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Bringing Treasures Back to Life – inside a conservator’s workshop

By Katie Wilde

One day the phone rang in our office. On the other end was a lady with a problem: her treasured teapot had a nasty chip, and she hoped to find a ceramics expert to repair it. She had asked around town and been referred to us, and while we don’t have a teapot-repair department, we were equally interested to know where she could find help to restore a treasured object.

That’s how I met Lloy Osburn. Lloy is a local conservator who specializes in paper and textiles, but through her network of colleagues, the teapot was repaired. I was still curious to know more about art conservation, from someone in our own neighbourhood. I visited her studio, in a heritage building on Woolwich (not far from the Wooly pub) to get a look behind the scenes.

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KW: How does one become a conservator?

LO: I began my career working as a laboratory technician in the Veterinary College at the University of Guelph. But since childhood, I had been an avid antique collector and a self-taught artist. In 1986, I heard an interview with the conservator at the Seagram Museum. This led to a new career and pursuit of a lifelong love. It was like a light coming on! Conservation is a compilation of art, antiques and lab work. So, at 38 I went back to school. My classmates were half my age!

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Myths about Confidence

by Tamsen Taylor

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Tamsen Taylor, photo by See Photography

There are many challenges that artists have to confront, but lacking confidence is one that tends to come up again and again. Whether our art is a hobby for us, our main source of income, or somewhere in between, it is often an intimate thing.

Sharing our creations makes us vulnerable, because they are part of us.

To “succeed” as an artist, we often have to find a way to overcome our fears and doubts, and put our stuff out there for judgement and potential criticism. If our art is a source of income, we also have to find the confidence to promote and sell it.

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Banjofest Rolls Back Into Guelph! 

by Brenda Lewis


Third Annual Festival of Eclectic Banjo Music Runs March 8-10 at Silence Sounds, 46 Essex Street. 

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Lonesome Ace Stringboard

After 2 years of sold out shows, Banjofest Guelph 2019 is returning for it’s third annual March festival. Once again with a stellar line-up of mainly Ontario musicians, the fest has expanded this year to include acts from as far away as Nashville, Alberta and Montreal. 

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