Guelph, ON – November 12, 2020 – Guelph Arts Council is pleased to announce that the 2020 Jane Graham Memorial Award will be shared by Anita Cazzola, textile and installation artist, and Abby Nowakowski, a multidisciplinary artist currently focusing on illustration. The recipients live and work in Guelph, and submitted requests for assistance to pursue specialized professional development opportunities to further their skills in these challenging times.
Anita Cazzola submitted her request for assistance to help cover the costs of her site-specific natural dye project titled “Botanical Reclamation.” For this project, she is focussing on the vacant lands around the old Lafarge plant on Silvercreek Parkway, where she will be harvesting colours from plant species that remain on the site, infusing them into natural cloth and creating an open-air public installation as a “symbol of botanical resilience and a proud emblem of reclamation.” As part of this self-directed educational opportunity, Anita will be collaborating with several community organizations and artists both to enhance her knowledge and to create resources to accompany the installation. The jury commended Anita for her artistic resilience in developing such a creative way of expanding her artistic practice during a pandemic. They also applauded her community engagement plans and timely environmental focus.
Abby Nowakowski is currently concentrating on expanding her “artistic practice through the essential skill of digital illustration.” To this end, she submitted her request for assistance to pursue an online digital illustration class through Emily Carr University of Art and Design where she would learn a number of tools and techniques needed to take illustration work from sketchbook to finished digital illustration. She believes that this course will allow her “to gain the confidence to create a finished digital piece,” and push illustrations to the forefront of her artistic career. In addition, she feels that improving her skills will allow her to “bring my passion of helping via illustration” to more local organizations. Knowing how varied Abby’s artistic career has been, the jury commended her for honing in on one aspect of her practice at this time. They also appreciated her strong connection to the local community.
Both Guelph Arts Council and the jury panel were extremely pleased with the applications for the 2020 Jane Graham Memorial Award. They were also impressed with the various, interesting opportunities that artists are seeking to help them meet the challenge of successfully practising art during a pandemic.
Established in memory of local artist Jane Graham following her untimely death in March 2005, the Guelph Arts Council Jane Graham Memorial Fund is managed by the Guelph Community Foundation. As a result, Guelph Arts Council is annually able to assist visual artists residing and actively practising in Guelph or Wellington County, helping them to pursue professional development opportunities that will contribute to individual personal artistic growth.