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!
March 5, 2012 § 2 Comments
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.
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.”
To 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 email@example.com
February 22, 2012 § Leave a comment
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.
To view more of her work, please go to www.cassandrahincks.weebly.com .
January 28, 2012 § 1 Comment
“There’s a photograph of my sister and I, taken when we were still quite young, as we painted watercolour masterpieces along the shoreline of our family cottage on Georgian Bay. The photograph, as well as the painting that I made that day, have been perpetually preserved, laminated side-by-side into a placemat. On the underside is another watercolour I made around the same age: a copy of a Tom Thomson waterfall from the McMichael Canadian Collection. The placemat is sort of faded now; bits of dry macaroni and cheese give it a rough texture. It doesn’t look like much, but thinking of it now, it represents the foundation of my artistic life.” Ian Turner
I graduated from high school a year after my classmates, following a botched attempt at becoming a professional cyclist. A fresh start and new direction were required: I jumped the first freight train headed for Vancouver, intent on studying science at Simon Fraser University. Perhaps not quite so intent after all, as alas! I spent too much time on sketching trips in the mountains and not enough time studying chemical formulae… They sent me packing, needless to say, precipitating my return home to Toronto, now somewhat rankled and directionless. What seems like an obvious conclusion to my apathetic state was much less clear at the time, when I hesitantly – to put it mildly – signed up for a few art courses in the city. I was lucky and had good teachers; I met with positive feedback and encouragement.
I came to the Haliburton School of The Arts – Fleming College last fall with a desire for a thorough grounding in drawing and painting: to be beat over the head with the fundamentals, like an apprentice in Michelangelo’s studio. What I greatly appreciated about the school was the friendly intimacy and lack of pretension that might have turned me away from a larger institution, much like a young Claude Monet turning a cold shoulder to the Académie.
I don’t imagine any artist can ever ignore or escape from the influences of their childhood, even if they wanted to. The work of men such as Tom Thomson, Lawren Harris, and J.E.H. MacDonald, will always hold a special place in my heart, and rightly so. But, as I have grown and my creative vision and personal awareness have widened, I have felt the need to stretch. My inspiration as an artist comes from a wide appreciation of artists throughout history and in my current practice I am exploring styles from the Renaissance to the Abstract Expressionists, in order to develop a more intimate relationship with art history. With so much information available to us, with the evolution of the Internet, our shrinking world, and the greater availability of books and publications, we, as artists, have access to more knowledge and inspiration within our field than ever before.
Presently working out of a studio in Toronto which, in a former life, was best known as my sister’s bedroom – one of the perks to having a sibling studying out-of-province – I am applying myself with my characteristic conscientious enthusiasm, haunting the halls of the Art Gallery of Ontario, and slowly laying waste to my bank account with open studio life drawing/painting sessions across the city.
This coming Fall, I will begin my studies in Art History at the University of Toronto, questing ambitiously after my Muse. Though in all due modesty, I find myself less and less prone to chancing upon a book touching on art or an artist that I have yet to read.
Look out for me at Exhibitions in the near future. In addition, I, like many of my illustrious apotheosized forbears, am always grateful for commissions.
Interested parties may contact Mr. Turner by phone at 416 423 5526
January 28, 2012 § Leave a comment
Fleming College – Haliburton School of the Arts has so many great and talented individuals walk through these halls that we decided it was time to showcase them.
Starting now, once a week, we will feature our “Artist of the Week”: a real, living breathing artist that, at one time, attended one or more of our programs. Quite often, the artist will have their own website so be sure to follow the links!
If you are a former student (or know one!) and would like to be featured on our blog, let us know! We’d love to hear from you!