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Art for Art’s Sake – Peig Abbott, sculptor – The Kingston Whig-Standard



Canmore sculptor Peig Abbott takes a break in her Elk Run studio. photo by Pam Doyle/


Peig Abbott loves the process of sculpture.

Various stone, metal, clay and bronze pieces adorn her Canmore studio, which she opened in 2010. Originally from Montreal, she has lived in the Bow Valley since 2008.

Abbott believes art can help to relieve some of the stress caused by Covid-19 and the restrictions the Coronavirus has placed on daily life.

“Art is a way to healing on an individual and collective level. I feel a lot of people are displaced right now. No routine, along with fear and unknown circumstances have thrown everyone and everything off balance,” Abbott said. “Art seems to provide a ground to this instability, be it music, dance, literature, films, visual arts, etc.”

Art brings the global community together through various digital platforms, she said.

“It helps lift spirits, engage, and inspire. It helps us to touch base with and rebuild our humanness,” Abbott said. “Historically, whenever there has been mass disruption in the flow of being, be it disease, economic collapse, environmental catastrophes, warfare, etc., art and culture has always been the backbone of what has helped humanity heal.”

Public art can inspire.

“Because public art tends to be larger and more interactive for people to engage with, I believe it helps stimulate curiosity and conversation,” Abbott said. “It bridges connection and has the power to illuminate and transform beliefs, patterns, and consciousness. I believe viewing art helps bring the mind to the present and release the spiral the mind can trap us in. If the viewer allows themselves to take time and investigate the form and material before them, that curiosity can be an incredible gift of insight.”

She makes art from a variety of materials.

“As I have evolved as an artist, I began making work that explored my need to expand my knowledge of both the materials I was using, as well as my process to dig deeper into understanding my self,” Abbott said. “Many years later, I now have a strong desire and drive for my art to be of service for people, communities, and that of the greater good.
Art enhances life.

“I strongly believe art is a mirror for the viewer,” she said. “It can take them on a journey to explore and reflect diverse layers of perspective and consciousness of both personal and universal conditions.”

Her work is for sale in her studio in the Elk Run Industrial Park and offered in galleries. She has an installation in a group exhibition called Transitions, currently showing at artsPlace.

“I create both abstract and representational forms using primarily natural materials such as stone, clay, bronze and metal,” Abbott said. “However, I am open to the creative process and whatever materials needed to capture the right essence for the work.”

She fills these strange days adhering to the restrictions set forth due to the Coronavirus by doing yoga, meditation, reading, writing, sketching, walking and listening to the silence.

“Personally I find anything that involves the creative process meditating. It helps bring me back to the present moment,” she said.

Right now no one is sure what the future will bring but she hopes her art will be a part of it.

“I would like to start creating a bridge for my art to be more in the public sphere,” Abbott said. “It is something that both terrifies and inspires me but I know it is where a lot of my work belongs.”

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A virtual Art in the Garden festival is happening on the North Shore this weekend – North Shore News



The North Shore’s annual Art in the Garden event is gearing up to go digital this weekend.

The event has been re-imagined as a livestreamed art and music demonstration this Saturday and Sunday evening, while encouraging community members to share pictures of their own green spaces online.

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Last month, North Van Arts made the decision to suspend the 21st annual Art in the Garden festival due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and the challenges of practising physical distancing during an event which melds visual arts with some of the North Shore’s most extraordinary gardens.

The decision was made to offer an online version of Art in the Garden in order to keep the spirt of the long-running festival intact, according to Nancy Cottingham Powell, executive director of North Van Arts.

“Art in the Garden is the longest running North Shore garden tour and we didn’t want to just cancel this event that inspires gardeners, artists and nature lovers,” stated Powell, in a press release.

As part of its new online event, for the month of May the arts and culture organization reached out to visual artists and musicians who had participated in past festivals and asked them to create short videos outlining their work, inspiration and methodology.

The six artist videos were released weekly on North Van Arts’ social media channels and website.

This weekend, local painters Nicola Morgan and Pierre Leichner are set to take over the organization’s Instagram account as they livestream the creation of original artwork over live music performed by North Shore musicians Ava Maria Safai and Paul Silveria.

Viewers can tune in on May 30 and 31 at 7 p.m. each night.

North Van Arts is also encouraging people on the North Shore to comment and share pictures of their gardens and green spaces this weekend, as well as their own nature-inspired art, by using the hashtag #ArtintheGarden.

“These extraordinary times have forced us to look at how we connect with our community. Art in the Garden Online is an opportunity for us to support our members and local artists in a unique way,” stated Powell.

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Art from isolation: the fourth instalment of with.draw.all – St. Albert TODAY



While students continue to learn from home, art students from three of St. Albert’s high schools are contributing to with.draw.all, which will be posted to the Gazette’s website every second Thursday.

Artist: Eleanor Bordian
Grade 11
Medium: Chalk pastels
Artist statement: “Our challenge was drawing our favourite character in chalk pastels. Portraits can be drawn in so many mediums and I really enjoy drawing and painting them.”

Shannon Ruddy Fine Art PhotoArtist: Shannon Ruddy
Grade 12
Medium: Photography
Artist statement: “I decided to express a few things that I care about into a photo.”

Aislinn LibichArtist: Aislinn Libich
Grade 11
Medium: Collage
Artist statement: “The weekly challenge was to choose a household item and incorporate it into my artwork. I chose a binder clip and incorporated it into the body of a dragonfly. I then completed the rest of my drawing with four complimentary colours to complete my drawing.”

Jayda Gardner in my fridgeArtist: Jayda Gardner
Grade 11
Artist statement: “I’ve never thought to draw the insides of my fridge before. The different shapes and shadows the items in my fridge created piqued my interest and so I focused on a few items. I really enjoyed this challenge.”

Chantal LafraniereArtist: Chantal Lafraniere
Grade 11
Title: Starry High Tops
Medium: Coloured scrapbooking paper and magazines
Artist statement: “It was a lot of fun creating this collage by finding cool textures from magazines and piecing them together to create an image. I also tried to use some darker and lighter textures to add light and shadows to give the collage more dimensions. Art has been helping me during COVID time by encouraging creativity, and fun hobbies to pursue during this pandemic.”

Avery WitterArtist: Avery Witter
Grade 12
Medium: Letters cut into squares from an old fashion magazine
Artist statement: “During this pandemic, art has helped me a lot. It helps me cure my boredom, which not even the television can do anymore. It also helps me to relieve stress and forget about what is happening in the world for just a few moments. I find myself being way less productive during this pandemic so art is one of those things that makes me feel productive and helps me start my day on a productive path. I aim to start my mornings by doing any type of art. It helps me get into the right mind space and also helps me set a bit of a routine.”

Cierra Santiago copyArtist: Cierra Santiago
Grade 12
Title: Dear COVID-19
Medium: Magazine cutouts
Artist statement: “The process of this piece was very simple yet revealed my creativity and true emotion. I decided to create my piece about COVID-19 because there is not a day that passes without thinking or even being reminded of this awful pandemic. Although my piece is very simple, the meaning varies and is understandable to many. “I miss the normal life” is clearly referring to my life before this pandemic. I often think about how my high school experience is not how I imagined and how our graduation, the day I have been waiting for almost all my life, is being taken away and replaced with something not even close to what I envisioned. This pandemic has been an unexpected journey full of emotion and has impacted my life drastically but also has helped me explore my abilities and skills. I am very thankful for all parents and teachers supporting their children and students during this time and trying their hardest to make sure our school experience is as best as it can be.
Personally creating art during this pandemic has been a complete escape for me and has helped my creativity develop even more. Quarantine has helped me create pieces that I didn’t even know I was capable of doing. When creating art my mind is placed somewhere else, where I forget all my problems and all the negatives of this pandemic. Although COVID-19 has ruined many opportunities for individuals there are still positives during this pandemic. Despite all the negatives of the COVID-19 pandemic, it has really helped me appreciate and enjoy my art skills to another level.

Lee AndersonArtist: Lee Anderson
Grade 11
Medium: Pencil and marker
Artist statement: “It has been a busy time for me but I always find time to explore my characters.”

Dax ZieselArtist: Dax Ziesel
Grade 11
Medium: Pencil
Artist statement: “This challenge was to draw a face pressed up against glass. The portrait became more about the shadow and light and less about getting a likeness.”


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ACA going forward with 11th annual Antigonight Art After Dark Festival –




Antigonish Culture Alive has announced that the Antigonight Art After Dark will be returning for its 11th year.

Antigonight attracts big crowds. In the last two years 3000 people spent their evenings exploring the 20-30 projects in Chisholm Park, the People’s Place Public Library or hidden away in the normally overlooked nooks and crannies of Main Street.

The festival will take place in over the course of 12 days in the beginning of September, and while the COVID-19 pandemic will force some changes, event organizers say they’re excited to see how artists adapt.

“We’re not going to be bringing together large groups or setting up in the lib,” said ACA chair, Sarah O’Toole. “This could open us up to new possibilities, installations in rural parts of the county, tuning into an exhibit over the radio, there are ways where people can contribute and take part even though we can’t be together.”

Artists are invited to propose “unconventional ways” to showcase their work and connect with the public, while following NS Department of Health directives, and O’Toole said that they are encouraging artists to collaborate on projects.

What that looks like is going to be up to the artist, and ACA is currently accepting submissions until June 26.

“We invite artists, collectives and community organizations to submit project ideas that celebrate and consider all the ways that we can encounter art and be connected even if we cannot gather,” said ACA in a news release.

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