By Ahmri Vandeborne
Sometimes joining a new thing can be scary. What will it be like? How will you fit in? How will it affect my finances? These are questions that might be floating around when you think about joining Guelph Arts Council’s Membership. Luckily, in efforts to relieve artists and community members of financial barriers during COVID, Guelph Arts Council is offering free memberships until December 31 to take the finance question off the table! As for the other questions, we chatted with Dr. Canan Altinkas, who recently became a GAC member, about what it has been like to join the GAC community for the first time and the benefits of membership. Read more to learn about Dr. Altinkas’ artistic practice and to see how they felt immediately a part of the community with the help of GAC’s membership support.
Painting by Dr. Canan Altinkas. Image provided by artist.
Can you please give a brief description of what you do?
“I was born in Turkey in 1979. I am an artist and an academician. I started my art education in my early ages. I had classic art education and have been participating exhibitions since high school years professionally.”
“I also worked as an Assistant Professor for 15 years and taught various art courses. I have several articles published and participated in many group exhibitions. I have also contributed to two international Biennials as a member of curator and organizing committee. I have 6 solo exhibitions and many group exhibitions. My latest solo exhibition was in Shared Space with support of Guelph Arts Council in July, 2019.”
“I currently live in Kingston. I have been awarded an IIE-Artist Protection Fund Fellowship and am in residence in Queen’s University until September 2021. I continue to work on my art in my studio at Queen’s University.”
Canan Altinkas. Image provided by artist.
What is your favorite part about being an artist?
“Just as music can convey various emotions to people through sounds and notes, painting is also a means of conveying such emotions to people. You can convey certain emotions to people by using colors, shapes and lines. In this respect, being an artist means finding new and different ways of communicating with people, and I believe this is a very fascinating thing. You can reach people through unconventional ways of communication. Also, creating a persistent work and sharing it with the world causes a different enjoyment. What I love most about being an artist is the immortality provided to the human soul through this.”
What has your experience been like so far with Guelph Arts Council as a new member?
“As a new artist who arrived in Guelph very recently, I had no idea about what to do and where to start. I have been supported by the Council in every way possible. Everyone is friendly and assisting artists. I am grateful for all the support I have received.”
How do you think the Guelph Arts community can, or has, help(ed) you as an artist or contributed to your goals?
“Guelph Arts Council and community helped me to meet with other art enthusiasts and I have received positive feedback from them. They were very supportive. Guelph Arts Council helped me to organize my first solo exhibition in Canada. Receiving such a support as a newcomer has been very encouraging.”
Would you recommend Guelph Arts Council membership to others?
“Yes, I definitely recommend membership. Once becoming a member, you start to learn more and there is a wonderful network of artists. And you feel like the part of a large family. Thanks to the space reserved for me on their website, Guelph Arts Council provided the opportunity for me to reach many people. In this respect, their support is non-negligible.”
Join Canan and the wonderful community of artists in Guelph Arts Council. Become a member for free by visiting guelpharts.ca! Offer valid until December 31, 2020. Stay tuned to Guelph Arts Council YouTube and social media accounts for more membership testimonials and interviews!