PROCESS 29 – Pictures of the Main Event

March 30, 2012 § Leave a comment

Here are the pictures you’ve all been waiting for.

Browse around and enjoy!

If you haven’t been to see the show for yourself yet, make sure you go soon! It wraps on March 31st!

Check it out for yourself at the Rail’s End Gallery, in Haliburton, ON.

Can’t get enough of Rosemary Jenkins’ Pottery?

March 29, 2012 § Leave a comment

You’re in luck!

Rosemary has decided to open her doors once again!

Join her March 31st for an encore Open House! See attached for the deets! OPEN HOUSE March 31

Artist(s) of the Week – VCAD Students and Their Show: PROCESS 29

March 22, 2012 § Leave a comment

PROCESS 29: Meet the Artists! Reception from 7-9pm, Thurs March 22 at the Rail’s End Gallery, Haliburton ON. The show is ongoing to March 31, 2012.

“Chaotic” was the one word student Don Fitzgerald used to describe it. An assault on the senses, an explosion of art: it is the exhibition of our Visual and Creative Arts students’ Conceptual Development project.

Aptly named, Process 29 is about the process, from start to finish, of creating a body of work fit for a gallery. Students experiment with mediums, with techniques, forms, ideas; they’re told to let go and work their concepts rather than simply creating one masterwork of art: exploration and discovery are the name of the game. What matters is not the art at the end, but how the students arrived at it. In many cases, their works are in progress, ideas they are fleshing out and trying on like new sets of clothes: right colour/wrong size, right size/wrong shape, right shape/wrong material…. Let’s face it, just because we’ve tried it on, doesn’t mean we walk away from the store with it and that is exactly what Process 29 is about. Can the students develop an idea, play around with it, try new things and explore? When something doesn’t feel right do they keep at it, hoping it will grow on them in time? Or throw the idea back on the rack with the discards? It’s all part of the process…

Elinor Whidden, the instructor and herself a sculptor/performance artist, stresses that there is no handholding through this entire course:  these students have brought the entire show together. Various committees of students have taken responsibility for several different aspects of the show; from marketing and promotion, to reception planning, installing, de-installing… This group of wildly creative individuals has come together as a team to ensure that despite their differences in personality, taste, technique and style, their art is represented cohesively as one unit.

“It’s very exciting,” Whidden explains, “since for most of these students it’s the first time they’ve ever displayed work in a gallery. But it makes them vulnerable as well; displaying work leaves them open to criticism.” She stresses though, how important feedback can be to an artist. “They need to know if their visuals translate to the viewer with the intentioned message.”

After all, typically with visual art, there aren’t any written words to explain what’s going on; the largest part of the communication relies on the artist’s ability to convey meaning with an image or sculpture. “That the show is about process and not about the art is really interesting,” says VCAD student, Emily Gur. “It reveals more about everyone themselves and their interests…”

Students are asked to go on a voyage of discovery with their art. They all take different paths on this journey, but the end result is what is crucial: there is no official “end”. The works that are on display are not necessarily even completed.  Ideally, the “VCADers” are simply investigating (and enjoying) the search for a “happy accident”.

“It’s really helped me. I never would’ve thought of using any of these materials before,” shares Justine Beauregard. “From the beginning of the year, you can actually see how much everyone has grown in their own artwork.”

And so – without calling in the art critics – that the students themselves can acknowledge how far they’ve come in such a short period of time, tells us their first show? It’s already a success.±

This show is a collection of work from Lauren Ogilvie, Luke Smit, Matthew W. Pearce, Mitchell Doris, Emma May Ross, Andy Anderson, Caitlyn Bloch, Aaron Jones, Megan Marie Morritt, Jessica Brabant, Magic Karpet, Rob Stock, Giuseppi Zuliani, Andrew Hamlen, Michelle Tarkington, Tsiokeriio Brant, Emily Gurr, Meghan Gale, Justine Beauregard, Colin M. Smyth, Cree Tylee, Mandy Ryan, Meghan Didier, Donald S. Fitzgerald, Trent Denne, Elise Elena Verikaitis, Jessica Beaulieu, Nicole Bruce and Jamie Smerdon

For more information about any of the programs at HSTA, please call us at 1-866-353-6464 x3 or visit us online at www.hsta.ca

Artist of the Week – Instructor and Former Student, Susan Watson Ellis

March 19, 2012 § 2 Comments

Susan Watson Ellis, Paradigm Designs

Link by link, and stone by stone are the pieces of Susan Watson Ellis created. Not unlike the great Cathedrals, her works are epic undertakings of exquisite taste and design.

After moving to the “big city” for university, Ellis first developed her interest in jewellery after crossing paths with various street-vendors peddling handmade items to the denizens of Toronto. She worked with a self-taught jewellery-maker, learning his craft and becoming more and more intrigued with the art. Upon graduation from her degree (no connection to jewellery whatsoever!), Susan, with the help of a government employment program, created an apprenticeship for herself with a German goldsmith. This master-jeweller imparted a vast array of knowledge and gave her the skills she needed to continue on in her craft.

Over the years, Ellis has constantly been refining her technique, adding to her repertoire of skills, and attending various courses and workshops throughout North America. From chainmail halter-top to gem-encrusted evening purse, the sterling silver pieces that she creates are without peer. Her expertise in chain-making lends itself uncommonly well with the natural stones that imbue her work with colour: sparkling druzes, iridescent moonstone and labradorite, apatite, amethyst, and agate, to name but a few.

“I collect many awe inspiring gemstones,” she regales, “and spend endless hours arranging and contemplating them as finished pieces of body adornment.  I try to design a range of sizes of finished works each season, in various colour groups, to enhance a range of personal styles.”

Susan’s fascination early-on with natural stones has shaped her work into a distinct and signature style.  The asymmetry and uniqueness of many of the precious- and semi-precious gems breathe life into the otherwise inorganic pieces, adding both soul and character to the creations. Best of all, while diamonds may abound in identical sizes, no two druzes are alike. She carefully hand selects each stone for every piece. Occasionally, the gem inspires the art, sometimes the art determines the gem, and of course, for custom pieces, any patron can make a request.

As a well-established artist in the industry, Ellis gladly imparts her advice to  those dreaming of their own jewellery studios one day: “[…] work as much as possible in your newly acquired craft. If you can’t afford to start your own business, find work in an established one where you can hone your skills. Also, join organizations like the Ontario Crafts Council and the Metal Arts Guild where you can  volunteer and forge valuable connections in your chosen field.”

Susan’s exceptional talent has long since come full circle: once a student, now a teacher, and forever learning. At the Haliburton School of The Arts, we’re thrilled to have her.

For more information about Susan’s jewellery, please visit her website at www.paradigmdesignswe.com . She can be reached via phone or email at

(705) 457-3759, and info@paradigmdesignswe.com

For information on attending the Jewellery Arts program with Susan Watson Ellis and other renown instructors, please see our website at www.hsta.ca

Calling All Ceramicists!

March 19, 2012 § Leave a comment

Artist in Residence Opportunities

Are you involved in ceramics and clay art?

Are you looking for a fantastic way to explore your medium?

Make sure you check out these great opportunities (yes, they have more than one!) in Medicine Hat, Alberta!

www.medalta.org/miair

Artist of the Week – Mary Kroetsch

March 5, 2012 § 2 Comments

Mary Kroetsch

She’s an artist, a student, an entrepreneur, and exceptionally talented. Not only has Mary Kroetsch graduated from the Fibre Arts program at HSTA in 2004, but she has also expanded her horizons with courses from George Brown, the New Brunswick Arts & Crafts College, and the Stratford Festival of the Arts. Her work is displayed internationally.

This week, we were lucky to catch up with her as she was preparing for the Big Art Book Digital Anthology Launch Party on March 1st

Better than anyone, Mary can tell you how important story-telling is to her; it inspires her, it shapes her artwork, it pulls people closer together and weaves a grand tapestry of nostalgia. 

And so her story begins, not with “once-upon-a-time” as so many stories do, but with a sewing class. Yes, that’s right, a sewing class. At the tender age of ten years-old, Kroetsch’s mother enrolled her in a sewing class, never dreaming that it would become a life-long passion for her daughter. Her father, an amateur photographer, has also greatly influenced Mary’s work. “It is the 100 plus years of forgotten family life in the albums and shoe boxes I have in my possession, that spurs me on to reclaim forgotten memories,” Kroetsch shares. “By bringing memories out of the box and incorporating them into a contemporary art piece, I give the viewer permission to reach out and touch.”

And Please touch! No white gloves required! could be her war cry… She explains that textile art is often seen as fragile and precious; viewers are afraid to interact with the pieces. She urges viewers, however, to interact with her work. She carefully pulls us once more to the shoebox of inspiration: “Our memories are fragile and precious, too. If we don’t constantly, and lovingly, fondle memories, they soon become forgotten in an old shoebox.” She wants viewers to know that art is both friendly and accessible; it can result in an amazing experience for all involved, from artist to gallery-goer.

Over the past few years, Kroetsch has had the privilege of installing some exceptional and interactive pieces. One of them, The Fractoral Heart project, allowed people to spend time walking the emotional labyrinth she created – contemplating and remembering the emotions that made them smile and hurt. Another, titled the Take a Memory – Leave a Memory project, required that visitors be gifted with a photographic memory in exchange for a letter sharing a personal remembrance, inspired by the photograph.

She reveals that her glorious plan to “make it big” in the Art World within five years of graduating at the college, didn’t quite work out. Priorities have changed, experimental directions were taken and now she quite simply says, “I make art – full stop. I [don’t] want my work to be categorized as Fine Craft or Textile Art.” And in such a competitive industry, labels are a dime a dozen.

Her parting thoughts to us are, in fact, advice for any art student: aspiring, current, or graduated:

“Don’t waste the education you are getting with HSTA.  It is easy to be disillusioned by a teacher you don’t care for or even distracted by a topic you feel has no value to your art form.  Everything that is being shared with you has value – if not now – then later. And ask questions.  Your teachers are working Artists.  Try and coax their secrets for their success out of them.  It might save you some time if you are looking to make art your life.”

 

ImageTo see more about the Big Art Book, go to http://scarborougharts.com/2012/03/big-art-book/

For more information about the artist, please visit Mary’s website at www.textile_mixedmedia_artist.cachelan.com/

She can also be reached via phone at 519-265-0666, as well as by email at talisman-fibre-arts@live.ca

Teaser – Artist of the Week

February 29, 2012 § Leave a comment

This week’s Artist of the Week will be Fibre Artist Mary Kroetsch. Stay tuned for her article at the end of the week!

Don’t miss her at the Big Art Book Digital Anthology Launch Party:

Thursday, March 1st, 2012 from 7pm -9pm

Doris McCarthy Gallery

1265 Military Trail, Toronto

Artist of the Week – Ashley Kirby

February 28, 2012 § Leave a comment

Ashley Kirby

Her jewellery journey began in 6th grade when she purchased a Fimo bead and hemp bracelet how-to book. By tenth grade, she was already selling her jewellery at a flea market just outside of Parry Sound. Before the end of high school, she’d “tried it all” – as much as any eighteen year-old can delve into… Hemp, gimp, beading, weaving… She even took a drawing and painting class here and there.

Now, a two-time graduate of HSTA’s Certificate programs, she’s begun to bring it all together: years slaving away making knotted jewellery trained her for the complex wire knots and beaded masses that she calls rings. “Almost all of the rings are one single piece of wire, woven in and out with beads, pearls, and crystal. Each ring tends to take on a life of its own. I generally let the beads and the wire dictate to me how the ring will be shaped. It makes every single one unique.”

And indeed they are. From cocktail parties to everyday fun, the bright colours and one-of-a-kind construction certainly make for a great piece. “I started off with the idea of having a ‘Champagne Collection’; you know, mostly bridal and black-tie bijoux. But, I just couldn’t resist the colours… Whether I wear it with jeans or a fancy dress, just wearing one of the rings brightens my mood.” Not that her mood needs much brightening, when she attended HSTA she was always caught with a smile on her face. Best of all, this young woman is proof positive that a particular area of study, does not dictate what medium an artist works in. Her areas of study? Blacksmithing and Photo Arts…

“Well, when I took the blacksmithing program,” she explains, “mostly it was because I’ve always been drawn to history prior to about 1900. I’m the sort of person that still seals envelopes with wax when I send letters to my friends.” She sends letters? Like in the actual mail with stamps? “As for the photography… well, I’d always wanted to take photography in high school and simply never had the chance… So I came here to remedy that.”

Today, she blends (very) small-scale metalwork with various beads into delightfully colourful, fun, fresh, and elegant jewellery. And her camera is there to document it.

Ashley can create custom jewellery to match any occasion or taste, as well as size. Each piece is individually made. She can be reached at 226-929-6871 or visit her website at www.ank-designs.com where she can be reached via email.

Artist of the Week – Cassandra Hincks

February 22, 2012 § Leave a comment

Cassandra Hincks

Art: it inpsires, it thrills, it liberates, it shares, and of course, it makes us feel. Feeling does not always come when you’re an observer; occasionally, art does not move people at all. But most often, it moves people differently. Three people all looking at an apple see the apple in very different ways… But, when you’re looking at a painting of an apple, what do you feel then? The awe and wonder the artist has for such a delicious and beautiful fruit? Do you understand the loathing for a healthy snack, forced on the artist for years by health-conscious parents? Or perhaps, there is no feeling at all: a lifeless, wonderless piece of art?

This week’s Artist of the Week, Cassandra Hincks, offers to the viewer a true bevy of emotion. She evokes everything from whimsical fancy, to adventure, to the very stuff of a coulrophobe’s worst nightmares. The emotional journey this emerging artist can inspire is breathtaking… But how did she start?

Her journey began with horses, her first subjects, at a very young age. Their grace and majesty filled pages in her sketchbook as she was drawn into the world of art. “It then grew into a sort of therapy for me and helped me to forget about the world for a bit,” she explains. “It was something I could get lost in and just become completely focused on and I loved it.”

Needless to say, her focus was worth the effort, as her passion grew so, too, did her skill. She began to explore the minutist details of nature: water droplets on a leaf after a rainfall, a misty morning in the woods, the tufts of hair on a beloved cat. Her eye for detail became ever more attuned to the world around her. And what catches her eye serves as inspiration. It allows her the freedom to choose various subjects, to try new things and to explore the limits of what can be transferred to a canvas or a sheet of paper.

“My inspiration comes from many things, but mainly thoughts, experiences, and just random ideas that pop into my head. I’m pretty much just exploring everything that I can and trying to find myself as an artist as well as a person.”

No stranger to a small-town atmostphere, Hincks understood she was never meant for the “big city”. Raised in Nippissing, it was the quiet presence of nature that first drew her to the Haliburton School of the Arts: the intense dislike she feels for the fast-paced environment of city-life was not the ideal headspace for her…

While attending her program, Hincks explored the connection between fibre and painting, weaving the mediums together into intriguing compositions. “[At] school I learned so many things, it made it really hard to find a medium I absolutely love; I enjoy little things about them all so I combine them a lot  and switch back and forth. Right now, I’m exploring graphite on raw canvas and embroidery.”

And her explorations are certainly poignant: although the experience might differ for every viewer, there is no question that every viewer will certainly feel something when they experience Hinck’s works.

Cassandra can be contacted via email at cassandrahincks@hotmail.com .

To view more of her work, please go to www.cassandrahincks.weebly.com .

Artist of the Week – Angie Quick

February 10, 2012 § Leave a comment

Ecstasy. Religiosity. Passion.

Angie Quick

Angie Quick can tell you all about bold: colour, shape, size. Both in painting and glassblowing, her art is anything but timid. Best of all, she has found a way to reconcile both mediums, allowing her glassblowing pieces to appear as characters in her paintings, and likewise infusing imagery  from her paintings on the blown glass. Many of her works invoke the breathtaking scenery of her sojourn at the  Haliburton School of the Arts, as well as the organic and spontaneous nature of the Earth.

Art is the endeavour to carnalize religion; it is the deification of man’s purpose. My art feasts on the will to live; the divine passion of being.  The art is enshrined by the idea that the soul must devour itself to purify the meaning:  art is the life. Painting is the extension of the ideal.

My works deal in an encyclopedia of symbolism:  beautiful women, an excess of flora, fabric, and a good deal of coupling. I highlight moments of aspiration representing the ascendency of spirit. This is shown through the depiction of ritual, through religiosity without structure incarnated by pattern and rhythm. It is a marriage of logic and faith, wild passion within structured domains, and a straight line decomposing into reckless ecstasy.

I mainly work with oil paint on a large scale, as well as blown glass vessels that are later painted. My paintings and sculptures depict the curvature of form and awareness that the body is majestic; the flesh is contrasted with ornate fabric. With wild strokes I explore the depths of ecstasy. I create visions of life through imbibed eyes, spilling out a body of work consisting in large oil paintings, sculptures and painted vessels. My glass vessels echo my paintings through imagery and the use of luminous primary colours.

Ultimately, my art represents the feelings of unity, rhythm, and a revelation of the seemingly disjointed becoming one.

Angie Quick

Angie can be seen as part of the upcoming group show called “Eclectic”, at The ARTS Project London, Ontario, from February 21-March 3 2012.

She can be reached via email at angievquick@gmail.com or through her website angievquick.com

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