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Stephenville's Jesse Renouf finds a story behind the art – SaltWire Network



Jesse Renouf, 23, has found a way to channel his creative energies and make a living for himself.

His art store, Treasures by Jesse, first opened in Stephenville in June 2017.

Run by Jesse and his family, the store offers a wide array of Jesse’s art, including pebble art, paintings, painted mailboxes, tissue boxes, and more.

While Jesse always had an interest in art, his passion was piqued while completing the Film and Video Production program at the College of the North Atlantic just three years ago.

“Within Film and Video, there was an art course and he loved it,” said Jesse’s mother Judy.

Jesse Renouf proudly shows off one of the walls of art displayed at Treasures by Jesse. CONTRIBUTED – Contributed


The family was able to draw on Jesse’s newfound passion to open Treasures by Jesse once he completed the program later the same year.

“We started Googling ideas and that’s where he started with the basic pebble, and then started trying more challenging pieces,” said Judy. “Three years later, here we are.”

The store also provides Jesse, who has autism, an opportunity to socialize – he gets to interact with customers and engage in conversation.

In fact, he has a table set up at the store and often lets visitors watch him paint to give them a sense of the process.

“It gives customers an idea what the story is all about when it comes to painting,” he said.

When he sells a painting, it makes him feel appreciated.

“I feel very proud when someone comes in and buys my artwork and they’re happy,” he said.

Jesse speaks passionately about his work. He is always able to find a story behind the art.

For example, he talks imaginatively of how a painting of a clothesline evokes familiarity to any Newfoundlander.

“It gives customers attention to a type of chore that can be done on a beautiful day outside,” he said. “Hanging the laundry, drying over time. There’s the grass, the waves, the wind blowing the clothes in a breeze. It’s a very beautiful type of day outside, you can tell in this type of pebble artwork.”

Other paintings depict Newfoundland touchstones, including mummers, jellybean row, fishing boats and lighthouses – in each case, Jesse perceives the history behind the object.

He also loves to paint beloved cartoon characters such as Elmo, Spongebob Squarepants, and Homer Simpson.

Some of the art displayed at Treasures by Jesse. CONTRIBUTED - Contributed
Some of the art displayed at Treasures by Jesse. CONTRIBUTED – Contributed



Treasures by Jesse is run as a team, with the assistance of Jesse’s mom Judy, his dad Wayne, and his co-worker Trudie Jesso.

“We are working together to make my business stronger,” said Jesse.

The first step is buying the canvasses. Jesse does all the painting on these.

For the pebble art, Jesse and Trudie work together to construct the painting and piece the materials – including pebbles, sea glass, and driftwood – together.

According to Jesse, it’s like putting together a jigsaw puzzle.

The paintings are left to dry and then Judy is tasked with coating the paintings.

Meanwhile, Wayne does all the woodworking.

The pebbles, sea glass and driftwood used in Jesse’s art is collected along the beaches.

Cleaning and sanitizing these materials is part of the process.

Local residents also donate materials. Judy felt this was indicative of the type of support Jesse gets from the community.

“People do support him,” she said.

Treasures by Jesse is open year-round.

Art can be purchased in-person at the store, located at 143 Main St. in Stephenville, or ordered for shipping online.

To learn more about Treasures by Jesse, visit

Behind the Business is a regular feature that introduces you to local businesspeople. Want to suggest someone that should be featured? Email your idea to [email protected]


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Sculpture honouring teachers unveiled at WAG’s new Inuit art centre – Global News



A new piece of permanent artwork, commissioned by the Manitoba Teachers’ Society (MTS), has been unveiled at the Winnipeg Art Gallery’s new Inuit art centre.

The marble sculpture, by Inuit artist Goota Ashoona, will welcome visitors to the new Qaumajuq centre, set to open later this year at St. Mary Avenue and Memorial Boulevard.

Tuniigusiia/The Gift was commissioned by the MTS to honour “teachers all around us — in the land and in our lives — who reveal the truth, wisdom and beauty that connect us all.”

“A beacon that both emanates and attracts light, Qaumajuq will celebrate the artistry and acknowledge the history of Inuit and First Peoples,” said MTS president James Bedford.

“And it will teach us, as all good teachers do, to challenge conventional wisdom and privileged perceptions to find truth, connection, and value in our shared humanity.”

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Inuit culture on display at the Winnipeg Art Gallery

WAG director and CEO Stephen Borys said education plays a critical role in changing lives through art, and Ashoona’s sculpture pays tribute to that.

“The WAG and our dedicated learning and programs team have had the honour of building relationships with teachers across Manitoba to benefit youth in our province and in the North,” Borys said.

“Teachers have always played an incredible role in our communities, and this has been brought into further focus in this difficult time.

“This beautiful sculpture by Goota Ashoona captures and pays tribute to teachers’ contributions.”

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Checking in with the Winnipeg Art Gallery

Checking in with the Winnipeg Art Gallery – Jan 8, 2021

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New marble carving will welcome visitors to Qaumajuq, WAG's Inuit art centre –



If you’re in downtown Winnipeg, you may notice a new, large marble sculpture outside of Qaumajuq, the Inuit art centre at the Winnipeg Art Gallery. 

Tuniigusiia/The Gift, commissioned by the Manitoba Teachers’ Society, is the work of Inuit artist Goota Ashoona.

It is meant to represent how knowledge is passed down through education and storytelling, and the important role teachers play in our communities, says a news release from the Winnipeg Art Gallery. 

The sculpture is in the centre’s outdoor plaza and will greet people as they enter. 

Tuniigusiia/The Gift is outside Qaumajuq, the Inuit art centre set to open later this year. (Submitted by Winnipeg Art Gallery)

Ashoona is a third-generation artist born in Kinngait, Nunavut, who now creates out of her studio in Elie, Man., primarily carving out of soapstone and whale bone. She also produces wallhangings and is a throat singer.

Some of her other pieces are part of the WAG’s permanent collection, including The Story of Nuliajuk.

Inuit artist Goota Ashoona created the new sculpture. (Jocelyn Piirainen)

Qaumajuq, which means “it is bright, it is lit” in Inuktitut, is set to open later this year. The new 40,000-square-foot-building, which has been under construction for years, will showcase thousands of carvings and offer Inuit-led programming and exhibition, learning and event spaces.

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Commentary: The art of adapting literature to television is strategic – Queen's Journal



Adapting books to television is not a new phenomenon, but in the past couple of years, the popularity of series based on bestselling novels seems to be heightened.

From The Handmaid’s Tale to You and Bridgerton, there is now a distinct correlation between the bestseller list and the stories production companies feel need to be seen.

It’s hard to pinpoint when the domino effect of television adaptations began, but it’s clear that HBO, Netflix, Amazon Prime, and even the BBC have caught on to the trend.

The shows we all love and consistently choose to watch have arguably done best when they are adapted from existing literature. The Handmaid’s Tale is as affective, if not more, when we watch it amidst rising political chaos in the United States. Its dystopian setting is haunting as ever, especially when the show departs from the plot of the book after season one.

It seems as though television creators are hand-picking social trends and mixing them with the nuanced writing of respected literature to best captivate audiences. There is an art to this combination of pre-existing literature and new conversations, but production companies are getting pretty close to mastering it.

HBO has trademarked a certain kind of story that is almost guaranteed to be popular: a rich, white family with a secret that could unravel their entire world.

Big Little Lies, Little Fires Everywhere, and the upcoming adaptation of The Vanishing Half by Brit Bennett all fall into this structure. Their similar elements, coupled with layers of racial tension and a standout cast, are a one-way ticket to incredible audience reviews.

Netflix has taken a similar approach in combining existing trends with conversations around race and a post-colonial landscape in Bridgerton. Our fascination with period dramas is intensified by having the incredibly dreamy male love interest from 1813 London played by a Black actor.

Perhaps this speaks to the impact of our rising societal capacity to discuss, or start to acknowledge, the racist undertones of our worlds. Black Lives Matter protests and calls for social reform amidst a harsh political background have forced us to hear the words “systemic racism” and contemplate their meaning, while also seeing snippets of racial dynamics in the television we consume.

A byproduct of the relationship between page and screen may have a deep impact on the landscape of literature.

Having a book picked up by a major network assures money, exposure, and Hollywood contacts. Up-and-coming writers may now consider whether or not their novel could be adapted to a television series or movie, rather than solely focusing on the literary aspects of their books. However, the common thread between books that are picked up as shows is that they connect with their audience in some way.

If this trend of adaptation continues, it will be interesting to see what kinds of stories networks produce, and if authors attempt to market their work to production companies.

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