Nurturing Artistic Talent and Strengthening the Arts Community: Pilot Program Empowers Youth Artists in Guelph

Guelph Arts Council is thrilled to announce a new pilot program in partnership with The Art Gallery of Guelph, aimed at empowering and inspiring young artists in the Guelph community. Scheduled for the week of August 21-25 2023, this half-day program will provide individuals aged 13-18with a unique opportunity to explore the vibrant world of visual arts while gaining essential knowledge and practical resources to nurture their creative aspirations.

Image Courtesy of Art Gallery of Guelph

At the core of this program is the desire to equip young artists with the tools and guidance they need to navigate Guelph’s thriving arts scene, whether they choose to pursue the arts academically or independently. The program aims to connect youth with the abundant resources available in the community, while providing professional development and hands-on art making activities that enhance their skills and foster stronger bonds within the Guelph arts community.

Throughout the week, participants will engage in a diverse range of activities carefully designed to offer a holistic experience. Each day will begin with practical knowledge-building sessions, covering topics such as stretching canvases, assembling artist toolboxes, life drawing, and portfolio development for post-secondary programs. These sessions will be complemented by immersive visits to local art galleries and organizations, where participants will have the opportunity to connect with professionals, gain insights into various roles, and explore the inner workings of curating exhibitions.

The program has garnered tremendous support from the community, with several community contributors currently on board and hopes for more. One of the program highlights is an enlightening downtown tour, taking participants to key art hubs and resources within Guelph including SOFAM, Necessary Arts, Art Not Shame, and GAC ArtBar, to name a few. This excursion aims to familiarize young artists with the rich tapestry of artistic support available in the community, encouraging them to continue their creative journeys beyond the program and contribute to the flourishing Guelph arts scene.

Image courtesy of Art Gallery of Guelph

Accessibility is a key focus of the program, with efforts to make it inclusive for all youth artists.Guelph Arts Council is partnering with the Art Gallery of Guelph to offer the program at the cost of materials and activities. 

The ultimate goal of this project is to foster a dialogue among youth interested in the arts, create connections, and offer valuable resources and mentorship that will propel their artistic growth. By welcoming these young makers into a cultural space surrounded by contemporary art, skilled educators, and abundant art supplies, the program aims to empower them with the confidence, skills, and connections needed to thrive as artists and contribute to a stronger, more vibrant Guelph arts community.

“We believe that investing in the development of our young artists will have a lasting impact on their lives and the artistic landscape of Guelph as a whole,” says Katherine Percival, Manager of Programs and Communication at Guelph Arts Council. “Together, let us embark on this journey to empower the next generation of talented artists and shape a brighter future for the arts in our community.”For more information about the pilot program and how to get involved, please visit the Art Gallery of Guelph Website here or contact Katherine Percival at [email protected].

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