Saturday, May 25, 2013

Thank you, Ontario Arts Council!!!

Thanks to a Project Grant from the wonderful Ontario Arts Council, Critical Mass is now able to move forward with our second project, in which art will be made accessible to the public by using storefronts as our "gallery". We hope you will find the coming installations and related programming to be both enjoyable and thought provoking.

The Project Grant has been awarded to Critical Mass to animate selected storefronts along Walton St. with cutting-edge contemporary art.  This project, entitled "Identification Papers", will feature a series of installations by 4 professional artists with national and international exhibition records. In addition, the artists will be involved in community engagement activities such as artist talks, book signings, film screenings and the like. "Identification Papers" will run from spring 2013 through winter.  

We'll post information about each artist,  the installations and the related activities, as each project rolls out. The artists we plan to bring to Port Hope include Heather Nicol, Sean Martindale, Daryl Vocat and Lauren Nurse. The grant will also allow Critical Mass to bring  a vitrine exhibition of artist books to the Port Hope Library in early 2014. 

One great side effect of receiving this grant is that it has spurred several local art lovers to make private donations to Critical Mass, and as a result, we've been able to add two additional artists to the "Identification Papers" line-up: Yvonne Singer and Felix Kalmenson.

Although the installations will be presented in series, that is, one after another, rather than as a single show,  the work is curated around a core theme of Identity and all of the art displayed will involve a strong element of paper as medium, and/or text.

Critical Mass also hopes to use the infrastructure we'll be developing for "Identification Papers" for a second storefront gallery project: "DoubleW", with the mandate of showcasing the work of more local/regional artists. Be on the lookout for more information about this project, and about how to submit, in the future. 

Critical Mass depends on generous donations of volunteer time as well as in-kind and cash donations from patrons and sponsors. We are off to a great start.

Speaking of volunteers, a number of Critical Mass members and supporters built the backdrops that are now installed in the windows of the currently empty "Walton Hotel". Many thanks to Will Ryan for allowing us the use of the space, both as one of our on-going storefront galleries, and as workshop space.

The volunteers for this build included a great group of local high school students:
Cheyenne Mifsud, Gaelan Welch, Tracy Vousden- Welch, along with the able assistance of Chai Duncan, Paul Welch, Dennis Landwehr, Denis Desjardins, and Bohdan Madaj...and two CM board members: Liz Parkinson and Fiona Crangle. 

You'll also notice that a new backdrop has gone up in the west window of Furby Bookstore. That, too, is destined to be one of our storefront gallery spaces. Many thanks to Lou Pamenter for giving up precious retail space to the cause of Fine Art!