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Art Parties Coming Back To Greater Saint John – Huddle – Huddle Today



SAINT JOHN- If you’re looking to get creative with your bubble of close friends and family, a Saint John entrepreneur is ready to help you do that once again.

 Art Party, operated by Saint John artist Ashley Misner, offers art classes designed to promote positivity, confidence, and creativity.

The inspiration for Art Party grew from the Canvas & Cocktails, a Saint John business where Ashley Misener previously worked, and Paint Nite events uptown. The popular concept brings a group of people together and to learn how to paint a picture while enjoying a drink with friends.

“I had never been able to get up in front of people before and I hadn’t really painted in front of anyone publicly,” she said. “This was really outside the box for me so I applied and I wound up getting the job and I loved it. I never expected it to be as exciting as it was.”

Misener started Art Party in 2017, focusing on doing events in the West Side and Grand Bay-Westfield area as well as hosting private art parties and even children’s birthday parties.

Art Party painting supplies (Image: submitted)

“I walked into the Buccaneer’s Pub one day and was looking for a place to host them and Pat, the owner of the Buccaneer’s Pub who just passed away recently, was in there,” she said.

“I asked him about it and he got really excited,” she recalled. “He was as excited about it as I was.”

Prior to COVID-19, Art Party was held at the Oh My Soul and Journey Wellness Centre and the Grassroots Grill, in addition to Buccaneer’s Pub & Eatery. Misener shared she will host parties at Buccaneer’s Hampton location in the future.

During the lockdown, she shifted to doing live-streamed parties to fend off stir-craziness and continue to socialize with people.

“We had some pretty big numbers on those, so that was kind of cool; I didn’t expect that to happen,” Misener said. “You’re having conversations with like fifty different people at a time, so it was nice to stay connected everybody during all that.”

Paintings done by children during a lockdown livestream party (Image: submitted)

Misener says it’s interesting to see how different people interpret the same instructions when painting. “Their pictures are completely unique when it’s done, but all the same at the same time. I think that part is kind of the fun part of it all,” said Misener.

She plans to keep up with and follow all the essential COVID-19 rules when booking private art parties next month, including symptom questions, contact tracing and safety inspections.

“I’m assuming it’s probably going to mostly be family bubbles that would want to partake in it,” said Misener. “All my stuff will have to be sterilized and I’ll have the face shield and I have a microphone so you’ll still be able to hear me.”

“I won’t be able to come in and help people and get close up and show them things like I used to be able to, but I’m sure there’s going to be certain ways that we can work out certain things,” she said.

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ARTS AROUND: Exploring nature with summer art camps – Alberni Valley News





The next children’s art workshop, from Aug. 11-14, will let children explore the garden at the Rollin Art Centre to create things with nature.

Art workshops are for children aged 9-11 and take place every Tuesday–Friday from 10 a.m. to noon. Learn a new medium each week. The last workshop of the summer will be Drawing II from Aug 18-21.

Art workshops will be held outside to follow social distancing guidelines. The cost is $50 per week. Workshops are very limited, as only five children will be allowed to register per week. Register today by emailing or call 250-724-3412.


The Rollin Art Centre will be holding its last creative writing workshop on Monday, Aug. 17 for ages 10-12. The theme is Movies and Theatre. The workshop runs from 10 a.m. noon and costs $12. Spots are limited, so register today by emailing


After being closed for three months, the Rollin Art Centre is excited to re-open with an amazing art exhibit.

“TOGETHER” features five local artists, who collaborated over the past few months to create a truly spectacular show. This display features the collaborative talents of Cecil Dawson, Allen Halverson, Nigel Atkin, Lori Shone-Kusmin and Jennifer Taylor. This exciting exhibit touches upon significant social issues and features First Nations paintings, surfboard designs, carved river otters, drawings, cedar paddles and so much more.

We invite you to join us in the gallery. Our hours are Tuesday to Saturday, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. COVID-19 safety protocols will be followed: no admittance without a face mask, hand sanitizing, limited number of patrons and directional signage. Please enter through the upstairs landing.


Due to COVID-19, we did not have our annual giant book sale fundraiser in May, but now you can purchase a mystery bag of books and help out Rollin Art Centre.

You won’t know what is in the bag until you get it home—surprise! For just $20 you will get 10 books, all in the same genre, and you will be helping Rollin Art Centre during this difficult time.

The genres are fiction, romance, mystery, children’s chapter books (e.g. Nancy Drew), regular children’s books, biographies and variety bags (random genres).

This is an important fundraiser for us. Purchase online through e-transfer at Please be sure to include your name and contact info. Or pay by cheque/exact cash when you pick up. Please call 250-724-3412 to arrange for pick up.


Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we had to postpone our biggest fundraiser. So we have decided to hold a mini book sale and combine it with an artisan market.

This event will be held on the grounds of the Rollin Art Centre on Saturday, Aug. 8 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. There will be a large selection of great quality bargain books, children’s books and puzzles, plus several local artisans with their displays of jewelry, pottery, wood and more.

The public’s support for Rollin Arts Centre is greatly needed and much appreciated! Please note that we will collect names and telephone numbers of those attending in the event that contact tracing becomes necessary. We require social distancing, face masks and the use of hand sanitizer upon entry and exit to this event. The Rollin Art Centre is located at the corner of Eighth Avenue and Argyle Street.


The news is out – we have a new venue for this year’s annual giant book sale!

We need your help, especially this year, to raise much needed funds. Mark your calendars for Friday, Nov. 6 (6-8 p.m.) and Saturday, Nov. 7 (9 a.m. to 3 p.m.), when the Community Arts Council will be holding its biggest fundraiser of the year with our annual Giant Book Sale at the Alberni Athletic Hall.

This year promises to be the best year yet, with thousands of wonderful books and all the space we will have to spread out for more selections. Due to the generous amount of book donations, we will no longer be accepting donations for this year’s book sale. Please keep them until 2021. Thank you again for your continued support.


Second and last Wednesday of each month, 7 p.m. (virtual doors 6:30 p.m.): Alberni Valley Words on Fire!

All tickets are available online through or call 250-730-1636 to charge by phone. Or etransfer “event date and email address” to Guests will receive the Zoom event link by email.

Melissa Martin is the Arts Administrator for the Community Arts Council, at the Rollin Art Centre and writes for the Alberni Valley News. Call 250-724-3412. Email:


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Stonebridge Art Gallery opens in Wasaga Beach with works of 10 local painters –



The Stonebridge Art Gallery, located in the heart of the Stonebridge Town Centre in Wasaga Beach, is now open to the public.

This ‘milestone’ event in the history of the Wasaga Society for the Arts (WSA) took place on Aug. 1 and was made possible by Stonebridge Town Centre’s Principal, Mark Crowe who generously donated the space to house the gallery and offices of the WSA.

WSA Chairman, Steven Wallace and Wasaga Beach Mayor Nina Bifolchi, in a display of public-private sector collaboration in promoting the arts in Wasaga Beach, together unveiled the signage. The symbolic gesture marked the simultaneous opening of both the Stonebridge Art Gallery and the WSA’s first exhibition of paintings.

Mr. Crowe, whom the WSA had planned to include in this symbolic gesture was unavoidably absent. Among others in attendance were Directors of the WSA and, from Town Hall, Deputy Mayor Sylvia Bray and Counsellors Joe Belanger and George Watson. Following the opening ceremony and well into the afternoon artists and members of the public visited the newly opened upper floor gallery where flautist Lesley Joosten set the mood with haunting, familiar melodies. Artists whose works are now on display include: Adele Derkowski, Karl Fuhre Sr., Tom Zimm, Jessalynn Sammons, Trevor Dring, Bruce Belford, Jayne Edwards, Earlene Martin, Mark Hope and Sue A. Miller.

The WSA Chairman, in his brief opening remarks, respectfully acknowledged that the event was taking place on aboriginal land that had been inhabited and cared for by indigenous peoples for centuries. He expressed gratitude to all generations of indigenous peoples for accommodating development on lands now administered by the Town of Wasaga Beach. He acknowledged and thanked Mark Crowe for his generosity and public spiritedness in providing space for human development.

“The WSA is an incorporated not-for-profit entity with charitable intent with a mission to advance the public’s appreciation of all disciplines and genres of the arts,” the WSA Chairman said. In this regard, he acknowledged with gratitude the presence and contribution of Wasaga Beach artist Sue A. Miller, the WSA’s Art Curator. “The Stonebridge Art Gallery is lucky to have Sue A. Miller (as its Art Curator),” Mr. Wallace said.

The current WSA exhibition of paintings by 10 local artists is open to the public throughout August 2020, on Thursdays and Saturdays from 1.00 pm to 4.00 pm. This inaugural exhibition ends with the auction of four paintings by one of Ontario’s renowned artists and late public servant, Paul Johns.

The Stonebridge Art Gallery, operated by the WSA, is located at the Stonebridge Town Centre, Wasaga Beach, at Suite #8,1 Market Lane, Wasaga Beach, ON L9Z 0B6.

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Skeleton Park neighbourhood art project encourages rest of Kingston to follow their creative lead – Global News



Limestone City, get creative.

That’s the challenge from Kingston’s Union Gallery. It comes on the heels of the very successful COVID-19-inspired Next Door: A Skeleton Park Neighbourhood Art Project.

There’s no doubt the 16 art installations scattered throughout the downtown area helped to brighten things up in these not so colourful times.

Read more:
How Kingston is doing good, staying connected during the coronavirus pandemic

Diane Black is a Kingston artist taking part in the project.

“They had big plans for the music festival and that obviously wasn’t going to happen, so what are they going to do to keep the neighbourhood sort of engaged with the artists that live here,” Black said.

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“So I thought that this was a brilliant turn-around.”

Skeleton Park Arts Festival goes virtual

Skeleton Park Arts Festival goes virtual

And so do others. Black’s contribution is called “Schooling”. It’s acrylic on canvas draped across the front of her house. The “school” of fish in the piece is moving together, which the artist hopes will encourage viewers to reflect on how the community is moving together through a challenging time. Madelaine Nelson lives in the neighbourhood.

“It’s wonderful. During isolation and lockdown, people had all sorts of time of their hands all of a sudden and it’s great to know that people used it for creative means,” said Madelaine Nelson, a resident of the neighbourhood.

“Their life didn’t go on pause — it wasn’t on hold — they kept creating and kept the community thriving.”

Read more:
Kingston political, academic, economic forces team up to guide organizations through COVID-19

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Skeleton Park’s Next Door project comes to a close on Aug. 17. Now, the Queen’s University-based Union Gallery wants the entire city to create and display works of art in front of their homes with “My Door YGK”. Carina Magazzeni is director at the gallery.

“A lot of the artists as a part of Next Door were very creative in their material approaches and we want it to be a project that anyone at any artistic level, experience can be a part of,” said Carina Magazzeni, the gallery’s director.

“So yes, become a part of My Door YGK.”


Oscar Wilde once said imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. Maybe the rest of the city can get creative just like those in the Skeleton Park area.

© 2020 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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