

web - Graffiti Wall Along Speed River 2 - Sarah Goldrup photo cred 2015

Graffiti on a wall along the Speed River. Local artist Arthur Kerry worked with Guelph Police service in 2013 to "tip the balance from graffiti scribbles toward wall art that's attractive for the  city" http://www.guelphmercury.com/news-story/4203041-artist-conquers-graffiti-with-mural/. A recent development has Murals of Hope looking to transform the space http://www.guelphmercury.com/news-story/5699375-guelph-graffiti-wall-to-be-transformed-into-a-mural-of-hope/

The support of public artwork in Guelph is vital to the continued growth of culture in our community. By creating these opportunities and introducing a level of professionalism to the process, we can work together to build a foundation and philosophy for public art in Guelph. There are many ways to ensure the quality of community art in Guelph. As with any investment in your building or outdoor space, whether it’s landscaping, a new roof, storefront or deck – spend the time to find the right person for the job, have a proper agreement in writing, and don’t forget the old adage “You get what you pay for”.

Graffiti will always be an issue. Vandalism and graffiti in Guelph is an on-going battle, and enforcement does not seem to be a solution by itself. Working to connect the street art community, citizens and property owners, prevention programs are being developed. There will always be those who want to leave their mark on the cityscape, and by creating access to alternatives to graffiti and by forging a strong community connection we can work together constructively to bring art to our community.

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