By Elly Grant
Guelph is a special place for young artists.
Whether you’re like me and call Guelph home or are new to the area, there are endless opportunities for artists aged sixteen to twenty-five. I recently returned to Guelph after time away, and was proud to see many programs and artists continuing to thrive, with new opportunities for youth arts constantly emerging. Below, I hope to share some inspiring connections, possibilities, and words of encouragement for young creatives who wish to find their stride in Guelph’s interconnected arts community.
Since landing back in Guelph, I reconnected with an old friend, high school classmate, and artist Laura Vautour. I was curious to know what motivated Laura to stay in Guelph and pursue Fine Arts at U of G. Laura explained that early introductions to events like Hillside and Graffiti Festival were influential to her relationship with Guelph’s art community, and led to her desire to expand connections both on and off-campus. Laura’s exposure to arts programs at Necessary Arts, Otherwise Studios and Art on the Street have been important experiences that have helped her feel supported and encouraged to build an arts career in Guelph.
Laura Vautour - Impasto - 2020 - Oil on Canvas - 30 x 30 x 1. One of Laura Vautour’s many incredible works featured in the Necessary Arts window gallery for the RAW Artist Initiative that occurred in summer 2021