What you Need to Know About Phase 3 in the Guelph Arts Scene: Community, Resiliance, and Innovation

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By Ahmri Vandeborne

As spaces begin to re-open for the first time since the initial closures in March, we reached out to local arts hubs to collect all the information you need to know about how they’re adapting while re-opening, and asked the big burning question, How do you think the arts community will grow through the challenges of COVID-19?

Artists come together at Silence’s first Music Monday since March

It was a consensus that COVID interrupted almost all elements of the community’s lives. “We have had to find a new agility, adjusting to an environment that is thoroughly unpredictable,” says the Art Gallery of Guelph. It was agreed that the arts have strong ties to community, resilience, and innovation. Kloepfer Gallery is “hopeful for the future of art in Guelph.” “If anything, COVID-19 has introduced artists to the full extension of the online community,” says Necessary Arts. Silence adds, “We’re all pretty tenacious when it comes to bringing art to the world and connecting with audiences.”

Ron Shuebrook, Senior Artist in Residence at Boarding House Arts, provides an example of artists looking at the challenges positively, stating that although unfortunate in closures, it has “enabled me to concentrate my creative energies on studio investigations. I have spent nearly every day engaged in creating visual art either in my home studio or in my Boarding House Arts studio.”

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The Walkway Project, Necessary Arts

While creators contribute to the strength of the community, the support of the public will have a strong part to play. Renann Isaacs notes that “by dedicating efforts to convince individuals, corporations, cultural institutions and governments to aid arts endeavours,” we will grow through the challenges together. Capacity 3 hopes that the audience “arrive back to the galleries hungry to engage in new ideas and possibilities.”

Art Gallery of Guelph

Hours: Tuesday – Sunday, 12 – 5 pm
Adaptations: Review AGG’s COVID-19 protocols online, including mandatory face masks and hand sanitization, as well as a capacity of 30 visitors.
Contact: 519-837-0010 | [email protected]
Programming: Current exhibitions feature the work of Métis artist Christi Belcourt, emerging artist Caroline Mousseau, as well as recent acquisitions from the AGG’s permanent collection. New exhibitions open September 17, 2020. For more information, click here.
Socials: Website | Facebook | Instagram | Twitter

Boarding House Arts

Hours: Currently closed to public, though will be opening mid-September with shows in Boarding House Gallery, Capacity 3 Gallery, and Ashlar Gallery.
Adaptations: Installed hand sanitizer dispensers. Mandatory masks while physical distancing. Maximum capacity enforced.

Capacity 3 Gallery

Hours: Tuesday – Friday 12-5, Saturday 10-3, starting September 15
Adaptations: Capacity 3 reduced to Capacity 1, unless it is a family group, in which case 3 are allowed in at a time.
Contact: www.capacity3gallery.ca | [email protected]
Programming: The exhibit Last Year’s Flowers by Christine De Vuono will resume upon reopening
Socials: Website | Facebook | Instagram

Kloepfer Gallery

Hours: Currently open 10 am – 4 pm
Adaptations: Mandatory face masks and hand sanitization
Contact: Book an appointment for framing at 519-763-3456. Pick ups and shoppers welcome to visit during open hours.
Programming: Social media give away, winner to be announced August 31.
Socials: Website | Facebook | Instagram | Twitter

Necessary Arts

Hours: Open 24/7 for members, closed to public unless hosting an event
Adaptations: In light of COVID-19, Necessary Arts almost closed the studio doors permanently, but by creating semi-private studio spaces with partition walls, the space transitioned to be more of a “studio” atmosphere.
Contact: 905-334-5524 | [email protected]
Programming: Phase 1 of a collaboration with the Downtown Guelph Business Association, City of Guelph, and Timbri Property Management to beautify “The Walkway” is complete, Phase 2 to come soon. Studio members submitted proposals and were selected to paint murals on The Walkway pillars. A Call for Submissions for a new window gallery wall will be out soon. Future projects include art markets, open studios, and critique nights!
Socials: Website | Facebook | Instagram | Twitter

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Necessary Arts new studio spaces


Hours: Currently closed to public, though gradually opening doors for private rentals such as parties, small gatherings, band rehearsals, recording sessions and more!

Adaptations: New COVID-19 infection control policies available on website

Contact: [email protected]

Programming: Silence is working on exciting upcoming online concerts and new ways to digitize the highly anticipated Riverchants project launching in the Fall, as well as to safely support local musicians and artists. We love collaborating and brainstorming and welcome ideas, suggestions and requests from our community.”

Socials: Join Silence mailing list | Website | Facebook | Instagram | Twitter

Renann Isaac’s Contemporary Art (RICA)

Hours: Currently closed, though will be reopening by appointment for two weeks in September. See ricagallery.com for upcoming details.

Adaptations: Mandatory facemasks, hand sanitizer at the door. Book appointments with 1-4 people, while socially distanced.

Contact: [email protected] | 519-731-1306

Programming: Cheryl Ruddock’s exhibition “Colour Possibilities” will be on view. This local artist is currently being featured alongside William Kurelek, Rita Letendre, and Kent Monkman in the exhibition BY YOUR OWN STARS: Works from the Permanent Collection at KWAG. In the future, RICA is looking into holding private and musical events plus POP-UPS featuring work by young Canadian jewelry, glass, ceramic, clothing, furniture and lighting designers.

Socials: Website | Facebook | Instagram | Twitter

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