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Quarantine self portraits provide personal, humourous reopening at Art 1274 Hollis –




While venues were closed due to COVID-19, many creative artists used the tools available to them to stay connected to their audiences.

Musicians shared their gifts with the world via live online concerts, comedians did standup from their living rooms and backyards and filmmakers posted shorts about their experiences on YouTube.

But for talented artisans who sculpt three-dimensional objects that have to be seen in the real world to truly be truly enjoyed and experienced, being creative during quarantine meant there would be a bit of hang time before they could display their work.

Now that doors are reopening and exhibits are reappearing, Halifax co-operative gallery Art 1274 Hollis asked its members to contribute self-portraits that reflect their experiences over the past four months. With 23 local artists and artisans working in everything from paint and pottery to folk art and hooked rugs, the co-op’s The Isolation Project — Self-Reflection contains a multitude of interpretations and each has a unique personal touch.

‘It’s all about the giggle’

Ceramics artist Naomi Walsh calls her baked and glazed clay still life Got a Job Needs Doing, which reflects her position as the co-op’s gallery manager — “I’m the one who buys the toilet paper and the hand sanitizer” — and her love of home renovation and gardening.

The piece is a collection of ceramic versions of items like a can of paint with brushes, a cordless drill and a pair of garden shears, that shows her skill as well as her sense of humour.

“I don’t do people, never mind myself,” laughs Walsh over creating a self-portrait with household objects.

“I love doing miniatures of real things. I’ve done harbours and fishing boats, using hairnets for scallop nets, and I just love that kind of stuff. So I had a lot of fun with this project, it made me giggle, and it’s all about the giggle.”

In a normal year Art 1274 Hollis would be having monthly openings starting on April 1 with featured artists and a party for anybody and everybody who wants to drop by and see new works and have a snack or two.

Upcycling welding artist Al Hattie poses with his quarantine self-portrait work at Art 1274 Hollis Gallery as part of The Isolation Project opening on Wednesday afternoon. The lively co-operative gallery offers both fine art and fine craft with ever-changing new work in paintings, jewellery, pottery, ceramic art, folk art, rug hooking and more. - Eric Wynne
Upcycling welding artist Al Hattie poses with his quarantine self-portrait work at Art 1274 Hollis Gallery as part of The Isolation Project opening on Wednesday afternoon. The lively co-operative gallery offers both fine art and fine craft with ever-changing new work in paintings, jewellery, pottery, ceramic art, folk art, rug hooking and more. – Eric Wynne

With Wednesday’s opening of The Isolation Project, the gallery near Hollis and Morris streets is currently open noon to 4 p.m. daily, with up to four viewers allowed in at any time and the wearing of masks and use of hand sanitizer strongly encouraged.

“We were closed for so long, and one of our members had the wonderful idea of reintroducing ourselves to a) the general public and b) our loyal followers by doing self-portraits,” says Walsh.

“Well, that’s all well and good if you paint, but there’s a lot of us who made 3D things, there are jewelry makers, there’s Al (Hattie) with his metalwork, there are potters … but then I realized, it doesn’t have to actually look like me, does it?

“So I put a spin on it by making it something that represents how I think of myself and how I identify myself. So a lot of us ran with that idea.”

Self portrait in spoons

Al Hattie’s version of himself shows a miniature version of the metalworking artisan at his workbench creating something new out of dining utensils, and the artist himself is represented by a few spoons with forks for hands, wrapped in cloth.

“I made a replica of my welder, and the little gas tank is a CO2 cartridge from my old BB gun, and the gauge is actually a meat thermometer,” says Hattie. “All my art is made from found or recycled objects, metal mostly now.”

He jokes that he started making art from found objects when his wife asked him to clean out the garage one day, and he’s been combing through thrift stores and antique shops for materials ever since.

He started selling items at local markets, and eventually graduated from making items out of old tires and lawn art out of large pieces of disused metal into assembling more detailed pieces with utensils and smaller ingredients. It was these items which caught Walsh’s eye, and led her to extend an invitation to Hattie to join Art 1274 Hollis.

“I feel pretty privileged to be part of it, because the talent that’s in there is amazing. Some of them have been doing it longer than I’ve been alive, they’re very experienced and quite well-known,” says Hattie, who hopes coming out of COVID-19 hibernation will inspire more people to visit local independent galleries, either to buy or just to browse.

“Art galleries like ours are free to visit, people keep forgetting that. You can go and view talent, and everybody’s welcome.”

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Photos: 47 Street Festival celebrates YK art and businesses – Cabin Radio



Jim Taylor and Ben Russo perform at the 47 Street Festival

It was sunny and warm in Yellowknife during the August long weekend – the perfect weather for a street party.

Aptly named the 47 Street Festival for its location, residents gathered for three days of artist showcases, live music, exercise classes, and crafting workshops.

Among the festivities were a performance by musician Jim Taylor and a painting workshop with artist Donna-Lynn Baskin.


The small festival, which followed all social distancing protocols, was a joint effort between Mermaid and Moon Boutique and Event Rentals Yellowknife. The events came together quickly, the organizers said.

“We’ve always loved festivals, even before we had a business running festivals,” Ainsley Dempsey, a co-owner of Event Rentals Yellowknife, told guests on Saturday afternoon.

“We thought, ‘You know what? We’re going to talk to local artists,’ and they were all up for it, so here we are.

“It warms our heart that all of you came.”


Meredith McNulty is the owner of Mermaid and Moon, a boutique and art gallery located on 47 St. She told Cabin Radio the festival aims to support artists and businesses, as well as celebrating the reopening of her own boutique after a Covid-19 shutdown.

“I kind-of took a chance with opening this small business and it’s been really supportive so far,” she said. “The whole business is … almost like a collaboration of artists.

“It’s just important for me that we recognize the arts community because it’s been impacted by the pandemic. And so, this festival supports businesses [and] brings people together.”

Ali Budgell and Kanina Clorey were selling their artwork at the festival on Friday evening. They referred to Mermaid and Moon as a “home base” for the city’s art community.

Guests enjoy local musician Jim Taylor's performance during this weekend's 47 Street Festival

Guests enjoy musician Jim Taylor’s performance during the 47 Street Festival in August 2020. Meaghan Brackenbury/Cabin Radio.

Mermaid and Moon showcases and sells works from artists in Yellowknife. Meaghan Brackenbury/Cabin Radio.

Ali Budgell (right) and Kanina Clorey came to the festival on Friday evening to sell their artwork. Meaghan Brackenbury/Cabin Radio.

“Without [Meredith], it would be so sporadic and probably nothing,” Clorey said.

Both Clorey and Budgell have been working on new art since the pandemic began. Clorey specializes in acrylic pouring, which creates something of a paint “skin.” She uses those skins to create portraits, cards, and jewellery.

Budgell has created what she calls “pandemic postcards,” vibrant watercolours centred around a nurse (Budgell is a trained nurse herself) living through the year of Covid-19.

“When I do my art, that’s when I do all my processing,” she said.

On Saturday afternoon, guests were treated to a live painting performance by Jen Walden and Terry Pamplin.

The seasoned painters, donning their fanciest attire, called out for suggestions from the crowd. After two hours of painting – both the canvas and each other – and chatting with guests, the two successfully auctioned off a lake sunset scene for $650.

Pamplin and Walden have been working together for more than 10 years. Sometimes they paint large murals, sometimes they work with a canoeing company to create a “voyageur” painting experience for audiences.

“Even [if] you work solitarily, you paint because you want to connect with your viewers,” Walden said of painting for an audience. “So, you’re not always there when they see it, but you hope that there’s a connection.

Terry Pamplin and Jen Walden stand next to their latest work of art, which sold for $650. Meaghan Brackenbury/Cabin Radio.

Festival-goers were treated to complimentary popcorn throughout the weekend. Meaghan Brackenbury/Cabin Radio

“And then what’s fun about this is you get to be there and witness that connection; not just with the piece, but you also get to connect with them as a person.”

She added: “It’s just so nice to connect. That’s what humans are all about.”

While the festival may have had its inaugural weekend in the midst of a pandemic, McNulty said the organizers would love to hold the festival again next year – hopefully with fewer social distancing requirements.

Musician and Cabin Radio host Jim Taylor, right, treats the audience to Nova Scotian tunes. Meaghan Brackenbury/Cabin Radio

Walden and Pamplin have some fun with each other while working on their painting – by painting on each other. Walden’s giving Pamplin a goalie on his shirt. Meaghan Brackenbury/Cabin Radio

Donna-Lynn Baskin guides a group painting workshop. Meaghan Brackenbury/Cabin Radio

A painter mimics the techniques Baskin is demonstrating. Meaghan Brackenbury/Cabin Radio


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7 Celebrities Making Art In Quarantine – Forbes



Forget the crazy celebrity videos, or even the paparazzi photos of masked-up stars getting groceries in the Hamptons. Who knew that so many celebrities would be getting creative in quarantine? Though some celeb-art stars are known for their artwork (like Anthony Hopkins and Sylvester Stallone), others have only recently discovered, and unveiled, their artistic masterpieces. Here are a few of them, some of which are great, others which are inevitably entertaining.

Heidi Klum: The Painterly Impressionist

The Making The Cut star and former supermodel is busy at work painting landscape portraits of trees (cherry blossoms?) while counting Damien Hirst and Julian Schnabel as inspiration. But isn’t it obvious that Claude Monet could also be counted as inspiration, too? This isn’t just this a one painting run, though, as Klum is working on other pieces, too. She has shared shots of her paint-marked cell phone, and asks her audience what to paint next.

Paris Hilton: Clearly, A Pop Artist

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Paris is many things, entrepreneur, DJ, perfume mogul. Now, she is a collage artist who is creating self-portraits. With glitter, rhinestones, paint and photos, she is showing a painting called I Dream of Paris, on view now at the Corey Helford Gallery in Los Angeles, as part of Onch’s Sweet 16 group show. Hilton is clearly a pop artist, though of the selfie variety, and follows the lineage of artists like Andy Warhol and Claes Oldenberg. She is auctioning off her piece and donating the proceeds to charity. The auction is ongoing until August 15.

Sharon Stone: Paint By Numbers

The Basic Instinct star has fine-tuned her efforts as an artist under quarantine. She got a paint by numbers kit for her birthday, and is finally putting it to use. Upon completing the detailed painting of a pink flower, similar to a work we’d see by Georgia O’Keeffe. She explains in a video: “It actually looks like something.” Where is Bob Ross when you need him?

Sylvester Stallone: The Expressionist

The Rocky star has been busy in quarantine making art (he even has an Instagram account devoted exclusively to his art). The painting below is called On Her Own, Again. It calls to mind modern painting from the 1950s, as if Jackson Pollock and Wassily Kandinsky merged forces. The theme of heartbreak is common for Stallone’s artwork, as another one he created called When Love Hurts, is he describes as “the tumultuous sea of emotions one must navigate to find lasting love,” says Stallone.

Elle Fanning: The Cartoon Realist

The star of The Great recently posted a pair of drawings she made while she was shooting the pilot of the new Hulu series she stars in. Though they were created pre-quarantine, these drawings were shared only last week. They’re realist self-portraits, and call to mind the cartoons of Roz Chast, or if Daria was merged with the Powerpuff Girls. The drawings depict Fanning in her role as Catherine the Great, in full retro regalia, likely which is courtesy of the show’s costume designer, Emma Freyer.

Reese Witherspoon: Still Life

The famed type-A actress known for her powerhouse media company Hello Sunshine is learning how to paint with watercolors at home, thanks to art supplies gifted by her mother. She shared a still life painting of a vase with flowers, declaring: “I’m quitting my day job!” Though she isn’t using pointillism, this is somewhat Vincent Van Gogh meets Paul Cezanne.

Anthony Hopkins: The Dramatist

The Welsh actor, composer and artist has recently come into the spotlight for his spooky paintings, some of which draw a parallel to some characters he has played onscreen. He recently gave a tour of his art studio, where he is self-quarantining. Some close ups of his paintings show incredible detail. His artwork calls to mind angular portraits by Egon Schiele or maybe if Marc Chagall was a cubist.

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Hospice goes virtual with 2020 COVID Collection art project – CollingwoodToday




Hospice Georgian Triangle (HGT) and Hospice Georgian Triangle Foundation (HGTF) are excited to announce the opening of our annual Art Project.

This year’s project is being launched in celebration of the sixth anniversary of the opening of Campbell House on August 5, 2014.

Trish Rawn, Interim Executive Director shared, “From the beginning, it was decided that Campbell House should have its hallways decorated with art created by local artists that reflects the unique beauty and landscape of our Georgian Bay home. The response to HGT’s Art Project has been so positive and we appreciate the support of the entire local arts community in keeping Campbell House looking so animated and colourful. This year, in recognition of the sixth anniversary of Campbell House, we are proud to launch our online Art Project at” 

John S. Cowan, Curator of the annual Art Project agreed: “As always, our local artist community has responded amazingly to the annual HGT Art Project and a record 35 artists are represented in what we are calling the 2020 COVID Collection.”

“As you might imagine, this year our annual update was interrupted by the restrictions of COVID-19. So, our 2020 Art Project will be featured only on the HGT website. For now, the 2019 Art Project continues to be enjoyed by staff, patients and families on the walls within Campbell House,” explained Janet Fairbridge HGT Foundation Director.

She added, “All of the Art Project pieces are for sale. All sales are to be organized by the interested buyer and they may contact the artist directly through information found on our website. Hospice Georgian Triangle Foundation will neither benefit from nor be involved in any way with sales. We are thrilled to be able to help support the talented artists in our community in this manner.”

The 2020 COVID Collection showcases 40 works chosen by a jury of local artists and hospice volunteers.

In April 2021, the eighth HGT Call to Artists will go out and from the submissions received another edition of the Art Project will be chosen and hung.

If you would like to have your art considered by the jury in April 2021, please contact John Cowan at


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