Umbrella Spring 2021 Vol. 30 No. 1
What's Under the Umbrella? o o o
David Maracle's Eagle Pod Gallery Rachel Harbour cultivates creativity Dr. Lee Mellor's dark art
Visual I Performance I Literary I Heritage I Education
A publication of the
Janet Jarrell, Executive Director email@example.com
MESSAGE FROM EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
Adam Gray, Creative Director firstname.lastname@example.org
Day 365 of the pandemic has come and gone and on some level, we have undoubtedly changed our perspective on what really matters in life. There’s an opportunity here to take what we have learned, put it to positive use, and build a stronger, even more vibrant arts and culture community.
Fiona Campbell, Communications & Outreach Director email@example.com Andrew Gray, Graphic Designer firstname.lastname@example.org Kim Lidstone, Bookkeeper email@example.com The Quinte Arts Council is a not-for-profit, charitable organization, registration number 107869448 RR 0001. Publications mail agreement number 40667523. Published by: The Quinte Arts Council, P.O. Box 22113 Belleville, Ont. K8N 2Z5 Printed by: Mr. Print, Belleville, Ont. Material may be reprinted only with permission. Umbrella is mailed to members and delivered to distribution points throughout Quinte Region. The information contained within is believed to be reliable, but accuracy cannot be guaranteed. We do not assume responsibility for any errors and/or omissions related to submitted content. QAC programs are funded in part by:
John M. & Bernice
PARROTT F O U N D AT I O N
Resilience, innovation and leadership began with our artists -- they were resourceful with new ways to connect, support themselves and others, and keep creative. Staying home puts a focus on staying local and reminds us of the incredible talent we have right here in Quinte Region. As we work to preserve, support and advance the local arts community, we continue to use the pages of Umbrella to celebrate our artists who contribute so much to our local economy and lifestyle. This issue is the beginning of a new collaboration with the local writing community, and we’re thrilled to introduce you to our contributors on page 02. Working with these voices helps us fulfill our mandate to ensure diverse perspectives are represented and experienced both through art and in these pages.
Umbrella continues to evolve and we are creating even more space to celebrate artists of all disciplines. We have conceived a new business model and are fostering renewed synergies with our foundations, corporate and private donors, and sponsors. Specifically, we gratefully acknowledge support from the Parrott Foundation, The City of Belleville, McDougall Insurance, Canadian Heritage, the Bay of Quinte Regional Marketing Board and Paulo’s and Dinkel’s Restaurants. We couldn’t do this work without you. Cover: David Maracle
Back: Bob House
Table of Contents
Message from the Chair + Contributors
Photography Edible art brought to life Food stylist Ruth Gangbar Photographer Christopher Gentile
3 4 5
Theatre QBSC celebrates local alumni Westben reveals new outdoor venues
Film Brittany Ollerenshaw on Harvesting Dreams Matthew Hayes on The Granite Man of Gilmour
Music Quinte Symphony sustains during COVID -19 Andy Sparling: A lifetime in dancehalls
Fine Art The artist next door: Meet Jesus Estevez Eagle Pod Gallery inspired by nature Cultivating creativity with Rachel Harbour Cartoonist Jeffrey Caulfield keeps people smiling
18 20 24 28
Literary Lee Mellor on the dark art of true crime The Al Purdy A-Frame Residency: with Felicity Williams
Art Education Learning the Kanyen’kéha language with an animated teacher
Heritage A marble milestone: 10th anniversary for Tweed’s Marble Arts Centre
Quinte Arts Council Celebrating our local arts champions: Arts Recognition Awards 2020
Artist to Watch: Josh Connell Sponsored by the Bay of Quinte Regional Marketing Board
MESSAGE FROM CHAIR OF THE BOARD As chair of the Quinte Arts Council, I am proud to say that we are indeed keeping arts on the table. We are advocating for artists, promoting their endeavours, and providing professional development opportunities to sustain and build upon this thriving community of creatives. As a reader of the Umbrella, you know that the arts add value to all our lives. They inspire, connect, challenge, and bring joy... especially important in these times. I will tell you that our team has not stopped. They are relentlessly engaging with schools, local businesses, community organizations and other arts councils across the province in the pursuit of this mission.
The stories of artists in the Quinte Region are here in these pages. I cannot imagine our communities without them. With gratitude and open arms, we are asking you to be a part of the story. Keep the arts on the table. Give us a call or visit our website to learn about ways you can become a member, an advocate, and a donor. 2021 BOARD OF DIRECTORS : Andrea Kerr, Rick Moulton; Jenny Woods, Maury Flunder, Taylor Pender, Dan Atkinson, Emebet Belete, Lise Lindenberg. Full bios at quinteartscouncil.org/board-of-directors
Abena “Beloved Green” Tuffour
Full bios can be found at quinteartscouncil.org/umbrella/contributors
Edible art brought to life
By Kiki Carr
food stylist and Christopher Gentile, a commercial photographer, are two artists who captured the visuals of chefprepared meals from local restaurants
for Q uintelicious 2021, a monthlong celebration of food and dining organized by the Belleville Downtown District. This year, instead of taking photos on-location in restaurants, the project was shot in Gentile’s studio. The
goal was to show customers what they could enjoy even in a take-out experience. They wanted to tell the story of the meal by presenting it in a way that reflects the essence of the chef, while showing diners what they can immerse themselves in at home through food. By working in the studio, they were able to play freely with lighting and placement, deconstructing the food and creating a mood for each individual plate. Gentile says that each plate takes two to three hours to capture and style, to slowly unveil the romance of the food. Gangbar often uses personal props for styling, but the beauty of living in a place surrounded by artists is using local pieces in her projects as well. For Quintelicious, they were able to use Picton-based Cylinder Studio's pottery to display the food. Sponsored by PAULO’S & DINKEL’S RESTAURANTS
Ruth Gangbar is a food stylist,
recipe writer, cook and gardener living full-time near the hamlet of Black River Bridge, outside of Picton. Her decades of freelance work with commercial stills photography in Toronto includes clients like LCBO Food and Drink and Cottage Life magazines, Foodland Ontario, and numerous national brand food packaging clients. You’ll also see her work in cookbooks: County Heirlooms by Natalie Wollenberg and Leigh Nash, Cooking Meat by Peter Sanagan, Fabbricca and Great Food at Home by Mark McEwan. Known for her relaxed organic style, Gangbar is often heard saying she’s done her job right when it looks like there’s been no food stylist. Behind the scenes, she encourages teamwork, shops, bakes, cooks, works with chefs and producers, sources props, networks, and helps build beautiful scenarios for the camera. Applying her passions for food to support local business has been a goal since Gangbar bought property in the County in 1994. She also bakes a mean pie and loves making preserves, with her popups as Ruth’s Canteen and offgrid cabin rentals. ruthgangbar.com
Christopher Gentile C ommercial
ph o t o graph e r
“The call to come home was growing and a new opportunity presented itself. I knew downtown Belleville would be the perfect spot to bring my commercial studio while living in the County. Since November 1, 2020, it's been my pleasure to call 265 Front Street home to the continuing dream of Photographer & His studio. Life is dreams and passion. I am still chasing them everyday - right after my coffee!” christophergentile.ca
Christopher Gentile grew up in Prince Edward County along the shores of Glenora before embarking on a career in the commercial television industry in Toronto. In the early days, some career highlights included working with Jim Henson and Frank Oz and the Muppet gang. Later he became the Head of Production for McWaters Vanlint, one of the largest commercial film companies in Toronto at the time. There he worked for several years alongside master cinematographer Derek Vanlint, who famously shot Ridley Scott’s Alien. Gentile traveled and produced television commercials around the world, before turning to directing for the next 20 years, starting with videos for Blue Rodeo followed by years of A list commercials. Finally, Gentile’s passion for still photography took over: “I was always drawn to as it encompassed the beauty of cinematography, directing with art direction all rolled into one.” Now, after working for 20 years a successful commercial photographer with his own studio in Toronto, he has returned home.
QBSC celebrates local alumni Theatre
By Abena Tuffour Green
Established in 1972,
the Quinte Ballet School of Canada (QBSC) (formerly known as the Quinte Dance school and renamed in 1992) has had a storied history of faculty members, artistic advisors and, of course, graduates. These are just two of those stories. Sonja Boretski, a Belleville local now based in Toronto, graduated from QBSC's professional training program in 2013. She says her training expanded her: “In my first year a new artistic director, John Ottman, was coming in. He brought a whole new way of viewing dance using improvisation and experimentation with movement. I thought in a linear way of dance in terms of structure and this expanded my lens,” she says. “I learned that we can utilize techniques but ultimately it’s the individual that brings this movement to life.” Borestski recently performed with Toronto Dance Theatre (TDT) and featured in a solo performance of Peggy Baker’s Krishna’s Mouth at the Fleck Theatre in
Toronto in January 2019. “I had to speak as well as dance on the stage by myself for 17 minutes. It was very frightening at first and very strange to hear my own voice while I was dancing,” she says. “That was a really big shift for me and it has been so rewarding.” In 2020, she was nominated for a Dora Mavor Moore Award as part of the dance ensemble in TDT’s Vena Cava. Despite the disappointment of several cancelled opportunities due to the pandemic, Boretski is exploring new art forms, before she returns to work with the TDT. Peter-Nicholas Taylor grew up in Colborne, Ont., and graduated from QBSC in 2016. Like Boretski, he also joined QBSC relatively “late,” around grade 10 or 11 but thrived once there. “My sister was doing ballet and I asked if I could do it. It’s been 18 years.” Taylor says that attending QBSC secured his love of the art form. “Being trained there made it a reality; that I could do this, this could be my job. This can be my everyday,” he says. Taylor was an apprentice of the Royal Winnipeg Ballet and part of the Canadi06
an premier of the Wizard of Oz. “It was the highest production value of anything I’ve ever been in,” he says. “There were impeccable costumes, dancers in harness flying across the stage. It was absolutely magical.” Peter currently dances with Ballet Victoria in Victoria, B.C. Artistic Director Catherine Taylor wants students to leave QBSC “with a better understanding of themselves, knowing that they have done their absolute best. They may continue in dance or move onto something else.” She reminds us that learning to dance is a valuable and transferable skill: “Parents need to understand [dance] isn’t just frivolous twirling. Dancers are learning how to control their bodies; how to take instruction and act. They are learning discipline and respect for self and others. Those skills can be taken beyond the studio.” As for the value of dance to a community? “Immeasurable. You are raising people with an indomitable spirit. How can society lose?” quinteballetschool.com
Westben reveals new outdoor venues By Quinte Arts Council/ Donna Bennett
Performing arts centre
Westben, known for its 400-seat venue The Barn on a 50-acre property in Campbellford, Ont., has been presenting music since its first full symphony concert in 2000: classical, broadway, jazz, folk fiddle, pop, electronic and comedy. Westben hosts over 90 events and experiences each year: that’s until the pandemic hit, and the number of in-person visitors went from 10,000 to zero.
“Nature and music have always been integral to Westben but the pandemic has offered us a platform to take this to the next level”
Unable to continue with live events during lockdown, in 2020 co-founders Donna Bennett and Brian Finley pivoted Westben’s roster to create digital experiences, with online programming and the new Westben digital venue (an interactive map of the Westben grounds which hosts all the Digital Concerts at The Barn). They created 72 new videos including podcasts, Musical Moments, and kids programs. These concerts were recorded without audiences and incorporated a sense of place with performances on the meadow, near the pond, as well as in The Barn.
Looking ahead to summer 2021, Bennett and Finley realized that having an audience limit of 50 could not financially support hosting an international calibre of artists, as well as operating costs. “We concluded we didn’t want to change our branding or mission, but we needed to look at the number of events and experiences we were offering, the location of events, and how we were delivering the experience of nature and music,” says Bennett. They took pause and began to create a new plan that would still bring people together through music safely and comfortably. Then their dreaming went into overdrive.
Their focus shifted from large events to small groups, which meant reconfiguring seating in The Barn to create small pods for socially-distanced seating for 50 people (and more if restrictions lift.) Bennett and Finley then looked at the Westben property as a whole and imagined three new outdoor venues. The first, a natural amphitheatre, just beyond the picnic meadow and pond: “With a gradual rise, lawn chairs and hay bales will work well for seating with a covered stage in front of the pond. The audience will then have a great view of the performers and the whole Westben property,“ says Bennett.
The third, located across the road from Westben at the Mary West Nature Reserve, will give small groups of concert goers (after a guided walk) an intimate nature performance by the river bed. Newly-built bridges over the river will be the stage and stumps along the river bed will be the seating. Concerts will be shorter (one hour and fifteen minutes) and more frequent, starting at 2:00 pm and ending with a 10:00pm show for the late night adventurers.
The second, a place for exclusive concerts, will be set around a campfire near the picnic area, a place where mostly folk and roots artists after their “On the Hill” concert can share an intimate set with 15 to 25 people.
“We are hoping that moving from large events to bubble pods/smaller audiences, people will feel more comfortable in venturing out to a concert,” says Bennett. “By creating new outdoor venues we hope audiences will feel safer in the wide open spaces of the farm. Having no intermission should decrease opportunity for cluster gatherings and increase feelings of safety. The new entrance area to Hill Venue will keep audience traffic flow separate.”
She adds: “There is so much uncertainty during the pandemic, it feels, at times, paralyzing… [But] it’s been good for us to re-examine our operations, and branch out digitally, which was always one of our goals anyway." Nature and music have always been integral to Westben but the pandemic has offered us a platform to take this to the next level.” westben.ca
Brittany Ollerenshaw on Harvesting Dreams By Peter Paylor
W hen a group of
artists from the Brighton Arts Council were busy creating new works for a Vincent Van Gogh-inspired show for Belleville’s Parrott Art Gallery in the spring of 2014, Brittany Ollerenshaw decided to capture their progress on video. “The things they were saying about Van Gogh and about creativity… there were a lot of common themes,” she says. “I realized there was a bigger story to be told.” That story became the documentary film
Unravelling Vincent , which first screened at the 2014 Belleville Downtown DocFest and later at the Parrott Gallery as part of the show. A film buff from a young age, Ollerenshaw studied Film Theory at York University straight out of high school. “I fell out of love with film, writing essay after essay,” she says of the experience. She credits Unravelling Vincent, for igniting her new love for making documentary films. “It was a happy accident,” she says. “It was an accidental documentary.”
“If you put everything you have into your dream, you harvest your dream."
Her next project turned out to be entirely intentional. After having been involved in the grueling six-month process of putting together a community theatre 10
musical production – she was in the Belleville Theatre Guild’s 2012 production of Anne of Green Gables – Ollerenshaw approached the Guild about making a behind the scenes film about their 2015 production of The Drowsy Chaperone. Ollerenshaw and her camera were there from the first production meeting to opening night, but a new career and a new baby put that project on the shelf for more than a year before Making of a Musical finally screened at DocFest in 2018. “Part of it for me,” she says, “was being part of the experience again.” Like Unravelling Vincent, it’s a film about creativity and passion. “Every single person involved in the musical said the same thing,” she says. “They can’t live without out it. They can’t live without theatre. They can’t live without creativity.” It’s a theme that connects Ollerenshaw with her work. “Perseverance, new beginnings, passion for your work. I really enjoy focusing on those creative, passionate people. It helps, when a project takes so long to complete, to really want to be invested in your subject matter.”
Ollerenshaw’s latest film is about Melanie Harrington and the amazing success of her Dahlia May Flower Farm in Trenton. Harvesting Dreams recently garned Ollerenshaw the best local filmmaker award at the 10th Annual Belleville Downtown DocFest. The film follows Harrington from one spring to the next, from her first day planting tulips to what she’s learned a year later. Ollerenshaw makes great use of Harrington’s insightful and beautifully written Facebook and Instagram posts which have been a huge part in the flower farm’s success at attracting and keeping its incredibly supportive base of loyal customers. Again, it’s a film about passion and creativity. “I wanted it to leave a little sense of inspiration in people that you can change your stars, essentially,” she says. “Melanie went from working in a flower shop to having this idea that turned into the little empire that she has going now. If you put everything you have into your dream, you harvest your dream. You can make these things happen. I find it delightful. facebook.com/ TheDahliaMayDocumentary
Matthew Hayes on The Granite Man of Gilmour
B y Li n Par k i n
19 7 5 , w h i l e
watching "Bonanza" on TV with his wife in Maple Ridge, BC, carpenter and war veteran David Hamel experienced an extraterrestrial encounter in which aliens took him up into a spaceship, flew across the country to Gilmour, Ont., and told him he would return to that spot sometime in his life to help save mankind. The short documentary, The Granite Man of Gilmour, by Candian educator and filmmaker Matthew Hayes (pictured right), tells the story of Hamel after that trip, as he spent 30 years attempting to build a flying saucer in his backyard. Hamel’s story floated around Hayes’ radar for several decades before he pursued it as a documentary: “I first found out about Hamel when I was a teenager. My mom had a colleague who had a cottage near his home, so it was through the grapevine that I first heard about him.”
“It's an interesting story about perseverance and dedication that we can all learn from.” Years later, when Hayes was working on his Ph.D. on the history of Canada's UFO investigation from 1950-1995, Hamel’s story came to surface again and the idea of putting it into production started to take form. “He's really well known in some very obscure circles, you know, strange parts of the internet.” Even still, researching Hamel, who died in 2007 at age 83, was no easy task: “Trying to track people down to talk about the film, that was one of the hardest parts - just finding information about Hamel.” The passion project nearly slipped through the cracks, until Hayes pitched the film to the Documentary Organization 12
Film of Canada. “It went through the wringer and it’s a long process with a bunch of different people and parties involved.” But that’s when everything came together. Hayes captures Hamel’s story in a way that doesn’t undermine his subject. “I'm glad that it came through as a respectful and compassionate approach, that’s what I was trying to achieve,” he says. “I don’t necessarily agree with all of the things that Hamel was saying, or frankly any of it, but there's just something that draws me to people who are so dedicated to something, and who persevere through all the odds, even when everyone's telling them to stop because it's nonsense, or that they've run out of money to do this.” He adds: “It’s not so much the fact that this has to do with aliens and UFOs. The experience should just be, here is this story of a guy trying to make sense of the world in this place. I think that's something that we all struggle with throughout our lives.” theonlymatthewhayes.com
Quinte Symphony sustains during COVID -19 By Vic Schukov
We ha ve
al l l o s t
something during COVID-19 protocols and lockdowns. And while communities are slowly starting to reopen, public music performance is one of the last to recover under such circumstances. “Last year was our 60th anniversary. It was to be a big celebratory season, and our last three concerts were cancelled due to COVID,” says Debbie Shaw, President of the Board of Directors and a
flutist in the Belleville-based Quinte Symphony. “When words fail, music speaks. Performing is about connecting with people through music. We have musicians who have been in the orchestra for over 30 years. It’s a family atmosphere where we get to know each other, so we really miss seeing each other.” And Quinte Symphony honours a “fantastic” variety of music, from Mozart and Dvorak to more contemporary Canadian compositions and pops.
According to Shaw, who moved to Belleville from a small town in Manitoba over 32 years ago, finding out there was an orchestra she could play in, “felt like I had died and gone to heaven. For a musician, there is nothing like playing in an orchestra.”
“Music has a magical way of bringing musicians and audiences together, resonating with the human spirit. Not being able to get together with people makes you think about what’s important.” That draw is especially strong now: “When restrictions lifted a bit last summer, some of us congregated in backyard ensembles in sweltering heat,” she says, laughing.
Shaw credits Quinte Arts Council for inspiring the symphony to have their October Annual General Meeting on
Quinte Symphony is adding links to past concerts on their YouTube channel, “so people have a chance to hear us even though we can’t get together physically,” she says.
The channel also includes such gems as Meet the Musicians and a stirring video by their gifted confrere Neil Adamson performing Home by Andrew York – a nostalgic must-see with images of Quinte Symphony in the background. According to Shaw, they’re reviewing feedback of a survey sent out to their musicians to see who is available for ensembles when restrictions are eased, and who is interested in virtual collaboration. While it’s difficult to plan specific dates (as there is no way of knowing when they can reassemble) she adds that musicians
“can’t wait for the day when they can rehearse together and perform again.” One possibility as restrictions relax, is most likely outdoor concert events. “Music has a magical way of bringing musicians and audiences together, resonating with the human spirit. Not being able to get together with people makes you think about what’s important,” says Shaw. “For me, music and people have sustained me; as with orchestras, the two are intertwined in life.” thequintesymphony.com
Zoom, shared with all the musicians virtually. Also shared was a split -screen video of four of the musicians collaborating last September on a classical waltz: “We hadn’t seen each other in over six months, and they told me they had tears in their eyes.”
Andy Sparling: A lifetime in dancehalls By Peter Paylor
During their first
summer in Belleville, after moving from London, Ont., in 1987, Andy Sparling and his wife, Theresa, found themselves at the Waterfront Festival one evening. “And there’s this big, beautiful band playing under the moonlight on the end of the pier,” says Sparling, “with about 300 or 400 people around having a great time. It fired me up.” That band was the Commodores Orchestra.
It was an evening, says Sparling, that took him all the way back to his childhood. When Sparling was nine, his father, Phil, played saxophone, clarinet, and oboe in a local big band after a stint overseas with the legendary RCAF Streamliners who put their lives on the line playing swing, jump, and jive for the troops. Sparling soon found himself tagging along with his father each summer, going on gigs, and setting up music stands at theatres and dancehalls.
“One summer I saw the trombone player playing Tommy Dorsey’s famous solo "Marie" and I decided right then and there that I was going to learn to play it,” he says. With the help of a local music teacher – and despite his arms being too short to reach seventh position – Sparling started on the path that would eventually lead to his own 30-year run playing trombone with the Commodores Orchestra. Playing for the first time on May 28, 1928, and still playing today, the Commodores are believed to be the longest-running band anywhere in the world. Over the past few years, Sparling has taken up the task of keeping the story of the band and its one-time home, The Club Commodore, still going. “The Club Commodore was an amazing place,” says Sparling. “I’m looking two blocks to the west of me, because that’s where it was, at the Belleville Fairgrounds, and I think back to the late 40’s. That place was
Music going five nights a week and during the course of the week they would easily see 1,500, 2,000 dancers. This was in a city of 17,000 people. It’s just crazy. And they were coming from Peterborough and Kingston and Coburg and everywhere else, so I kind of fell in love with the story.” Sparling has recently crafted a documentary about the band, The Commodores Orchestra: Dance of the Decades. A selection at Belleville’s 10th Annual Downtown DocFest, the film contains dozens of archival photos and news clippings along with archival recordings of the band’s music that might not otherwise be heard. The soundtrack on its own is an amazing documentary record of the band’s history and a great gift to big band lovers everywhere and to fans of the Commodores in particular.
Sparling is recreating the magic of Club Commodore with his half-hour broadcast, "Swing Jump ‘n Jive" from “high atop the fashionable West Hill in li’l ol’ Belleville by the beautiful Bay of Quinte.” As soon as live music is once again possible, the Commodores Orchestra will be ready. Sparling credits our great local musical talents, Brian Barlow and Bob Leonard, for that.
Fans of big band music should also tune into 91X (91.3FM) Loyalist Radio on Saturday mornings at 10:00 am where 17
In the meantime, he’s still collecting memories. “I walk my dog over that place where the Club used to be and I still find myself sneaking a peek down on the ground in case there’s any part of an ashtray that still might be around, because…well…I kind of grew up in dancehalls.” hastingshistory.ca/ commodores-orchestra.php
The artist next door: Meet Jesus Estevez By Ardith Racey
passion and mild manner belie his greatness as an artist. He calls himself a “realistic painter” who likes to paint what he’s ‘close to’: “I live in the city of Belleville, so I paint my surroundings. I like to paint what I see every day.” His work reflects his love of the area: Belleville and Quinte area streets, homes and the harbour are central motifs, as are images of people and animals in authentic settings filled with backgrounds of snow, sun, or rain. It’s the connections with local cityscapes and landscapes that people can understand – that’s what makes people “move,” says Estevez. Although design is an important aspect of painting, the rules are not the same as those of photography, claims Estevez. He likes to “put things in and put things out,” but his chief concern is the way light changes what we see. He explains it this way: “In music you have tones . . . in painting we have values which are the same thing – if the darks and shadows are harmonious, your brain will get happy. This is how you find beautiful colours that don’t come out of a tube. You have to mix them. I don’t think about colour; I only think about values.”
Sunrise on the Farm
Estevez values painting as a “lan- They’ve worked together as an entrepreguage that we all understand.” He neurial team for more than 30 years, presays that while a photograph can cap- viously in Spain and now in Canada, sellture life in a second, painting requires ing and designing silver jewelry and art. hours and hours of “imprinting the vi- “My wife loves and understands stones,” By Peter Paylor sual effects.” He works hard to comsays Estevez, “and she’s supportive of municate what he sees as beautiful in my art.... If she doesn’t like something, his surroundings. This is reflected in she tells me.” Sounds like the perfect forhow people react to Estevez’s work; mula for a husband-and-wife team. often they comment that although they have lived in the area their entire lives, Then again, there’s not much to dislike they have never noticed the beauty of about Estevez’s work. It’s brilliant and places the way Estevez’s paintings al- vibrant and most of all, authentic. low them to enter or remember a landscape or a structure. therocks.ca
“I paint eight hours, almost every day,” says Estevez nonchalantly, “but my goal is not to be famous, but to be a master.” It often takes two or three weeks to finish a painting, and he paints on small canvases because of time, and because on a practical level local people are more apt to buy them. He says that one of his long-standing jokes is that “the painting is not finished until it’s sold because if it’s around, he will keep changing it.” Estevez and his wife, Erin, own and operate their store Thomas Estevez Design, located at 395 Front Street, Belleville, and they have a strong online presence, but given COVID-19, he says sales and commissions have been down. 18
Downtown, Early Morning Rain
Eagle Pod Gallery inspired by nature Fine Arts
By Janet Jarrell
also known in Mohawk as Tehanenia’kwe:tarons (Cutter of Stone), is a renowned stone carver whose work can be found across Canada and around the world, in prominent collections including those of Dan Ackryod, Loretta Lynn, the estate of the late Nelson Mandela and the Emperor of Japan. Maracle is also an accomplished musician with over 17 musical compilations and two gold albums. He has performed all over the world, including the opening ceremonies for the Olympics in Australia. His wife, Kimberly, is the Chief Guidance Officer for Native Expressions, and manages Maracle’s multi-faceted career behind the scenes.
Gail Pacquette Gail Pacquette
Pre-pandemic, Maracle enjoyed a busy music scene, travelling to Austria, Pakistan and Holland, performing live concerts 20
and traditional teaching workshops using flutes, drums and many other musical instruments. COVID-19 imposed a particularly difficult adjustment on performing artists prevented from live gigs. This has had significant financial implications and forced Maracle to consider alternative ways to earn a living. In the early days of lockdown, while taking time to recharge and regroup, the Maracles made a plan for a uniquely-designed pod gallery, created by the Algonquin Pod Company and funded by the Indigenous Tourism Association of Canada. The Eagle Pod gallery is situated on the Maracle’s property in Tyendinaga Mohawk Territory, nestled along the shores of the beautiful Bay of Quinte. Maracle envisioned his stone carvings surrounded by nature and for the gallery to be full of natural and organic elements: wood, stone, bone.
Fine Arts I visited the Eagle Pod gallery to speak with Maracle. Cozy and inviting, this space was filled with the cleansing scent of burning sage set in an abalone shell as we sat, socially distanced, and enjoyed a cup of cedar tea. His carvings are surrounded by many teaching tools – a turtle shell, wooden snow snakes, and ceremonial headdresses, to name a few. There is a framed photo of the Maracles with Buffy Sainte-Marie and the work of another renowned Mohawk artist, Maureen Greyeyes-Brant. Her beautiful beadwork features prominent Indigenous faces of historic figures, such as Geronimo and Sitting Bull who were warriors of their time. She beaded the Native Expressions logo proudly displayed along with the Geronimo beadwork and a painting of David’s father Karoniaktatsie. “Why the eagle?” I ask him.
“The eagle is sacred to all Indigenous cultures, and represents the closest bird to the Creator; the messenger bird who carries the prayers of the people. The one who also is on top of the tree of peace for the Haudenosaunee peoples, the Six Nations of the Iroquois people’s that protects and watches for danger,” he says. Maracle draws inspiration for his carvings from his close relationship with the natural environment, his Indigenous heritage and knowledge from his ancestors and elders. He uses symbolism in the stone carvings, bringing to life the practices, ancestral teachings and expressions of culture in the Haudenosaunee community. These symbols are diverse, multifaceted and meaningful. At first glance, you will see the main carving, maybe an eagle. Get in closer and the fine details reveal the sky (karonhyà:ke), the water (Ohné:kanos) which is the lifeblood of mother earth, fire (Ó:tsire), the moon (enhnì:ta) and trees (kérhite). 21
Fine Arts Christine Kipper
Fine Arts Maracle uses his art as a cultural teaching tool. “My carvings represent the past, present and future of Turtle Island. Each tells a story full of symbolism used to preserve our culture and traditions,” he says. “When you carve in stone it is like the ancestors are talking to the carver through the stone. The stone tells the carver what story needs to be told. A carver may look at a stone and think ‘I want to carve a bear,’ but that stone tells us what story it holds within and as the carver works on the stone, the story is unveiled.” His recent sculpture titled Grandmother Moon depicts a grandmother's kind face coming out of the moonlight, shining through the forest, with the wise old owl behind her. It was completed on the eve of the full moon in late January. Maracle says that to him, and to some of the elders who taught him, the owl is used to symbolize wisdom: it is quietly observing everything and brings a message of warning with its foreboding call in the night. The carving also de-
picts the swirl patterns of sky woman as she walks and sings, planting seeds on the back of the great turtle. There is balance in nature - one side of the carving is dark symbolizing night and the other side is light, symbolizing day. “It is important that all people of all colour survive together. We eat, live and breathe together, we are connected to nature. There is symbolism in everything. Our cultural teachings come alive within the stone . The stone tells the story as the carving is in process,” says Maracle. “These carvings will be around forever to tell our stories,” he says. By promoting the transfer and conservation of cultural knowledge in stone, Maracle is securing the capacity for the next generations to retain and, in turn, cultivate intrinsic cultural connections.
All images were submitted by David and Kimberly Maracle
Cultivating creativity with Rachel Harbour By Fiona Campbell
When I first took an Fine Arts
art workshop with Rachel Harbour, I was struck, perhaps enchanted, with her delight around creating and teaching. She inspires joy over the making of things and cultivates a space for her student to just play. Despite being the child of two scientists, her mum a botanist, her dad a nuclear medicine physicist, there was always an appreciation for the arts: “I always painted, did watercolours and doodles… I don’t remember not having arts supplies,” she says. Then in high school she discovered the BFA program at York University and art became something she could “study and do.” Then she learned of the concurrent education program at York, and art became something she could study, do and teach.
Her background was in painting, but she decided to study sculpture and printmaking. “Most people don’t start a degree in something they don’t know… it’s a little weird,” she says. This experience fostered her curiosity about different art forms and gave her a place to just “try stuff.” “I always really loved to make things but never felt stuck in a particular box,” says Harbour. “The flattering way to refer to that is ‘versatility.’ The less flattering might be ‘indecisive,’” she says with a laugh. There is a lot of laughter when speaking with Harbour. “When I feel the need to really delve in and express something, I always go back to painting, but when I just feel like playing, that’s when it becomes anything.” Before the pandemic, Harbour offered workshops at the Belleville Public Library and from her home studio in Wooler, Ont., and her projects (like her own
portfolio) range from creating with acrylic, watercolour, wire and beads, to tile with alcohol ink, painted rocks and acrylic pouring. I tell her I admire her ability to play, try different tools and techniques, to not have an attachment to a certain result. To create for the sake of creating. She admits it took her took her a long time to get there. When her two boys (now adults) were small, she says there was an intensity to her work: “Time was so precious… maybe I had an hour, and there was this pressure that whatever I was doing it had to matter, it had to lead to something, it had to be legitimized. With a lot of work, there was a forcedness to it.” But at the same time she had a space in the kitchen called the Creative Cupboard, full of markers, stickers, crayons and glitter, and while school taught the kids structured creating, Harbour says, “art time with mum was bananas!”
“These little people were giving me this massive creative exploratory opportunities, where it was abundantly clear that the end result was completely irrelevant. It was all about just making something.” During this time period polarized by a focus on finishing something “serious” and this joyful creative time with the kids, she eventually said, “there’s got to be a way for this to come together.” Now in her 50s her home studio is full of boxes of materials to play with. “When I’m stuck in a painting and it’s not behaving, I’ll get out some fabric, glue some beads on, play with some wire; it might become recognizable like an ornament, or it might become an attachment to a collage or a multimedia painting, or it just might be a pretty thing that I play with for the day,” says Harbour. “Even if it hasn’t led to any work that will become a piece, it has enabled the struggle to loosen up. It can be resolved because I’ve reminded myself it’s supposed to be fun. Even if it’s dealing with something that causes angst or sadness or anger, it’s still supposed to be fun on the way to way to figuring that out.” Harbour’s last workshop was in March 2020, and since then she has kept her students connected and creative with projects that she shares by email. She’s deeply aware how many people are struggling with the loss of normalcy and community. She also feels the weight of how little her life has changed and how the pandemic actually presented her with opportunity: last August Wendy RaysonKerr, acting curator of the Parrott Gallery, told her there was an open time in January for a show. There was something, a whisper, a poke from the universe say25
ing “take this leap” to which Harbour replied: “A solo show in five months? I could probably pull that off.” Her Garden Sanctuary show (February 20 to March 25) featured a collection of 20 paintings in watercolour and acrylic; a close and careful, even impeccable, observation of objects found in her garden across the seasons. She says it would normally take her 12 to 18 months to produce this amount and quality of work because of her busy workshop schedule, but because she wasn’t teaching, that means she could be painting.
Old Maple – Not Letting Go
“This horrible thing is happening to the whole entire world, and for me, it’s presented a blessing… How do I reconcile the terrible stuff I see on the news and this gift [of a show] that I have? It’s not fair. I haven’t really processed that, and I don’t know if it’s something that can be processed; processing implies there could be steps to reconcile that inequality.”
I ask whether how people experience her art, how these close studies of nature that suspend time and create space for the viewer, could be a part of her ‘reckoning’: “The thing that I would love for people to take, especially of this show, is what I’m always going on about: being good at drawing is being good at looking… and that’s what all these pieces are all about: really slowing down and looking.” She adds: “If me painting the details that I’ve slowed down to see can cause a viewer to slow down and see back, well, that would be cool.” And while she’s grateful for the time offered by a blank teaching slate, she’s looking forward to being connected with her student community again: “I really really miss it.”
Sumac—End of Fall
Cartoonist Jeffrey Caulfield keeps people smiling
By Lin Parkin
Five years ago, The
Bay of Quinte beckoned its call to Jeffrey Caulfield and his wife Terry. After spending most of their working lives in Toronto, they sought a quieter place to delve more fully into their creative pursuits. Caulfield, who majored in Fine Arts from York University, spent most of his career writing and producing projects for radio, theatre, films and documentaries, many of which were featured in Toronto Fringe festivals.
“People need something to put a smile on their faces. During difficult times, like during COVID, now more than ever, that's what people need. I think that's important, to be able to help people in that way.” 28
Caulfield partnered with illustrator Alexandre Rouillard to create the cartoon Mustard and Baloney. After being well-received on GoComics.com, they released a paperback collection in 2014 titled Definitely. Out to Lunch. The
two went on to release a second collection called Butt Seriously. After years of working together, Rouillard moved on to other projects and Caulfield sought out a new illustrator. He was introduced to Brian Ponshock who instantly ‘got’ Caulfield’s sense of humour. They co-created a new cartoon titled Yaffle, named so after the English green woodpecker known for its unique laugh-like call. Their Yaffle is hidden in each cartoon panel in a Where’s Waldo - esque hidden challenge.
“We like to layer each panel so there's a lot going on in it to further enhance the joke, rather than just the punchline,” he says. “It's like a tapestry. You want to weave it all together and make it be a full quilt for people to keep them nice and warm and entertained.” It’s a gift for Caulfield when he sees someone reading one of his books. “At least for that moment, they are out of the realm of what they were thinking. People need something to put a smile on their faces. During difficult times, like during COVID, now more than ever, that's what people need. I think that's important, to be able to help people in that way.” Caulfield gets his inspiration from the everyday life around him. “When I’m out wandering around or driving I might see a sign and, for some reason, my brain just takes what I see and it flips it all over the place.” Once home, Caulfield fleshes out the idea and sends it to Ponshock via Dropbox, who then uses his interpretation of the joke to add imagery to the piece. This collaborative, yet remote way of working has allowed Caulfield and Ponshock to continue their work on Yaffle throughout the past year. “For us, the pandemic hasn’t really affected anything. I'm usually in the house a lot anyway,” he laughs. “Other than [the lack of] trade shows and festivals, it has not had any adverse effect on what we do. After the back and forth between Brian and I, it's done. And then I just load them up online.” Caulfield plans to release Yaffle in paperback in the near future.
His creative outlet has taken a decidedly different turn in more recent years. “I never was a 9 to 5 person. I'm not an office person. I just have to be creative in some capacity,” he says. “I started to do the cartooning a little later in life. And now that I'm a retired old fellow, cartooning is what I do.”
Lee Mellor and the dark art of true crime By Adam Gray
There is a man lurking
among us, skulking in the shadows, feverishly studying violent crime, relentlessly hammering away at his keyboard, editing audio interviews like a man possessed. His name is Lee Mellor, aka Dr. Mellor, a creative machine, a master of a dark art, one of the most respected figures in Canadian true crime. He is the author of seven books, and the host and creator of the edgy cult hit podcast Murder Was The Case (which has 192 episodes and counting). He’s also been a professional singer/ songwriter, is a criminologist with a PhD in homicide and sex crime, and still in 30s, he is just getting started. Mellor’s journey has been a complex one. Nomadic by nature, he was born in the northwest of England and relocated with his parents to Canada in 1988, where he grew up in Bowmanville, Ont. After studying film and earning
“...focus on putting words on a page for the same reason a lion focuses on stalking gazelle. The motivation is survival. Refuse to be anything but a lion.” a degree in history from Concordia University, he was struck by a mysterious illness that caused him to suffer chronic pain. Mellor had to regroup and learn to deal with his condition; he moved back in with his parents who were now living in a beautiful property on Little Lake in Brighton, Ont. Although this was a dark time in his life, it was also a turning point. 30
“I coped by vociferously reading true crime paperbacks and social science textbooks, while plotting a novel about
Literary a fictional RCMP profiler who would investigate aberrant homicides all over Canada,” says Mellor. “In preparation
for the story, I researched the untold and quasi-secret history of a serial murder in Canada. At that time the national narrative was that we'd only had Clifford Olson, Bernardo & Homolka, and Robert Pickton. I was certain that I would uncover a dozen other cases or so. To my shock, I found more than 60! At this point, my focus shifted from the novel to writing the first authoritative and comprehensive book on the history and phenomenon of Canadian serial killing: Cold North Killers.” He continues: “This is where it gets creepy. In January 2010, I learned about the suspicious disappearance of Jessica Lloyd in Belleville where my mom worked. Perhaps unsurprisingly, my mind leapt to ‘It's a serial killer!’ but then a more sensible internal voice followed with ‘Of course not, jackass, people go missing all the time. It's just because you're reading about serial 31
killers 24/7.’ Well, low and behold, not only did it turn out to be the work of a serial killer, but the now disgraced commander of CFB Trenton, Russell Williams, who, unbeknownst to me, had murdered Marie France Comeau right in Brighton in November 2009.”
Cold North Killers was published in 2012. Considering how events had transpired, Mellors says he wrote about the other 59 cases from a third-person perspective, but penned the Williams case from his “viewpoint with a more personal flavour.” Cold North Killers was a huge success and can still be found on bookshelves of all major bookstores across Canada. Mellor followed up with a companion piece Rampage: Canadian Mass Murder and Spree Killing, and while working on his PhD published two academic textbooks on the subject of aberrant
Literary violence. His last three books have all been for Dorling-Kindersley—a Penguin imprint based in the UK. They include
The Crime Book (2017), a stellar coffee table tome covering an eclectic array of misdeeds from around the world and throughout history; Behind the Horror (2020) which looks at the true stories that inspired some of the most chilling horror and thriller films; and the selfexplanatory Conspiracies Uncovered, which dropped earlier this year. When asked about his writing process Mellor says, “Grind. That 'sit down at a tidy desk with a cup of coffee and gaze serenely out of a window' you see in movies is the antithesis of what it's like for me. That sounds like a luxury for rich people who don't have to worry about meeting tight deadlines. Now, imagine a portly Viking in boxer shorts sitting in bed surrounded by scraps of paper with bizarre scribblings, burnt roach ends, and a half dozen empty tea-stained mugs, typing relentlessly on his laptop— sometimes for 18 hours straight—until 32
he can't go any longer. He might fall asleep in the morning, afternoon, or night. Structure does not map neatly onto his inspiration, so he dispenses with it. The ends justify the means, and the means are chaotic. Sheer force of will. I am that portly Viking.” Publishing seven books in eight years, while completing a PhD requires an enormous amount of focus and motivation. I ask him how he does it. “I don't allow myself an alternative. If I don't write, I can't put food in my belly or keep a roof over my head,” says Mellor. “When the alternative to writing is excruciating physical discomfort, you focus on putting words on a page for the same reason a lion focuses on stalking gazelle. The motivation is survival. Refuse to be anything but a lion.” Mellor’s podcast Murder Was The Case is not for the faint of heart. It’s true
Literary crime for advanced users: “The show is targeted at people who are intellectually curious, difficult to offend, and can take a joke,” he says. “It seems to be most popular with listeners from Gen X and the Oregon Trail generation.” Mellor’s dark sense of humor, combined with his encyclopedic knowledge and top-notch guests make for some very compelling listening. The show varies between academic criminology and relaxed ‘dive bar’ interviews with the top minds of true crime, during which they swill whiskey and delve deep into the underworld of violent crime and its offenders. Dr. Mellor is currently living in the UK and working on his first novel.
The A-frame Residency: with Felicity Williams Literary
By Kiki Carr
During her first visit
to Al Purdy’s A-frame many years ago, writer and musician Felicity Williams recorded his poetry into song. This time, as a part of the writer’s residency program, she wanted to continue the project and immerse herself over several weeks. Al Purdy was a great Canadian poet who built an A-frame house in Ameliasburg with his wife Eurithe in 1957. With neither of them having any credentials to do so, they graciously accepted helping hands throughout their labour of love. Their A-frame has become as folklore as the poet himself. When it came time to restore the A-frame after Al’s passing in 2000 and under Eurithe’s guidance, the Al Purdy A-frame Association was born. The aim has been to preserve this historical site in Canadian poetry and literature, while simultaneously providing a space to give back to the arts. Al Purdy’s poetry is infused with the colourful landscape, its people, and the A-frame’s four walls. The A-frame residency program offers a space to concentrate on work in a
preserved environment, surrounded by nature on the shores of Roblin Lake. Toronto-based Williams, who has toured all over the world in bands like Bernice and Bahamas, was supposed to do a five-week residency in the summer of 2020. As with most things during a most-unparalleled year, dates were changed and she stayed at the house for three weeks at the end of September and the beginning of October. She will be completing her final two weeks sometime in the (hopeful) near future. As Williams sat at the window overlooking Roblin Lake, the very same window that Al looked through to tell his stories through poetry, she observed the foliage and the animals he describes, as if time stood still. “For anybody who wants to get away and work on something, it’s a beautiful place to go,” she says. “But especially for me, because my project was specifically working on songs with his poems, to get a vision or the vision that he had was such a special opportunity.” As a place for connecting to his spirit, she explained the bookshelf that still has whispers of his presence: “His books are still there and his notes are 34
in the margin… it’s definitely a time capsule.” Williams goes on to describe in her final report submitted to the residency: “As I read about the house from within the house, Al’s words somehow stitched my present to his present in the past.” As she prepares for a new album release with the band Bernice, she looks forward to her next experience at the A-Frame. Her final two weeks are not yet scheduled, but as part of the program she will be contributing to a community-based project when the time comes. Joined by fellow Bernice bandmates Robin Dann and Dan Fortin, they will be offering a concert in Prince Edward County at the end of the final chapter of her residency. To connect in such a profound way in the space where many creations were born is a gift to all those who wish to taste it. Al and Eurithe opened their door to many visitors, sharing hospitality through food, drink and conversation. Much like when Al was still alive, their A-frame is living on to do the same for those seeking a place to feel at home in the comforts of a house built by many. alpurdy.ca/residency/
Literary ghost body, ghost draft ghost words are the words that won't let you get away with it they'll find you in a dream and say the thing you really mean freedom isn't enough you've got to move to make the form if i'm an outline waiting for an essence to appear i'll be waiting here all year
ghost drafts are the drafts that won’t let you get away with it they’ll find you in a word and say the thing you really mean dreaming isn’t enough you’ve got to move to make freedom if i’m a form waiting for an outline to appear i’ll be waiting here all year
confusion is the truth a truth i find i cannot use it's not part of the stem but what is at the root binding my body to what's no longer mine ~ everything in time
confusion is the essence an essence i find i cannot use it’s not part of the truth but what is at the stem binding my root to what’s no longer mine ~ everything in body
Learning the Kanyen’kéha language with an animated teacher When it comes to By Jennifer Shea
learning the native Mohawk language and culture of Kanyen’kéha, children and adults now have the option of following animated six-year-old Tsítha (sounds like Jee-tah) and her friends on the website, Learning with Tsítha (Tsatéweyenst Skátne ne Tsítha).
With funding from the Ontario Trillium Foundation, the website was created by the Tsi Tyonnhéht Onkwawen:na Language
and Cultural Centre (TTO) and launched in June 2020. In less than a year, the site has amassed more than 2,000 regular users from Toronto to Montreal – far beyond Tyendinaga Mohawk Territory.
Carman Maracle, Creative Director of the website, describes the main character as being similar to Dora the Explorer: “Tsítha is probably a six-year-old Kanyen’kéha girl, very inquisitive, very curious about nature and her community.
She likes solving problems; she gets involved in things where she thinks she can be helpful and does it in the language, which is key to the whole thing.”
Website visitors can watch animated stories, listen to an audiobook, or practice the language through word games, memory games and math challenges. Words are shown and sounded out by syllable and all of the pages have captions in English. Beyond learning the words of this beautiful native language, the site is filled with rich cultural references. For example, “The Beginning” is a video that describes the Rotinonhsyon:ni (Iroquois) creation story. Callie Hill, the Executive Director of the TTO, is especially pleased that the voiceover on the website has been done by a local family. “The mom and dad are both second language speakers
formal classes for children and adults. Says Hill, “We operate a school with pre-school and primary immersion from K to 4. Our adult program is accredited in partnership with Queen’s University – with a Certificate in Mohawk language and culture.” The future looks very bright for Tsítha and her animated friends. The creators would like to build the animated stories from the website into a TV series with
When developing the main character for the website, Hill and her team decided it was best to make it a young girl, in keeping with the Mohawk matrilineal culture. “We follow our mother’s line,” says Hill. “We have three (Mohawk) clans: Turtle, Wolf and Bear. My mom was a Turtle, which makes me a Turtle clan member. Anyone within your clan is really your relative.” The Learning with Tsítha/Tsatéweyenst Skátne ne Tsítha website is just the latest in a number of tools being employed to help teach the native Mohawk language and culture. SInce the late 1990s, the TTO has been offering a variety of methods to learn the language, including
APTN (Aboriginal Peoples Television Network), which could generate further resources to add more interactive components on the website. There’s also a teachers’ manual in the works that would accompany the website and facilitate more use by teachers, many of whom are also learning the language alongside their students. tsitha.ca
and then had their children and raised them as first language speakers. The voices of Tsítha and Tsianito (sounds like Jan-ee-toe) – the little girl and the beaver – are actually two young girls from our community and Sose (sounds like Zoh-zay) is (voiced by) their dad. It’s a real success story, I think. The other voices throughout the website all come from people in our community who have taken on the responsibility to learn the language as adults.”
A marble milestone: 10th anniversary for Tweed’s Marble Arts Centre By Ardith Racey
There is only one white
marble church in all of Canada - and it’s located in Actinolite, a hamlet just north of Tweed. “It’s really unique,” says Bonnie Marentette, one of the Directors of the Marble Arts Centre (MAC), which purchased the church in 2005. The marble for the church was hewn and quarried nearby. Marentette also says that the trowel used to lay the cornerstone in 1864 was discovered last year by the son of a former minister and returned to the MAC. However, a box containing various mementos, which was deposited in the cornerstone, has never been found. Between the purchase of the building in 2005 and the first live performance by the Young Family in 2011, the MAC orchestrated many renovations supported by donors, volunteers, and grants. Essentially, the church was retrofitted as a performing arts venue,
complete with a kitchen and stage area. The church originally seated 500, but now seats 120; comfy, cushioned seats have replaced the 13 feet long wooden pews. Since its opening, the MAC has been regularly used by the Tweed & Company Theatre, the Marble Arts Players, and the Marble Arts Student Theatre. Vicki McCulloch, Chair of the Board of Directors, says that they were “eking out an existence between 2010 and 2018” when the group decided to “change the model” by seeking higher profile artists, connecting with the Ontario Festival of Small Halls, acquiring a liquor license and expanding the audience through the use of Eventbrite. “2019 was a very successful year with roughly 25 events,” says McCulloch, “and 2020 was shaping up to be an even better year.” Then, COVID-19 hit. However, Marentette believes that the “incredible number of 38
donations and new memberships since COVID,” prove that “people really miss what we were doing.” They’ve managed to generate enough revenue to maintain overhead costs due to a very supportive community. Post pandemic? McCulloch says that events “take months of planning” and that given the poor internet in the hamlet, virtual performances are not an option. She says that there may be smaller events, and although she does not have a “crystal ball” she’s optimistic that the white marble church will host many future events. The MAC will also mark the 10th anniversary of its first performance on June 11 - a small milestone given the building’s long history. After all, the MAC’s gorgeous, white, marble walls have only been standing for 157 years. Expect a few more marble milestones. tweedartscouncil.ca
By Janet Jarrell
For over 25 years,
the Quinte Arts Council has recognized individuals and/or businesses who have made a difference to the arts in our community with our Arts Recognition Awards. Without exception, these recipients make Quinte a destination for those craving a vibrant arts and culture scene. Traditionally, winners are celebrated at The Luncheon for the Arts, which is held in September. The 2020 Arts Recognition Awards Celebration was held virtually on Thursday December 3, 2020 via Zoom, and featured special guests Mayor Mitch Panciuk and musical guests Instant Rivalry. Local woodturner James Walt created the awards. This year, we celebrated five local arts champions: Peter Davis (posthumous award) was the first designer of the QAC's publication Umbrella (then a newspaper), retiring in 2012 after 20 years. He grew up in a house full of paint and clay and knew early on this would be his profession. He worked in Toronto as a painter, illustrator, photographer and graphic artist for magazines such as Maclean's, Financial Post, Quest and Homemakers. On December 21, 2019, Peter Davis passed away peacefully at home, at the age of 82, after a long decline.
Executive Director at the QAC, and as the General Manager/ Concert Manager at Quinte Symphony that fostered a “deep respect for musicians.”
Carol Bauer spent almost 25 years at the QAC where she worked alongside Peter Davis on the Umbrella. Her focus at the QAC was on arts education and performing arts programs overseeing memorable programs such as The Jeunesses Musicales Series of Classical Music and Opera, the Kids' Playhouse Series, the World Music and Dance program, the spectacular Two Weeks in May Festival of the Arts and many more.
Jennifer Pries (emerging artist award) owns and operates Studio on the Farm in Roslin, Ont., and teaches in different disciplines: painting, drawing, printing and yarn work, encouraging creativity to those around her. She has taught in our local schools, teaching 80 grade 2 students Christmas sign making. She started a sketch club via Facebook during Covid-19 to keep artists inspired, engaged and creative.
Marilyn Lawrie has many career highlights including stage managing the musical created by artistic director Caroline Smith that opened the Stirling Festival Theatre, Executive Director at Quinte Ballet School of Canada, a two-year term as
We thank our sponsors Elexicon Energy and the City of Belleville, and Paul Dinkel of Paulo’s and Dinkels Restaurants.
Christopher Bennett is a well-known visual artist, dancer, teacher, entrepreneur behind SeRnA custom Artwork, and muralist, who recently completed the “Essential Workers” mural on Dundas Street West. He is an enthusiastic advocate for the arts and for providing opportunities for both youth and adults.
Quinte Arts Council
Celebrating our local arts champions
(b 1980) is a self-taught artist living in
Quinte, Ontario. He primarily uses charcoal and graphite to draw images with photographic precision. Connell uses his art to explore the human condition.
Hope (48cm by 70cm) is rendered in charcoal. Connell prefers not to accompany his pieces with any explanation; just the image and title, allowing for the individual to bring their own authentic experience to the work: “With all the disorienting chatter in the world today, I find it refreshing to observe a piece of art and out of the silence form my own thoughts and opinions.”
Hope is one of his larger drawings and took about 80 hours to complete: “Every once in a while I reach a new level of understanding when it comes to the amount of realism I am able to create. At these thresholds I find the time it takes increases as I reach a greater mastery of technique.”
Content created in collaboration with the Bay of Quinte Regional Marketing Board