Become a Member like Canan, join GAC for Free!

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.

 

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Painting by Dr. Canan Altinkas. Image provided by artist.

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Guelph Arts Council Announces Fall Exhibitions

Guelph, ON – November 19, 2020 – Guelph Arts Council’s Fall 2020 programming includes the Guelph Emerging Artist Mentorship Project’s culminating exhibition at Boarding House Gallery, Lonely Together, as well as three exhibitions at 10C Shared Space in November and December.

Lonely Together is an initiative of the Guelph Emerging Artist Mentorship Project’s Fall 2020 round. It features the work of emerging visual/media artists Aurora Black, Paige Bromby, James Cooper, Christine De Vuono, Daytona Hack, Maeve Hind, Maria Ibarra, and Nancy MacNabb; emerging musicians Silas Chinsen and Tiffany Ratsizafy; and emerging cultural managers Paige Bromby and Tatiana Poluch. Guelph Arts Council and the participants of the Guelph Emerging Artist Mentorship Project invite the public to join them for an online closing celebration of the exhibition on Thursday, November 26 from 6 - 7 pm. The online reception will include live music and a facilitated Q&A with the participants.

Visitors can see the exhibition at Boarding House Gallery, 6 Dublin St. S during open hours, Tuesday – Sunday, 12 – 5pm. For any visitors wishing to speak to a participant of the program about the art, music, or the program, a representative will be attending the gallery on Saturdays and Sundays 12 – 5pm.

The Guelph Emerging Artist Mentorship Project supports artists, musicians, and cultural managers in the critical transition to professional life, thanks to the support of the RBC Emerging Artists Project. Guelph Arts Council is also grateful for project support from the University of Guelph’s School of Fine Art and Music.

Exhibitions at 10C Shared Space

The following exhibitions, presented by Guelph Arts Council in the street-level community gallery at 10C Shared Space, 42 Carden St. can be viewed by appointment by contacting 519-836-3280 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Paper works by Taras Lachowsky is on view until November 25. Lachowsky is a Ukrainian-Canadian artist who describes their work as “ethno-modernism, taking motifs and techniques from a historical narrative and adapting them to personal viewpoints.”

Megan Sanderson will showcase paintings and mixed media work from November 26-December 11. Megan’s work takes inspiration from independent research done on algue found on the southern New Brunswick coastline.

Maureen Ault’s exhibition runs December 12-31. Inspired by the simplicity and folk art of Maud E. Lewis and Grandma Moses, Ault’s work uses pressed botanical materials to reflect themes of movement, detail and texture while telling stories with a touch of humour.

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Two Local Recipients to share the 2020 Guelph Arts Council Jane Graham Memorial Award

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.

For more information about the Jane Graham Memorial Award program and Guelph Arts Council, please visit guelpharts.ca, phone 519-836-3280 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. For more information about Anita Cazzola or Abby Nowakowski, please visit their websites at anitacazzola.com or abbynowakowski.com respectively.

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Monthly Musical Member Video - Mikalyn

Each month we’ll feature a video from one of GAC’s musical members. If you’re a musician and have a video you’d like us to feature, please send a YouTube link our way along with a short bio.

As people may know, Guelph Arts Council’s mentorship program allows local emerging artists to be mentored by their more established colleagues to better understand life as a professional artist. For this month’s video, we feature someone who participated as a mentee in that program while already carving out a name for herself in the business – Mikalyn. During the COVID-19 pandemic, Mikalyn has been performing virtual concerts, and also posting almost weekly videos of cover songs. Recently, she was named the winner of the “Stage Wars” contest, which gives her an opportunity to perform as the opening artist for JUNO winner Scott Helman in the November 5th virtual show Inspiration 2020, presented by the Children’s Foundation of Guelph and Wellington. Today’s featured video is for a song that anyone who has experienced loss can relate to, called “Gone”.

Mikalyn
Mikalyn is a unique artist, old soul and world weary and yet so young and fresh. She comes at every song with a deep sense of herself as an artist with an alternative view of what is cool and classic in the same breath. Her haunting voice and melodies and harmonies are instinctive and Mikalyn operates at a speed and capacity at a level much beyond her young age.  Mikalyn combines this natural ability with relentless learning and is constantly seeking to collaborate and study from the best.

People can visit Mikalyn’s website to see more videos and to learn more about this up and coming Guelph performer, and also purchase her music. We also remind readers that the good folks at the online platform Bandcamp have committed to continue forgoing their share of artist sales on the first Friday of each month until the end of the year. That means you have two more opportunities to make sure a little extra finds its way into the pockets of your favourite local artists.

Without further ado, we give you Mikalyn’s “Gone”. Apologies, some further ado. WARNING – video contains strobe light effects that may be harmful to some viewers. Okay, now no more ado. Here’s “Gone”

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