Advanced Individual Studies class displays their work

May 18, 2012 § Leave a comment

Steve Rose’s group of artists displayed their incredible pieces in the Great Hall yesterday afternoon. We were able to snap a couple of quick pics to share online…

Artist of the Week – Matthew Mancini

May 9, 2012 § Leave a comment

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Matthew Mancini

 

 

Growing up, art has always been an integral part of Matthew’s life – that and dreams of one day playing professional baseball. During his early teens Matthew spent his summers on house league and competitive teams, but as it started to get more serious, the fun seemed to slip away. The fun from drawing all his favorite comic book characters, however, never did. Although making millions of dollars batting a ball around was attractive, playing with pencils and paints seemed to take precedence.

Was it the right choice? Probably.

After attending an arts high school Matthew Mancini went on to study in the fine arts program at the Ontario College of Art and Design in Toronto. However, after his first trip to Italy, it became clear that traditional figurative and landscape work was something he wanted to explore. OCAD leaned more towards the conceptual and abstract aspect of art which did not appeal to him.

Upon his return, he left OCAD after completing two years to pursue a more classical realist approach that led him on a six-year study at a private atelier in Toronto of the techniques used in the 19th Century ateliers of Paris, France; those of which are based on trade secrets handed down since the Renaissance. Much of his work seeks to return to the archival craftsmanship of the old masters, as well as the humanist principles found throughout past movements of art. Most influential to his work are the paintings of John Singer Sargent, Joachim Sorolla, Zorn, Ilya Repin, Kramskoi, Rembrandt, Monet, and Annigoni to name a few, where the techniques of each combine to find their way into his own paintings.

Having a foremost interest in portraiture, landscape painting has become increasingly of interest. With Matthew’s spouse getting work in Minden, Ontario, in 2011, the move has given him ample opportunity and inspiration that Toronto can’t offer in the same way. The Canadian landscape is some of the best in the world and with formal portrait paintings taking anywhere from 1 to 3 months, the immediacy of landscape painting is quite satisfying. Becoming part of the Fleming College community in the fall of 2011 has been a great experience for Mancini as well, teaching workshop courses, and soon to be joining the talented roster of the Visual Arts Fundamentals: Drawing and Painting instructors.

This summer he will be attending ‘Art in Action’ in London, England: an annual event in which artists set up their studio and work while onlookers interact with them. Artists travel from across the UK and, in celebration of Queen Elizabeth’s diamond jubilee, from commonwealth countries, as well. This event attracts more than 25,000 visitors over four days, and Matthew will have the honor of representing Canada.

Matthew’s days are spent learning, painting and teaching, as well as preparing works for upcoming events.

He can be reached via his website at http://www.matthewmanciniart.com/

Matt will be teaching summer art courses at HSTA, as well as courses at the Peterborough campus in the fall:

Painting – Design & Composition, July 9-13

Figure in the Landscape, Aug 13-17

Portraiture Workshop, Oct 27th, 9am – 5pm, Peterborough Campus

For more information on the courses including course descriptions, please go to http://flemingcollege.ca/school/haliburton-school-of-the-arts#course-calendar

Attention Readers!

May 2, 2012 § Leave a comment

The HSTA blog has been growing in leaps and bounds over the last few months, and we want to keep growing!

Typically, we like to write articles about what’s going on at the school, job opportunities and artist residencies, offering unique insight into the world of an artist – and their often humble beginnings, as well as local things to do and try!

But is there something we’re missing? We’d love to hear some suggestions!

If you like what you see, why not recommend us to a friend?

Thanks so much for Following!

Art & Spirituality – Guest Lecture

April 26, 2012 § 1 Comment

Abbess Khenmo Nyima Drolma will be offering an insightful slide lecture on the healing and dying rituals of diverse cultures, through their art.

The lecture will be held, Thurs May 17th, from 7pm – 9pm at Fleming College and is open to anyone free of charge.

For more information, please see the attached PDF file. Presentation – Artistic Doorways FINAL II

I Made It! Student Show ‘n Sale

April 24, 2012 § 2 Comments

Did you miss out on this semester’s show?

Catch up on what you didn’t see by checking out these amazing pics!

25 Things to Do in Haliburton When You’re Bored

April 16, 2012 § 2 Comments

ImageRent a movie, grab some jiffy-pop, and invite your mates over

Walk around Head Lake on the Head Lake trail and admire the view. Take your camera along.

Explore the art galleries: Ethel Curry & Rail’s End

Gather all yer friends together for a bowling night in Carvarvon

Hike up to Skyline Park for a great view and a BBQ

Head to the beautiful staircase off Highland St just before the bridge for a glimpse of the waterfall

Take pipe lessons on Monday nights with the Haliburton Highlanders at the Legion

Grab your mountain bike and hit the dirt (trails) at Sir Sam’s

There may not be a Timmy’s, but enjoy a fantastic cuppa at Village Donuts

Dust off the old box of 30 year old National Geographic mags and make some paper beads (just add string & glue for a funky necklace!)

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This is not actually the view from Skyline Park...

Book a soapstone carving lesson with Kim Warne, then take a shower with the end product! (OK, maybe not really take a shower with it…)

Go on a shopping spree at the Lily Ann: support a charity, shop til you drop!

Check out the great gear at Outdoors Plus for your next outdoor adventure

Host a board games night: Monopoly Madness, Pictionary Party, Scrabble Scramble, etc

Cozy up with a book in a big chair with a nice old fashioned cup o’ hot cocoa

Sit on the dock by the lake (yes, this is a totally legitimate thing to do)

ImageBum a ride off a friend and head to Minden for a nice cool cone at Kawartha Dairy

Paint on old chair/table/rug/counter/dresser and give it new life

Catch the game with some pals at McKeck’s

Explore the Haliburton Highlands Museum and take in some history

Read the Haliburton School of The Arts blog on wordpress

Write a poem about the leaves dancing in the wind, tree branches swinging, whispering to a friend, a song together singingImage

Visit the dump to check out their free-to-a-good-home book collection

Belt it out at the Northwood on Karaoke Fridays

COME TO THE STUDENT SHOW ‘N SALE ON APRIL 21st between 10am & 2pm ! ! !

Artist of the Week – Alec Morrison

April 12, 2012 § Leave a comment

Alec Morrison

How do you define achievement?

Is it by grabbing the nearest yardstick? Collecting the most “Likes” on facebook? Perhaps graduating Magna cum laude from Harvard?

How about the moment when you actually hear someone else call you an artist? That is what it took for this week’s artist, Alec Morrison, to finally title himself “artist”.

Raised in the bilingual – English & French – and multi-cultural town of Haileybury, Morrison was introduced to both French-Canadian and Native American influences at a very young age. Born and raised in this picturesque area just north of the Temagami, he grew up with a profound appreciation for hand-made and hand-crafted goods.

His colourful musical career began early as well. From the tender age of seven he has played piano; a few years later, at age thirteen, he picked up his first guitar. His upbringing consisted primarily of Blues music, but with the advent of his budding guitar talents, his tastes shifted to punk bands like the Sex Pistols, NoFX, and Operation Ivy.

“Nowadays,” he admits, “I’ve moved into an extremely eclectic mix of stuff, and also Celtic rhythms.” As an afterthought he adds, “And also old country music.” He smiles at his own taste. (For a taste of his music, head here => http://itunes.apple.com/au/album/already-been-where-i-was-goin…/id442130024 )

The ushering-in of the new millenium not only marked an important calendar-change, but also a turning point for Morrison’s own path: he left high school to play in the punk band Bayl out of London, Ontario. When the band broke up, his itchy feet took him to the western reaches of the country where he spent nearly four years off and on, moving between Port Alberni, B.C. and Canmore, Banff, and Calgary, Alberta. “The mountains are beautiful,” recalls Morrison, “and the river water is a crazy hue of blue. [My] first time there, I kept looking over my shoulder to look at the view of the mountains. It was a great vibe.”

Unfortunately, during his adventures out West, Alec’s mental health broke down and he was diagnosed as bi-polar. Unstable for a long period of time, paranoid and delusional, it was some time before he got help. Admitted to the psychiatric ward, Morrison came to terms with his illness and was released, only to be institutionalized again several months later. He spent close to four years in and out of mental health care facilities as he grappled with his own demons.

“Manias are incredibly dangerous – if severe enough – it’s an incredibly complicated, and underrated, sometimes ignored, illness… I’ve gotten to a point where I can manage it, thankfully… and I can reflect on the experience, and create with that energy. But it’s a forever kind of thing, I have lots of people helping me.”

Morrison proudly shares that he’s been both healthy and stable now for seven years; a milestone for anyone who spent more than half that time in and out of hospitals.

But it wasn’t until after this point in Alec’s life that he developed an interest in visual art. During a search for an artist capable of drawing a loon for a tattoo, he came across renown Native Artist Hugh Mackenzie of Bear Island. During the five months of lessons, he learned a great variety of techniques from stencil to sponge, but most importantly he learned a great deal about life.

With a renewed passion in music and art, he started the band Crank Radio in 2005, which lasted up until 2009. His interest in blacksmithing grew out of his drive for self-sufficiency. Intent on pursuing a craft that he could work on during the day when not making music, Morrison was first intrigued by the concept that he could create his own tools with nothing but a hammer, tongs, anvil and forge fire. That Christmas, he asked for a couple of books on blacksmithing. The pages of these books did nothing but whet his whistle, and, rather than sating his curiosity, served only to pique it. “I got into the subject really deep. I found the science behind metallurgy fascinating and the method too…” he tells us. “A couple years after that, my dad told me that a course was being offered at Fleming, so I enrolled.”  Nearly through the course, he was forced to withdraw due to a health scare. “Unfortunately, my health wasn’t great, and I missed a lot of school; I might try it a second time in the future.” Lucky for us, he stayed in the program long enough to create some beautiful works of art.

This year, he has returned to the Haliburton School of The Arts and is hacking, pouring, carving, sanding, and molding his way through the Sculpture course. And enjoying every minute of it.

“It was only a couple of months ago that I realized I was an artist. I asked my girlfriend what she told people I did for a living, and she said “that you’re an artist”.” Calling himself an artist offers him the freedom to be his own boss and to constantly create whether writing poetry, sculpting in plaster, or shaping hot metal with a hammer…

His parting random fact was admitting that he wears kilts. “It’s a Scottish heritage thing, and if Ashley MacIsaac can get away with it, so can I. The way I see it is: if you can’t wear a kilt at a punk show in Canada, then the terrorists have already won.” He offers up a brief chuckle. But the kilt stays on…

Make sure you come to HSTA’s I Made It! Spring Show ‘n Sale. Alec has graciously offered to provide musical entertainment: Saturday, April 21st, 10am – 2pm at the Haliburton Campus.

To visit Alec Morrison’s own blog, go to www.morrisonalec.wordpress.com or to get in touch with him (he’s not without a sense of humour), send him an email at buymystuff@morrisonalec.ca

To view his mini-documentary titled “Already Been Where I Was Going”, filmed at the old North Bay Psychiatric Hospital, go to http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4vNRluaMOv0&feature=related

For more information on mental health, visit http://www.cmha.ca/bins/index.asp

If you liked Alec’s wonderful pieces, check out some of these other amazing sculptural artists: Brittney Howe, Sandra Dunn, Susan Watson Ellis

To learn more about any of the programs at the Haliburton School of The Arts, please go to www.hsta.ca

Have YOU got what it takes to be a student here? Yes, that includes Easter Egg Hunts…

April 12, 2012 § Leave a comment

Here are the pics from our very popular first EVER Student Easter Egg Hunt! Let’s hope events like this continue…

Who do you think found the “Golden Egg”? (The “Golden Goose” this year was unavailable due to scheduling conflicts, but perhaps next year she’ll make an appearance…)

Happy Hunting!

Sandra Dunn, Artist Blacksmith & Instructor

April 12, 2012 § 1 Comment

blacksmithSandra Dunn, Artist Blacksmith & Instructor article at http://www.fortheloveofit.ca/

Check out this great article written about one of our instructors! Stunning photo…

If you’re interested in taking the Artist Blacksmith course at the college, please go to http://www.hsta.ca to learn more!

For more about Sandra, go to http://www.twosmiths.ca

Artist of the Week – Natasha Torunsky

April 3, 2012 § Leave a comment

Natasha Torunsky Photography

There’s no denying that this week’s Artist of the Week, Natasha Torunsky, is a powerhouse packed into a tiny frame. Her petite figure, however, is no reflection of her exuberant energy and optimistic outlook; both of which she brings in copious amounts into her studio.

Never having taken photography in high school – only visual art – she had lucked out with a part-time job at Black’s. Wanting to gain more exposure and knowledge about photography, she came to the Haliburton School of The Arts. “It’s remote and surrounded by forest, which makes it nice and peaceful,” she explains, “I adore the location.”

Specializing in weddings, engagements, family portraits, model portfolios and maternity shots, Natasha also likes to explore nature. She reveals that she’s a bit of a fair-weather sailor though, and shoots outside primarily only in the summer.

She has a remarkable ability to bring out the best in her client’s portraits. Better still, she succeeds in capturing the innate beauty of her subjects. Her distinct knack for exposing the real smiles – not the frigid, frozen poses of department store portraits – sets her work apart.

“I’ve always enjoyed snapping pictures ever since I can remember. It’s rewarding to be there on someone’s special day, knowing I’ve captured the moment – or moments – for a lifetime.”

Her business, Natasha Torunsky Photography, has been running since 2008 and has been gaining ground ever since. To see more of her work, please visit her site at www.wix.com/natasha_torunsky/natasha

Natasha can be contacted via phone at 705-344-3955 or by email at Natasha_torunsky@hotmail.com

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