May Artful Pledge Update: Explore

Hooplaopening-photoby Meredith Blackmore edit by Katie Wilde

Melissa Gobeil

Throughout the month of May, Guelph Arts Council staff took the Artful Pledge to brave the unpredictable Spring elements and to explore this amazing creative city. Now admittedly, when you are immersed in creativity all day long, you can sometimes forget just how unique this community is.

Over the last few months we have been exploring the incredible creative spaces that exist here in Guelph, as well as working with business owners who value the arts and who want to be a part of strengthening this sector. In positioning to launch HATCH [pop-up art-space] we have explored new ways of bringing more space opportunities to artists, while simultaneously bringing more art to the public.

In the editorial series, entitled “MAKING [creative] SPACE” we have delved into the inner worlds of Studio 404, Diyode Community Workshop, Dancetheatre David Earle, Guelph Youth Music Centre and Necessary Arts Company to understand what inspired the birth of these creative spaces and what keeps them going every day.

This city is bursting at the seams with creativity, and while many of us are immersed in our own projects, it’s so important to get out there and see what everyone else has created and hear what they are dreaming up.

Explore Guelph’s idea-makers and attend The Elevator Project’s event, The Big Show, at the River Run Centre on May 28th! Guelph Arts Council has pitched HATCH to the community of investors through Elevator Project and these results, along with the rest of the investments, will be revealed at The Big Show this Thursday at 6:30 p.m.

Patti Broughton

When Katie and Melissa told me about the Artful Pledge project, I thought it was a fabulous idea. What a great way to remain mindful of how art enriches our lives every day or, in other words, to live artfully.

May’s theme of Explore could not have been more appropriate for me as a newcomer to Guelph. Despite my crutches (which I’ll be rid of soon I hope), I have had the opportunity over the last few weeks to explore some of Guelph’s creative places.

At Boardinghouse Arts I was impressed by the opportunity offered to emerging artists through the incubator program. I’ve also had the opportunity to visit Diyode, Studio 404 (three times!), the Guelph Civic Museum, and Innovation Guelph. Although I have many more creative places in Guelph to explore, as a newcomer I have been struck over the past month by the respect shown to heritage structures in Guelph, and the community-building and collaborations taking place within them.

Katie Wilde

Each month seems to have its own brand of busy, but May being the gorgeous month that it is, I couldn’t help but slow down and notice art all around me.

Despite the construction going on at the newly re-named Art Gallery of Guelph, the Donald Forster Sculpture Park seems more inviting than ever, sprawled on its thick carpet of grass, enormous maples providing perfect shade for a picnic. While running errands downtown or waiting for the bus, Necessary Arts Company’s Hoop-La exhibition and sale in the window of Budd’s on Wyndham provides a welcome pause to take in some really unique local art. It’s easy to secure your favourite piece(s) at an extremely affordable $60! I was proud to take part as an artist and patron, and though I had to restrain myself to just one purchase: “Experiment #2” by GAC Artist Member Shannon Jill Bray, I’m extremely happy to be starting my own collection.The Guelph Pride Art Show was particularly striking at 10 Carden this May, and Kloepfer Framing has been showing off their recently expanded gallery with a solo show by GAC Artist Member Brett Forsyth “Turneffe Atoll: Below the Surface”.

One event I’d hoped to be able to attend was Guelph Dances kickoff event at Studio 404 featuring Portal Dance Project, choreographed by Guelph Dance Co-Artistic Director Janet Johnson. This is a new addition to the program, the festival taking place in early June. While I wasn’t able to attend due to an out-of-town side project, I’m told it was a great success with a full house for both performances, and am very much looking forward to the festival happening June 4 to 7.

Another great way to incorporate artful exploration into the everyday is to snap a few photos of the world around you and participate in GuelPhonography by tweeting and tagging @GuelPhonography. The best part about it is that you don’t have to consider yourself an artist to take part. Snap away and share your best images of Guelph taken with your phone.

arts blast katie phonography

I intend to continue exploring with the excellent GAC Historical Walking Tours throughout the summer, the Fab 5 festivals, and many smaller events and exhibitions throughout the season. Check the events calendar and member directoryto discover the arts that are living, breathing, and creating a better community for us all.

Next up is June: Watch, so get ready to go out and see some amazing things!

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