Have you seen our Fairy Door? A Fairy Door installation has been on display at our office space on John St. in Port Hope, ON, over the summer months as part of Horizons of Friendship's Fairy Door Project. This beautiful piece was created by Cobourg artist, Katie Flindall of Moon House Art. We caught up with Katie at a very busy (and noisy) outdoor art show where she talked to us about childhood, fairies, inspiration and community dinners. Thanks so much, Katie, for your thoughtful, creative work.
Fine coffee and chocolate for the palette, and art for the soul: the Green Wood Creative Arts Group is displaying work at Harden & Huyse Coffee throughout July. It’s a lovely place to linger over a cuppa and check out the bold, colourful work of the Green Wood artists.
The Green Wood group meets weekly in Port Hope, to learn skills, techniques, and explore new art media with local artists. The focus of the show’s work is mixed media, a combination of drawing, collage and painting. A series of fanciful birds are light and humorous, while other pieces combine vintage images with layers of colour. Port Hope artist, Heather Roy, curated this exhibition.
For the group, art making offers an opportunity to create works that are expressive and affirming. The friendships, acceptance and encouragement the artists offer to each other are an important part of the whole experience. The Green Wood Creative Art Group has been meeting for five years, and has had such local artists as Hilda Van Netten, Alice VanderVennan and Susan MacDonald devote their time and skills to lead the group.
David Sheffield, Community Outreach Worker for Green Wood Coalition, facilitates the art group, and begins each session with a poem or reflection, to help the group focus. Some sessions are devoted entirely to the written word, and poets like Rick Webster, Cliff Bell-Smith and Carol Anne Bell-Smith share their skills in writing poetry.
The exhibition continues through the month of July at Harden & Huyse, 201 Division St., Cobourg. An opening event will be held on Thursday, July 17 from 4-6 P.M. where many of the artists will be present.
It's the end of an era in downtown Port Hope as Mel Talbot and Jamie Talbot close up business at Randall's Office Supplies on Walton St. Their businesses in Cobourg and Trenton will continue to offer the same friendly, knowledgeable service that the Port Hope location was known for. As Mel and Jamie were dismantling the store today, one of the last things they took care of was a generous donation of art supplies to the Green Wood Creative Arts Group. Thank you so much, guys, and best wishes for what comes next.
In the midst of doing what we do, we're always exploring new and interesting ways of improving what we do. This week we had the opportunity to visit two innovative projects in the heart of Toronto.
The Stop is a leader in the Community Food Centres movement that "strives to increase access to healthy food in a manner that maintains dignity, builds health and community and challenges inequality".
Sketch creates opportunities for young people living street involved, homeless or otherwise on the margins, to experience the transformative power of the arts. They're in the process of moving into a new location that's part of an innovative project by Artscape. Incidentally, The Stop's Wychwood Barns location that we visited is also a collaboration with Artspace.
A year ago, we presented the Academy Award-winning documentary film, 'Inocente' during a community event at Trinity College School's theatre.
"At 15, Inocente refuses to let her dream of becoming an artist be caged by being an undocumented immigrant forced to live homeless for the last nine years. Color is her personal revolution and its sweep on her canvases creates a world that looks nothing like her own dark past."
Since then, people have been asking about Inocente Izucar, the young woman featured in the film. Where is she? How is she doing? David Sheffield contacted her for an update.
Here's what she has to say for herself:
Thank you so much for your message and for what you do. I am 20 years old now, I rented my first apartment when I turned 18, me and my mom are doing so much better. I moved back in with her last October.
I have been supporting myself though my art sales. Last year consisted of traveling around the US and speaking to high schools, homeless shelters, and community gatherings.
I hope to go to college this year.
Follow Inocente's progress and purchase her artwork at http://www.originalinocenteart.com
A beautiful story will be told at Saturday's IMAGINATE: An Evening of Possibility, when the short film 'Victoria' is screened for the first time. It's a story of life in all it's colours, lived through the days of one woman. The darkness and the light that has brought Victoria to our community.
Equally fascinating is the story of how this little film came to be. How Rob Quartly, Juno Award-winning director of music videos for Rush, Platinum Blonde and Corey Hart, collaborated with Ron Baxter Smith, whose photographs have appeared in GQ, Vanity Fair, Vogue and New York Times Magazine . How space and gear were made available to shoot this real-life epic. How Victoria overcame her fear, one step at a time.
This film and so much more will be on tap for an amazing evening at Trinity College School. Saturday, February 15, 7:30 pm.
Our weekly Creative Arts Group is in its fourth year of imaginative, collective art-making. Currently, we're helping each other through this long, cold, snowy winter by spending afternoons needle-felting with warm and fuzzy bits of wool.
Port Hope Photographer, Oliver Steins will unveil his exhibition, Tommy Talker & His Butterfly Collection, at this Saturday's IMAGINATE: An Evening of Possibility. The show is fascinating assembly of high-definition portraits created in Olver's studio at Ganaraska Art & Framing, where a Tommy Talker ventriloquist doll was the first in a parade of some 200 subjects. According to Oliver, "Tommy was very patient and could pose for hours without complaint."
The turn of the calendar year is always a good time to reflect on the days we've lived and to look ahead at possibilities. 2013 was a year of great significance for all of us in the GWC community, full of challenges, full of new people and opportunities. Here are some visual highlights from the past year's scrapbook:
The month of October was a brilliant time for our Creative Arts Group as we enjoyed the privilege of spending time in the studios of several working artists in our community. Huge thanks to Katie Flindall, Jo Murphy and Helen Kennedy for generously welcoming us into their creative spaces.