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Online Indigenous art workshop bringing community and creativity together –



During a time when health experts are recommending to physically stay away from one another, an art workshop taught online is bringing Inuit people across the country closer together. 

Inuit artists have been leading workshops over video conferencing to share their talents and to stay connected during COVID-19.

“I thought it would be a nice opportunity to just get my name out there to a bigger audience and just to connect to other like-minded people,” said Wabush-based artist Raenn Brown, who is originally from Postville, Nunatsiavut.

Brown led a workshop on glass etching earlier in April, after signing up and sitting through another artist’s class.

“After I left I thought, “That was great. It was really nice to connect with people outside my home,'” she said.

Raeann Brown taught a class on how to carve etchings into a mirror. (Inuit Futures)

“I think it’s really important right now to have something like this to help small businesses, entrepreneurs and self-employed people,” said Brown, who said it’s been harder to sell her artwork during the pandemic.

The workshops, called “De-ICE-olation,” are put on by the Inuit Futures in Arts Leadership, in collaboration with the Inuit Art Foundation.

Heather Igloliorte, the director of Inuit Futures in Arts Leadership, said the idea started when some of the projects she was working on were no longer going to be possible due to COVID-19. 

She decided to come up with a project that was beneficial for the Inuit community and would also work within health officials’ guidelines.

“We thought, wouldn’t it be great if we did a workshop series where we could encourage people to learn a new skill and feel a sense of togetherness? Get to see other Inuit faces online and learn something new in the process?” said Igloliorte. 

Heather Igloliorte wanted to come up with a project that would benefit the Inuit community and would also meet health officials’ guidelines. (Lisa Graves/Concordia University)

The workshops are held a few times a week, with a wide variety of different artistic skills. There have been classes offered on embroidery, beading, caribou tufting and throat singing. 

Some of the workshops are open to the public while some are restricted to Inuit only. Igloliorte said they are always looking for new artists to join, as they plan to run the workshops for the next month.

“We are trying to get somebody from every community.… We are trying to actually include Inuit artists all across northern Canada as well as southern Canada,” said Igloliorte.

Brown said she knows the workshop is serving the purpose it was designed to do.

These are some of Brown’s glass etchings. (Inuit futures)

She said her etching class was full of people who wanted to know how she engraves those frosty looking designs on mirrors and glass. 

“I sell the etching product, the materials and I had a lot of people messaging me wanting kits. Now they are all at home and they are sending me pictures and showing me what they created.”

“It’s nice, it’s exciting. I really do love to share something that I love to do so much.”

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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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