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ONTARIO: Guelph artist's Instagram 'blows up' after Britney Spears shares her art – SooToday



GUELPH – Guelph artist Jenna Paddey was just finishing work Wednesday when her phone started blowing up with notifications. 

Britney Spears had just shared her art on Instagram.

“It’s pretty wild,” said Paddey. “Honestly, it was very much a surprise to me.”

What followed was a surge in traffic on Paddey’s Instagram page with thousands of likes and comments pouring in and praising her artwork. 

Paddey works full time at The Modern Bride in Downtown Guelph where she contributes to the aesthetic and visuals of the brand on social media. As a side gig, she creates and sells illustrations on her website to satisfy her passion for creating art. 

On Wednesday, Spears shared an illustration of a gold bee with a crown above it that Paddey created with gouache paint and metallic watercolour.

Spears shared a caption under the photo that read ‘To all my fans who call me Queen 👑 B …. I believe this would be more accurate 😉🐝🐝🐝🐝 !!!!!.’

The post received over 224,000 likes and over 15,000 comments on Spears’s page and Paddey was tagged in it.

“She posted it and found it on the internet somewhere and things started exploding,” said Paddey.

The original art was shared two years ago. 

“The original intention of the work was just a play on words like queen bee. It was just a fun little illustration I did. The original thing is probably only 5 in by 5 in.”

While it is difficult to predict which art someone might connect with, Paddey said it brings her joy that something as little as a bee with a crown can bring somebody a little bit of joy and inspiration. 

“The fact that people have appreciated my art makes me feel very very lucky,” said Paddey. 

She said she appreciates that the singer gave her credit for her work.

“She’s obviously a legend, she’s done a lot. I have grown up watching her music videos and things like that so it’s definitely surreal,” said Paddey. 

Captivated by the arts as a little girl,  Paddey said she was always interested in drawing and painting. When she entered high school, she started using Adobe illustrator and began sharing her art online for people to view. 

Over the years, she’s been able to connect with numerous people in the world who have been touched by her work, with some even inking it on their bodies permanently. 

“I think it’s amazing but I’m also scared like are you sure?” laughed Paddey. 

“I love when people send me pictures of when they do get something tattooed because it’s cool to see my work out there in the world.”

She said she never expected the recognition she’s received for her work over the years but is incredibly grateful. 

“It’s definitely exciting and it’s a nice sense of affirmation that people are appreciating the work and it can be nerve-racking to put something out there. Sometimes you worry what people think about a piece,” said Paddey. 

“I’m really grateful that there have been positive responses to some of my art in that regard cause you know cause the internet is such a large place.”

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Nanaimo Art Gallery summer camp moves programming online due to COVID-19 – Nanaimo News Bulletin



The Nanaimo Art Gallery’s teen summer art camp Dazzle Camouflage is moving online this year due to COVID-19.

Teenagers age 15 to 19 have until July 17 to apply for the free, three-week program. Due to social distancing measures the programming will take place online via video conference, but NAG education coordinator Yvonne Vander Kooi hopes that as restrictions on gatherings are eased limited in-studio sessions and an in-person exhibiton may be possible as well.

Returning to lead workshops are Vancouver-based performance and media artist Elizabeth Milton, who took part in last year’s camp, and Bracken Hanuse Corlett of Wuikinuxv and Klahoose First Nations, whose work includes the paintings at the recently opened Harewood Centennial Park skatepark.

Hanuse Corlett said his workshops will focus on creating a collaborative visual painting made up of individual panels to be displayed in a community space.

“The works will come together near the end of the process and we will discuss a way to sequence them into a visual story,” he said in an email. “The artists will all have access to four colours and we will take time to consider space in the overall design. We will look at how the positive space affects the negative and how we can use line, gesture and symbol to communicate a message.”

Milton said she’ll be exploring aspects of performance, masquerade and photography with the teens.

“While using their own domestic space as a jumping off point for a series of staged photos and videos, I plan to introduce the students to contemporary and historical examples of artists that have taken a performative approach to photography,” she said in an email. “Since we will be using video-conferencing to connect and ensure physical distancing, we will also be exploring the interface of these digital platforms as a site for performative play and experimentation.”

The NAG is not new to such digital platforms. This spring COVID-19 forced the gallery to shift its programming for its teen art group Code Switching online as well. Vander Kooi said that experience has been a helpful model for Dazzle Camouflage.

“It was a good experiment, a good learning curve because we had to work out a lot of glitches along the way,” Vander Kooi said. “But what we were impressed by was the fact that the teenagers actually didn’t miss Zoom meetings for the most part and I think it was because of that isolation and they really wanted to hang out.”

More information about Dazzle Camouflage can be found online.

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Abstract portrait awarded people's choice in virtual High School Juried Art Show – Prince Albert Daily Herald



Ethan Waldner received the People’s Choice Award in the ninth annual Mann Art Gallery High School Juried Art Show for “Geometric Portrait.” (Mann Art Gallery/Submitted)

The Mann Art Gallery has announced Ethan Waldner’s “Geometric Portrait” as the People’s Choice Award winner for this year’s High School Juried Art Show.

Waldner graduated from Carlton Comprehensive Public High School this year and is a longtime student at Christina Thoen’s art school.

The coloured pencil piece, said Waldner, was born out of boredom when schools closed in mid-March as a COVID-19 preventative measure.

“I drew it and I was like ‘I’m going to try something new’ I guess, and then decided to start with a couple of colours and just see how it was going to go,” he said. His other artworks, mainly portraits, are more realistic.

Waldner liked the way it looked, so he kept adding colour.

The harsh lines between blue, yellow, green, pink and purple on the man’s face contrast with the neutral tones in the rest of the piece.

“It was kind of shocking at first,” he said about winning the People’s Choice Award, which is sponsored by the Kyla Artist Group.

“It inspired me to keep creating art.”

Waldner will continue as an artist on the side while pursuing business and then potentially law. He credits Thoen for kickstarting his art career back when he was nine years old.

“She just always kept pushing me to accept your pieces, I guess. They’re all not going to be perfect and so she just kept pushing me, try to work on different things. She also had little things at the beginning of class, like exercises,” he said.

“She taught us a whole bunch of different techniques and things to better your art.”

Waldner had a second piece displayed in the High School Juried Art Show, a portrait of musician B.B. King.

Mann Art Gallery Acting Educator Danielle Castle curated the ninth annual show, which was forced to take a virtual format due to the pandemic. Her final selection featured 76 artworks from 64 different students.

“Your portrait is so abstract and fun and colourful to look at,” said Castle to Waldner in the video announcement.

“You definitely deserved this.”

Castle said putting the show together has taught her about the importance of connection during an unfamiliar time.

After its temporary closure due to COVID-19, the Mann Art Gallery is reopening on July 14. Artists and staff are currently installing an exhibition by Cecile Miller, Rich Miller and Lynn Salo about migration and movement.


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Art project to take flight this year in J.B. Tudhope Memorial Park – Barrie 360 – Barrie 360



The City of Orillia is looking to commission a local artist to create a complimentary piece of public art for its new butterfly garden in J.B. Tudhope Memorial Park. The habitat garden is being designed for pollinating insects and will located at the park entrance along Atherley Road.

“City staff and the Art in a Public Places Committee are excited to add more art to Orillia’s landscape,” said Jacqueline Soczka, Manager of Culture. “We want to create, through this project, a distinctive focal point or showpiece that captures the essence of the garden.”

The call is open to local artists residing in Orillia and or bordering municipalities of Ramara, Severn, Rama and Oro-Medonte only.

The City expects the artwork to be dynamic and building on the site’s landscaping and design, using the information provided by the City of Orillia, along with the artist’s experience and expertise. The work must be:

  • constructed of durable material;
  • safe and suitable for all ages;
  • maintenance-free;
  • resistant to the elements;
  • original to the artist(s).

The City is encouraging interactive components, though this is not required provided they meet the other criteria and the conditions set out in he City of Orillia’s Art in Public Places Policy. Artwork options include a singular piece or multiple pieces clustered in a pod.

A $5,000 budget has been allocated to the project. This is inclusive of all materials, labour, supplies, and installation costs associated with the artist’s work.

The deadline to submit a proposal is July 17, 2020 at 4 p.m.

Further details on the call can be found at

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