Treading Loudly installed at Boarding House Gallery. Photo credit Patti Broughton

By Lauren Taylor

This summer, Guelph Arts Council and the School of Fine Art and Music at the University of Guelph are co-presenting the Summer 2019 round of the Guelph Emerging Artist Mentorship Project. Since 2017, the GEAMP has been pairing emerging artists, musicians, and cultural managers with established artists and arts professionals to collaborate creatively and gain experience in curation, social media, marketing and publicity, graphic design, and more. The final presentation of the project is Treading Loudly, a multi-media art exhibition at the Boarding House Gallery, fully curated by GEAMP participants. Treading Loudly runs until Wednesday, July 31, and included an opening reception on July 19 with a musical performance by singer-songwriter and Project participant Mikalyn Hay. It will also include a closing reception on Tuesday, July 30 from 7-9pm, which will feature a musical performance by Roscoe Fiction (Project participant Peter Spring).

Treading Loudly runs until Wednesday, July 31. Closing reception on Tuesday, July 30 from 7-9pm at Boarding House Arts
Photo credit: Patti Broughton 

Emerging artists participating in the Summer 2019 round include: Anne Munroe, Brendan Irving, Cindy Dochstader, Emily Reimer, Emmali Branton, Evangeline Mann, Jayne Keefe, Katelyn Bakos, Mikalyn Hay, Paige Bromby, and Peter Spring.

Walking into the exhibition opening, I knew I was experiencing something special. There is a special energy generated by passionate people making something they care deeply about. The exhibition looked very professional and very cohesive, despite the number of contributors’ work in the space. Guelph-based singer-songwriter Mikalyn Hay was performing; she “has always wanted to write songs and make music that is truly memorable and means something to the listener,” and, in this space, she did just that. There was an air of pride and gratitude. Brendan Irving, an emerging graphic designer, says, “The final exhibition, in which me and the other mentees were able to promote our work within a well-respected gallery, was an experience that, to me, felt momentous and exciting. There is a sense of pride attached to having your work viewed outside of a classroom and celebrated by the general public.”

Singer songwriter and GEAMP participant Mikalyn Hay performing at the opening reception of Treading Loudly. Photo credit Shawn Chen RBC web
Singer-songwriter and GEAMP participant Mikalyn Hay performing at the opening reception of Treading Loudly.
Photo credit: Shawn Chen, RBC

“The opening and exhibition were great! They were both wonderful learning opportunities,” said Evangeline Mann, an emerging curator and writer. “The most helpful knowledge that I gained/the most helpful aspect of the project was learning how to develop and promote an exhibition.”

“I learned how to network and keep in touch with curators or arts professionals that I meet, skills for finding employment after graduation in the arts/cultural sector, various Canada Council grant opportunities,” says Evangeline. “The GEAMP has also shown me the importance of participating in community arts-projects like these to develop my professional network, meet other artists and learn about the arts community in Guelph. The thing that surprised me the most in this process was how many opportunities there are for emerging artists/curators!”

“When we began the GEAMP, we were asked to list some of the things we hoped to gain from the process. I wanted to learn about art business best practices, refine the vision for my career path, and increase my confidence as an artist. My time in this project has helped me achieve all of these goals and more,” says emerging artist Cindy Dochstader.

“Not only is my mentor, Laurie McGaw, a wonderful and talented person, she’s also a wealth of information and experience. Laurie and I had several enlightening talks about my work, the exhibition, pricing, artist bios, copyright, and commissions. Throughout this time, she helped me gain clarity about who I am as an artist and how my work and artistic journey are evolving.

“In addition to my time with Laurie, the project also gave me the opportunity to connect with other members of the Guelph arts community; my peers in the program, the Guelph Arts Council staff and project coordinators, and the art-loving people I met at the exhibition. The help and support I’ve received from all of these people has been amazing!”

The Guelph Emerging Artist Mentorship Project has paired 42 emerging musicians, visual artists, and cultural managers with established-artist mentors since its first round in 2017. The project supports emerging artists in the critical transition to professional life. In each round, the emerging artists’ experience culminates in a group exhibition of their work that they plan, promote, and install with support from their mentors. GAC and SOFAM are grateful to the local visual artists, musicians, and curators who share their time and expertise as mentors. The Guelph Emerging Artist Mentorship Project is made possible with the support of RBC Emerging Artists Project.

The Boarding House Gallery is located at 6 Dublin Street South, Guelph. Gallery hours: Tuesday to Friday, 12 – 5 pm; Saturday, 10 am – 3 pm; and Sunday and Monday, closed.

Artists interested in participating in the Fall 2019 round are invited to apply here as emerging artist participants or here as mentors.

Participant Bios:

Anne Munroe is a visual artist based in Guelph. She acquired a Brownie camera as a youngster, and has always been interested in the visual and imagery. She was a regular visitor to the McIntosh Gallery at Western University as an undergraduate student. Anne later focused on landscape and still life in watercolour, acrylic, and oil. More recently, she enrolled in the Studio Art Program at the University of Guelph, which has become quite a journey. She is discovering and re-discovering different mediums, including photography, sculpture, collage, watercolour, oil and acrylic painting, as well as video. Her work explores themes such as identity, the body, and climate change.

Brendan Irving is an emerging Graphic Designer who is currently studying at George Brown College, School of Design, in Toronto. His hard work ethic and dedication to his craft has earned him the John S. Strobl art award and consecutive placement on his College Dean’s list.Brendan views design as a form of visual problem solving, seeking to merge creative expression with thoughtful ideas to deliver print and digital content that is both strategic and inviting. His work explores typography, colour, and layout; combining these elements to produce bold and effective designs.


Cindy Dochstader’s work focuses on themes such as identity, uncertainty, protection, happiness, and love. Treading Loudly includes two pieces from her current series, What’s Inside, which explores self-identity and the ways our inner traits manifest themselves to those around us. These pieces, “Authenticity” and “Serenity” (2019, ink and watercolour, 12″x12″), include augmented reality (AR) components in addition to the paintings themselves.

Cindy is a graduate of the esteemed Graphic Design and Advertising program at Conestoga College and has since studied under several professional artists at the Guelph School of Art. She works primarily in ink and watercolour, acrylic, and graphite and has been influenced by many artists from the Old Masters to contemporary realists.

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Emily Reimer is an artist based in Guelph. She is also a recent graduate from the University of Guelph, and plans to continue to pursue a career as an artist. Emily uses mundane and comedic gestures in her work to investigate the nuances of human relationships to objects, ideas, and one another. In particular, her work focuses on understanding gender, family dynamics, and self-image.

Emily works in an interdisciplinary practice of performance, intervention, book works, and drawing; often working in close collaboration with family members. Her work has been exhibited at various art galleries in Guelph, such as Boarding House Gallery, Zavitz Gallery, the annual Juried Art Show at UofG, and Renann Isaacs Contemporary Art.


Emmali Branton is an emerging multidisciplinary artist working in Guelph. Working on an internal level with memories, text, and some humour, Emmali explores the emotional spaces we often hesitate to enter, as well as the anxieties surrounding image and representation. Her recent work examines everyday tensions between documentation and memory and the politics of vulnerability in an image-saturated world.

Emmali recently earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in Studio Art and English from the University of Guelph, and aims to approach issues of communication from multiple creative perspectives. Her experience working on campus as president of the Fine Arts Network (FAN) has ignited a keen interest in empowering art-making at the community level in creative and accessible ways.


Evangeline Mann is an emerging curator and writer entering her fourth and final year studying Art History at the University of Guelph. She is interested in curation and working with artists, as well as helping audiences enjoy learning from and about art. She is particularly interested in writing and learning about different media related to contemporary art, such as painting, drawing, sculpture, performance, video/media, installation and photography. During January 2019, Evangeline was part of the Musagetes’ Emerging Scholars program and attended Guelph’s ArtsEverywhere Festival. She also contributed to the curation of Land Acknowledgement (March 13-April 28, 2019) at the Art Gallery of Guelph for a winter 2019 art history course.

Brand new on the Guelph scene, Jayne Keefe arrived from Montreal in April 2019. Jayne graduated from Concordia University’s undergraduate program in Studio Art with distinction. Since arriving in Guelph, she has taken on her own workshop space, Unless Studios, in the heart of Guelph’s Junction, and is committed to giving back to the community by inspiring creativity and leading by example. Jayne is a multidisciplinary artist working in ceramic sculpture, oil painting, drawing, and other mixed media. Often inspired by themes of the grotesque and exaggerated expression, her work finds balance between comedy, the obscure, and reality.


Kate Bakos currently studies at the University of Guelph and is pursuing a Master’s degree in Art History and Visual Culture. The focus of her research is within the scope of the long eighteenth century on the development of the English landscape garden style and its subsequent influence on British aesthetics. 

Kate joined the Guelph Emerging Artist Mentorship Project as a budding cultural manager. Her recent work includes leading a break-out session at the “Nexus for Innovation: Extended Practices for Art Collections” workshop at the University of Guelph, co-curating “Land Acknowledgement” at the Art Gallery of Guelph, as well as contributing to “Brutalism at Guelph: Concrete in a New Light” at the University of Guelph. Kate aspires to continue her research into the English landscape garden as a doctoral student.

Guelph-based singer-songwriter Mikalyn Hay has been writing music since she was seven years old. She brings a powerful mix of youthful energy and optimism to her alternative-pop sound. Mikalyn has always wanted to write songs and make music that is truly memorable and means something to the listener. She is honoured to be performing on July 31, 2019 at Hugh’s Room Live in Toronto for the Someday Junos Songwriters Show.

Mikalyn also recently travelled to Los Angeles to film a professional video for her song “Gone,” and her song “Prove It,” was picked up by Universal Music Group and is on track to reach one million plays on Spotify this year. Mikalyn was additionally invited to the Society of Composers, Authors and Music Publishers of Canada (SOCAN) music awards this year in Toronto and met Buffy Sainte-Marie, OC along with many other award-winning songwriters.


Paige Bromby is entering her final year of the Studio Art program at University of Guelph’s School of Fine Art and Music. In September, she will be having her first solo exhibition at the Capacity 3 Gallery in Guelph, followed by a group show at Zavitz Gallery, University of Guelph.

Paige’s artistic practice is thought-provoking and varied. She says of her work: “I am interested in the complexities of entangled spaces. The intrigue of partially recognizable forms. My tangled environments exist in the zone between landscape and abstraction. I paint from photographs that I take of Canadian landscapes, to consider how light functions in the landscape. Each mark I make is deliberate and careful, the process of painting these details is very meditative, which is in opposition to the tangle and confusion that my work eventually embodies. These are wild environments. In my paintings you are not observing a landscape; you are within it. Living in the tangle, looking through the thicket, out into the blackness.”

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Roscoe Fiction is the moniker of songwriter and recording artist Peter Spring. His songs are structured in the verse-chorus and maybe bridge format, and are approachable for a wide variety of listeners. At the GEAMP exhibition, Roscoe will be performing a set of original tunes, alongside his band of trusted folk “The Fables.”

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