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Collective Arts Brewing Seeks Art For New Can Series – Forbes



“Our brand can be encompassed in three short words,” says Matt Johnston, co-founder and CEO of Collective Arts Brewing in Hamilton, Ontario. “Creativity, community, and leadership.”

Founded in 2013, the 60,000-barrel-per-year brewery made a name for itself with its “art series,” which sees the brewery feature the work of over 200 emerging artists every year.

Combined with technically excellent beer, Collective Arts has become one of the fastest-growing breweries in North America. Today, around 150 people work for the brand, which plans on launching a US CBD portfolio and a Canadian cannabis brand later this year.

Over the past seven years, even as new employees joined Collective Arts and the product line and artist roster expanded, the company stayed true to their core values. Most recently, these values took the form of a call for art from historically marginalized voices, whose thought-provoking art will be featured across the fifty or sixty SKUs which will debut in January 2021.

“Inherent in our values is inclusivity and equality,” says Johnston. “You can’t have a creative world without inclusivity and equality. You can’t have a community.”

The call for art, which is “specifically geared toward art dealing with the issues of social justice,” invites “any artist, from any medium, anywhere in the world” to submit, and is open until August 31st, 2020. Like the brewery’s other series, finalists will be chosen by an independent group of curators. 

What Is Collective Arts Brewing?

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Collective Arts Brewing was founded in Hamilton, Ontario, in 2013 by Matt Johnston and Bob Russell. However, as Johnston says, “There are really four of us I’d describe as partners in the business — myself, Russell, brewmaster Ryan Morrow, and Jeff Tkachuk, who leads all of our finance and operations.”

Together, Johnston, Russell, Morrow, and Tkachuk wanted to create “something with a voice and a purpose.” As lovers of the arts, they built their fledgling brand on the ethos of combining craft beer with the talents of emerging artists from around the world.

“We love all things creative and feel the status quo should always be challenged,” says Johnston. “So many artists and musicians have a really hard time being seen and heard. For us, we had a platform that we were looking to build that really brought it all together.”

Every quarter, the brewery releases a call for art, inviting artists from around the world to submit work based around a specific theme. And each quarter, a rotating board of “curators” chooses the forty to sixty artists the brewery ultimately features on their cans.

What Is The Collective Arts Brewing Call For Art: Amplified Voices?

“With everything happening in the world — and with our company’s purpose and ethos — it just made sense for us to have a very purposeful call for art,” says Johnston.

The theme of this quarter’s call is for art dealing with issues of social justice. As Collective Arts writes on their website, this includes “protest art, artwork that deals with topics of equity/inequity, art from BIPOC artists, art from LGBTQ2+ artists, and artwork that conveys a sense of hope for a safer and more inclusive future.”

Every artist featured on a Collective Arts beer can receives $250.

Who Are The Curators For The Call For Art: Amplified Voices?

While Collective Arts tapped artist Maia Faddoul to help design the collateral for their Amplified Voices Call for Art, they also selected several third-party judges to help curate selections. The list of curators includes:

Ashley Mackenzie – Toronto, ON, Canada

Ashley has over fifteen years of integrated experience in creative direction, curating, cultural programming, teaching and visual art. She has worked in the media/broadcasting, entertainment, publishing, corporate, and non-profit sectors. 

Most recently, Ashley was one of the 2019 curators for Nuit Blanche Toronto, and her work has included programmed exhibitions, creative collaborations, design and installations for companies such as TEDxToronto, Scotiabank, Samsung, Bell Media, WE Charity, Manifesto Festival, Artscape and byMinistry. 

Currently, Ashley is a part time Academic Professor in the Visual and Digital Arts program at Humber College and has directed the Creative Arts Academy for The Remix Project. She’s been a featured speaker, moderator, and facilitator across many forums for OCAD, Ontario Arts Council, TDSB, The Power Plant, Ontario Association of Art Galleries, FreshBooks, ArtReach, Nia Centre for the Arts, UofT, Artscape and others.

Julio Ferrer – Hamilton, ON, Canada

Julio Ferrer is a Cuban-Canadian painter and printmaker whose Pop Art – inspired artwork originates from — and comments upon — political, societal, and personal experience.

Trained at the Escuela Nacional de Artes Plásticas in Havana, Julio has participated in 126 group exhibitions, 18 solo exhibitions, and a commissioned exhibition of the Canadian Prime Ministers for the Canada 150 celebrations.

Since 1990, Ferrer has won 21 awards for his artwork, including 1st prize at Bienal International del Humor. In 2006, he was selected Artist of the Year in his home province of Cienfuegos., Cuba Also in 2006, Julio moved to Canada where he continues his career as independent artist. His artworks are in numerous private and public collections in Cuba, the Americas, and Europe.

Goldie Harris – New York City, NY, USA

Goldie Harris’ affinity for music has evolved into the founding of her own digital agency and studio – 24:OURS – which merges culture and community. Through the company, Goldie has launched two series: #NoiseCtrl and TheLoftSessions, a live music platform giving indie artists a chance to be heard.

In the past, Goldie has served as the Production Manager for the Brooklyn Hip Hop Festival — New York City’s largest Hip-Hop cultural event — and creative Marketing Lead for Roc Nation’s EQ Distro. 

Ren Navarro – Kitchener, ON, Canada 

As a queer black woman in beer, Ren Navarro has talked extensively about diversity in craft beer as the sole Canadian panelist at the 2019 Craft Brewers Conference in Denver, Colorado, as well as on appearances on podcasts, television, and radio shows. For many years, Ren worked as a sales representative for renowned and award-winning breweries, and has appeared frequently at workshops, conferences, and talks to inform and entertain people through her love of beer. 

Nate Dee – Miami, FL, USA

Born and raised in South Florida, Nathan Delinois (Nate Dee) has numerous influences, including his Haitian background. He has work with multiple brands, public arts projects, and community activations to create murals, public works, and studio-based art.

In the past, Nate has been featured in media outlets such as ABC, the NFL Network, NBC, the Miami New Times, and many others. He’s been featured on multiple mural projects, and has displayed his work in exhibits throughout the world.

Cadex Herrera – Belize

As a young artist in Belize with limited resources, Cadex Herrera had to always consider his materials and extend the life of his supplies for as long as possible. This has extended to his present artistic practice as he considers appropriate material use, taking into consideration the impact it has on the environment as well as fulfilling his artistic goal of applying minimalistic principles to his work.

How To Enter The Collective Arts Brewing Call For Art: Amplified Voices

Artists interested in submitting pieces for the Collective Arts Brewing Call For Art: Amplified Voices series can visit this page to learn more. The deadline for submission is August 31st, 2020.

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High end art stolen In Silver Lady Lane break-in –



Not many details yet, but City Police are investigating the theft of several high-end pieces of art from a Silver Lady Lane home this morning.

Items include a 2’x3′ Jan Van Kessel painting, Limoges casket, 6″ blue/gold plate, and 6″ aventurine brush washer.

Silver Lady Lane runs off Trout Lake Road and a number of expensive and exclusive houses sit on the shores of Trout Lake.

Police are asking for the public’s help.

Jan van Kessel was a Flemish painter active in Antwerp in the mid 17th century.

Wikipedia says he was a versatile artist and he practiced in many genres including studies of insects, floral still lifes, marines, river landscapes, paradise landscapes, allegorical compositions, and scenes with animals.

Van Kessel’s works were highly prized by his contemporaries and were collected by skilled artisans, wealthy merchants, nobles, and foreign luminaries throughout Europe.

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Toronto's outdoor museum for street art is a perfect activity for these pandemic times – blogTO



Dundas West Open Air Museum, a collection of murals clustered in a Toronto neighbourhood, opened about a year ago, but they’ve been very busy during that time.

Around 20 murals have been painted around the Dundas West area from Shaw to Lansdowne by local artists such as Jieun June Kim, Jose Ortega and Pablo Gomez.

All murals can be explored virtually on the museum’s website, which includes info about the works and artists.

The initiative was spearheaded by the artists along with Little Portugal and Dundas West BIAs, Lula Lounge, Toronto Arts Council and Creativo Arts.

It was inspired by similar public space projects in places like The Bronx and Berlin.

One of the new initiatives from the museum is an app that you can download to your phone and use to make your way among the murals, finding out information about each piece and the artists that created it as you go.

As COVID-19 numbers continue to rise, finding safe, outdoor activities in Toronto is on many people’s to-do list and this outdoor museum might just be one that’s perfectly suited to the times.

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Art as reconciliation: Ymir artist hosting BC Culture Days event – Nelson Star



It took Damian John decades to realize words weren’t always the best way to connect with people.

When John was in his 20s he became woke to the problems of the world and hoped to make a change. In his 30s, having failed to make that change, he struggled with depression and anxiety.

But four years ago the now 43 year old quit his career as a massage therapist to focus on his art. That choice led to an epiphany.

“I think the dialogue that we have with words is limited. You have this understanding of words, I have an understanding of words. Sometimes they don’t match up,” he says.

“We’re really bad at telling each other what we’re feeling and we’re really bad at understanding what the other person is saying to us in general, even with people we know well. So I thought, but what about having art do that for us and being creative with how we speak to each other.”

John, a Ymir-based artist, hopes to meld words and art into a new type of conversation when he hosts a workshop for BC Culture Days on Sept. 26. Jones was the only West Kootenay artist named ambassador to the annual event, which will run Sept. 25 to Oct. 25.

His livestream is titled Exploring Reconciliation Through Creativity, in which John plans to tell the story of how colonization affected his family and people before having participants create art based on the discussion.

A member of Tl’azt’en First Nation near Prince George, John grew up with a family traumatized by the residential school system. His father attended nearby Lejac Residential School, a Catholic-run facility that operated from 1922 to 1976.

The school is partly remembered now for being the place four boys froze to death while trying to escape from in 1937.

“All of my family on that side is directly impacted by colonization, by residential school,” said John, “and that impacts us as his children, that affects nephews and generations that are coming after us. There’s a heavy, heavy impact mentally, health wise, relationally, all of these various components which would take a long time to talk to or speak to in a real strong way.”

First Nations art has always been a part of John’s life. His father brought pieces home, and John was later influenced by artists Robert Sebastian and Roy Henry Vickers.

John’s own art is vibrant, colourful and distinctly modern. In his work he’s found a place to explore his culture and voice concerns while also being in control of the outcome in a way he never felt he could in conversation.

“If I want to have a life that has any feelings of quality to it, I need to shift things,” he says. “So making things that I think are beautiful, and allowing people to engage in that space as well, felt useful.”

That’s how he hopes the people who take his workshop feel after creating their own work. John wants to inspire new ways of discourse about difficult topics despite personal differences, and he thinks art is the key.

“How do we bridge those spaces to come to a place of community and goodwill and conflict resolution?” he says. “In spite of being devastated by all the information out there I still have hope we can do things differently.”

@tyler_harper |

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Damian John holds a painting he recently completed of his grandmother. John will be exploring reconciliation through art during an event for BC Culture Days. Photo: Tyler Harper

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