In memory of the late Guelph visual artist Jane Graham, Guelph Arts Council offers an annual award to a regional visual artist(s) to pursue professional development opportunities.

Jane Graham was a much-loved and respected visual artist living and working in the Guelph area for many years prior to her untimely death early in 2005. Donations to Guelph Arts Council in her memory made possible the creation of the Jane Graham Memorial Fund at The Guelph Community Foundation.

This award provides funds  for visual artist(s) to pursue professional development opportunities that will contribute to individual personal artistic growth. With this award, GAC and the Jane Graham Memorial Award invests in the artists within our community and encourages artistic growth and experimentation. 

GAC had the chance to catch up with one the 2021 award recipients, Emma Ongman. 

Emma is a multidisciplinary artist that enjoys exploring the evolution of technology and its influence on the human condition through the manipulation of video and sound. Emma has shown her work in Canada and internationally and holds an Honours BA in Studio Art with distinction from the School of Fine Art and Music at the University of Guelph.

Emma applied for the Jane Graham Award in 2021for support in attending the 2022 MUTEK Festival of Media Art in Montreal to further their artistic skills and professional networks. MUTEK consists of various workshops, exhibits, performances, and panel discussions focused on art technology and the human existence in physical and digital spaces. 

A total of $700 dollars was awarded to Emma to attend the festival and after hearing about her time spent in Montreal it seems to have definitely been a worthwhile experience in her professional development as an artist. 

The funding enabled Emma to network with Canadian, North American, and international artists and creative professionals with similar interests to Emma. Emma informed us that attending art events, such as MUTEK, related to one’s artistic interests can boost creativity and remind you “why you do what you do”. For Emma not only was the festival informative and exciting but it left her feeling “very much” inspired.

Aside from the amazing networking opportunity with Canadian and international artists Emma told us that she gained knowledge regarding combining sound and video to further her art practice involving technology. Similarly, the event allowed her to expand her knowledge and skills in visual installation processes which will undoubtedly come in handy as her artistic career progresses. Learn more about Emma Ongman Here. 

The Jane Graham Memorial Award is now accepting applications until October 21st. Click here to learn more and apply.

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