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Figure Drawing Every Tuesday, For All It's Worth!

By Garth Laidlaw

A little over five years ago, my dad and I decided to start our own figure drawing sessions out of my parents' home on Tiffany Street near downtown Guelph. When the six-week session we had been attending at The Guelph School of Art ended, we felt that the stopwatch of decline would begin on our drawing skills and would only revive when the next six-week figure drawing class began in the following season.  Eventually we decided to try running our own figure drawing sessions on a consistent basis and make it a drop-in so that if anyone felt the spontaneous urge to draw, they could.

figure drawing for all its worth
Me in the foreground. This is a busier night! (all images courtesy of Garth Laidlaw)

At first, it was a pretty humble affair. Now, it’s still a humble affair!  This is part of the magic of it.  There were many times when we thought of expanding into a bigger space, to allow more participants so that we could make it cheaper for everyone.  However, we realized that it’s actually a rare opportunity to be able to sit in someone’s living room and participate. It’s cozy, warm, and you might have to share a couch with a stranger.  Our venue is conducive to meeting new people and sharing ideas or advice.  I believe that the way our drawing sessions work is rewarding and fun particularly because one shares the space with different people each time.

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Artists Transform Citizens' Snapshots into Portrait of Guelph

by Katie Wilde


Look around you. What do you see?

Local artist duo KIAM (rhymes with Siam) wants to see what Guelph looks like to you. This summer, they are leading a creative collaboration with citizens of Guelph to create a six-panel artwork exploring Guelph’s six wards. Entitled “YourWard,” the project simply couldn’t exist without input from the community – specifically, images snapped in neighbourhoods, of people and places that make up their stomping grounds.

KIAMKIAM: Artists Kiel and Amanda Wilson-Ciocci (all images courtesy of the artists and contributors to YourWard)

As the City of Guelph’s 2018 Artist(s) in Residence, the pair have been collecting images from anyone and everyone in Guelph, since the project launched at Art on the Street in June. They are collecting images until August 4th, and will be using them to create the piece in their signature artistic style - a mix of collage and abstract painting – which will then be on display at the Art Gallery of Guelph during Culture Days from September 28th through 30th.

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Guelph Arts Council and University of Guelph School of Fine Art and Music Present Fractured Remnants: An Emerging Artist Mentorship Project Exhibition

Guelph, ON July 10, 2018 – This summer, six emerging Guelph artists and curators have worked with local mentors in the fourth round of the Guelph Emerging Artist Mentorship Project. Fractured Remnants is an exhibition of work created and curated by these artists, and a culminating event for the summer round. Works by visual artists Christine De Vuono, Katie Owen, and Ahmri Vandeborne, co-curated by Peter Flannery, Carolyn Hickey, and Ross Jennings, will be exhibited at the Boarding House Gallery. The exhibition runs from July 23 - 27 at 6 Dublin St. S, Guelph, with a reception on Thursday, July 26 from 7 - 9 pm. GAC and SOFAM are grateful for project support from the RBC Emerging Artists Project.

Fractured Remnants considers the intersections between humans and material impressions. Together, the work of the three artists examines the driving force of humanity through an exploration of cultural remains and our interactions with materials.

The Guelph Emerging Artist Mentorship Project supports emerging artists in the critical transition from academic to professional life. Emerging musicians, cultural managers, and visual/media artists work with local established-artist mentors to develop the professional networks and business skills they need to build careers as creative entrepreneurs. In 2017 the project was launched with support from Ontario150 Partnership Project, and has continued in 2018 with RBC support. Over four rounds, the project to date has supported the careers of 32 emerging artists, including senior students and graduates of SOFAM as well as other Guelph artists, and engaged 20 artist mentors.

Artists interested in the program are invited to contact Guelph Arts Council at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 519-836-3280.


About Guelph Arts Council:
For over 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, an agency of the Government of Ontario, and our annual sponsor Meridian.

About University of Guelph School of Fine Art and Music:
The School of Fine Art and Music’s BA programs in Music, Studio Art and Art History, and the MFA in Studio Art and MA in Art History and Visual Culture, are renowned for their excellence and for the success of their graduates. SOFAM curricula in all areas, delivered by acclaimed faculty, are designed to combine critical thought and creative practice with crucial opportunities for experiential learning.

View the original media release here.

Rain Fails to Dampen Spirits at Art on the Street 2018

Despite the raindrops and cloudy skies, thousands still flocked to Quebec Street for one of Guelph's most anticipated summer events.

White exhibitor tents bloomed like mushrooms in the rain while artwork, exhibitors and fans flooded the area with activity and high spirits. Street performers wowed crowds with entertaining feats of balance, agility, and showmanship. Musicians roved on stilts and popped up at various tents to serenade.

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Under colourful umbrellas and jackets - or simply embracing the wet - visitors roamed from tent to tent taking in sights and taking home treasures from impressive displays of ceramics, jewellery, paintings, photography, sculptures, textiles and more artwork that is less easily described but no less worth seeing and buying.

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