This is a guest post by my dear friend and fellow artist Trisha Lynn Smith. Please share this very important post!!!
On August 12, 2014 my boyfriend shaved his head, well to be more precise, I shaved his head! He donated his hair to A Child’s Voice Foundation to help make wigs for children with cancer.
6 months later, I was diagnosed with breast cancer.
My Surgery (a lumpectomy) was thankfully successful and I am delighted to announce that no further complications arose. As a preventative measure 4 months of chemo and 25 days of radiation was still recommended by my doctor. After carefully considering my options, I made a conscious decision forgo this unnecessary attack on my body and focus on treatments that heal. Treatments that boost my immune system and strengthen my body to promote self-healing and well being.
Even though I have chosen not to go ahead with chemotherapy treatment, I have decided that I would like to donate my hair anyways. I am donating my hair for other cancer patients who (unlike myself) don’t have the option to choose not to undergo harsh chemotherapy treatments. I am doing this for them.
How you can help:
On Wednesday April 15 we are hosting an inspiring evening to celebrate healing. The event is called "Frequency: Exploring the Healing Option" and has been inspired by supportive healing therapies that use light and frequency to heal the body. Healing therapies that I have chosen to explore as a healthier alternative to chemotherapy and radiation.
Because most of these “alternative” treatments are not covered by OHIP, we will be fundraising for my continued healing journey and selling one of a kind original artwork focused on healing sound frequencies created by my partner and successful artist, Sanjay Patel. Check out this sneak preview to check out his work: http://youtu.be/cMhKBlkdWOw
Please share this event and come out for a night filled with art, music and friends. Even if we haven’t met yet, your presence would mean the world to me: https://www.facebook.com/events/1624170847816588/
If you are inspired to donate now, or can’t attend the evening, follow the link to our online campaign http://www.gofundme.com/prt9iw
Thank you for listening and for supporting my healing journey!
Call to Artists: SUPERNOVA 2015 Presented by No Vacancy Art.
Application deadline: Thursday April 30, 2015
No Vacancy Art is delighted to accept submissions from artists working in contemporary installation/new media for our banner event of the year, SUPERNOVA.
Supernova is a free one-night-only installation art event that engages a wide public audience in the experience of exceptional works of contemporary installation/new media art, within the context of spaces not typically associated with viewing art. In addition to 30+ art installations; programming includes live music, beer garden, meditation lounge, and more.
Event date: Friday September 18, 2015.
Location: Multiple indoor/outdoor spaces in downtown Burlington, Ontario, Canada.
No Vacancy Art invites artists working in contemporary installation/new media to submit ONE recent work, (created during the past two years), to be considered for inclusion in the Art programming for Supernova. Submissions will be juried at arms length by a panel of arts professionals, who will evaluate the submissions based on their visual impact, creative/innovative concept/use of materials, how the work fits within the context of contemporary art practices, and how the work engages/interacts with a broad viewing public.
Supernova 2015 Jurors:
Carol Podedworny, Director & Curator
McMaster Museum of Art
Denis Longchamps, Chief Curator
Art Gallery of Burlington
Inuit Art Foundation
Interested artists are asked to submit the following:
• Full contact information.
• Artist Statement describing in detail the proposed work, 500 words maximum. Please include in your description whether or not the work is suitable for indoor/outdoor space (or both), and any specific installation requirements.
• Biography, maximum 200 words.
• Current artist C.V., 3 pages maximum.
• 2-3 images of ONE recent work, (2013 or later), to be evaluated by the jury.
• 3-5 supporting images to provide context for the artist's overall artistic practice. All images must be JPEG format, 300dpi, no larger than 1MB in size, and labelled and numbered in the following manner: Last name_First name_01_title.jpeg
• Image list detailing submitted images, including: title, medium, dimensions, and date completed.
• Web links to video footage of submitted work, if applicable.
Please email the above to: email@example.com by Thursday April 30, 2015.
Note: Late or incomplete submissions will not be reviewed by the jury.
ABOUT NO VACANCY ART
No Vacancy Art is a not for profit provincial charitable arts organization committed to curating outstanding pop-up art events in the city of Burlington and advancing the profile of contemporary art. We place a strong emphasis on contemporary installation art and favour work that is provocative, exciting, thought provoking, or complex in nature.
We frequently make use of vacant or non-typical space by transforming it through the experience of art. Our events typically involve multiple artists using a variety of spaces. We aim to support and showcase the best contemporary art talent by providing opportunities for emerging and mid-career artists to reach new audiences and push the boundaries of their art.
No Vacancy believes in fair compensation for participating artists, and therefore adheres to the CARFAC fee schedule.
For more information, please visit us at: www.novacancyart.com
Please direct all inquiries to:
Artist Relations Officer, No Vacancy
I remember the conversation that started everything. My husband and I were talking about how disappointing it was to be leaving the city all the time to check out art events. "Why can't we experience the kind of art that we enjoy here?" was the question that spawned everything. We love contemporary art (especially installation art), but we hate having to leave Burlington to experience it. The driving, or cabs and trains if you're drinking, the logistics of it all can be so daunting sometimes. So No Vacancy just HAD to be born. The concept for No Vacancy has always been pop-up contemporary art events in vacant spaces; here one day gone the next. Interestingly, we wanted our first event to be at a motel and originally approached The Ascot Motel, on the waterfront but the business end of things didn't work out, so we gave up on them and approached The Waterfront Hotel instead and they were gracious enough to let us do our first multi-artist installation on an entire floor of their hotel. The evening was a success. It was a much smaller ticketed event, and really a pilot test for us to take the temperature here.
But what we discovered is that Burlington is hungry for more contemporary art.
So now here we are about to embark on our most ambitious art event ever. Last year's event at The Waterfront Hotel was great and exceeded our expectations. But this year's event is scary ambitious. With 30 unique art installations, an art market, a beer garden and being a FREE event open to the public - we are kind of at a loss for words to explain the magnitude of what we are doing here. There is really no way to gauge how successful this event will be, or how many people will attend. But if the word on the street is any indication, it's gonna be a big deal.
That very important conversation between my husband and I... that idea, is what gave birth to No Vacancy. And now we are a registered charity, so our impact in the community will continue to grow. That makes us excited, because we have SO many things that we want to do here.
Never give up on your ideas. They are so important and can create magical things.
Peace & Peaches,
Putting on an event like Cirque is pretty ambitious (and scary). Especially when you are dependent on volunteers and sponsorship. Our volunteers are gracious and giving of their time and energy and do it for the love of art and community involvement. These people deserve special recognition because they are the magic behind what we do.
Thank you: Shannon Kitchings, Dean McCall, Laura Elliott, Michelle Fox, and the C.O.B. Life team Steve, Eric, and Kelly! Big love to you guys!
Without our sponsors, we would not be able to do any printing, marketing, pay or feed our artists, or cover the astronomical costs associated with holding an event of this size. There are so many things to pay for (things like fencing, security, garbage collection, permits, insurance)... Just a never ending list really. So a GIGANTIC thank you goes out to our incredible sponsors for making this event financially possible:
The City of Burlington
Son of a Peach Pizzeria
Marianne Meed Ward
Rayhoon Persian Eatery
The Gym on Pearl
David H Coons Insurance
The Burlington HIVE
Design 4 Contracting
Siskos & Associates
And our arts & cultural partners:
Art Gallery of Burlington
Sheridan College Animation
The Sound of Music Festival
True Essence Media
The Underground YMCA Youth Centre
Tottering Biped Theatre
The Burlington Student Theatre
There really are no words beyond THANK YOU that seem like enough. I can only hope that on the evening of September 19th, you will truly understand the meaning of your contribution and see the direct impact that your involvement has on our great community.
It's that time. The time where we anxiously await the proposals of incredibly talented contemporary installation artists from around Southern Ontario to show us their ideas. We are now accepting proposals for Cirque in September. For those of you who don't know about Cirque, it's basically Burlington's Nuit Blanche! It will be the coolest art night Burlington has ever seen. And you now have this amazing even to look forward to not just this year, but every year. For more information, you can check out the Cirque event page!
If you're a badass contemporary artist interested in participating in Cirque, slide over to our Call for Submissions page to check out the proposal criteria. We're looking for exceptional work by exceptional people.
We look forward to welcoming your proposal.
Peace + Peaches,
i don't know exactly how it happened, or when it happened... but it happened. We sort of let the website go a little bit. You know how like we as people do when we're all comfortable in a long term relationship and we eat a few too many take-out meals, stop exercising and gain some cupcake weight? That's sorta what happened here. The No Vacancy website gained some cupcake weight.
SORRY ABOUT THAT!
And it was keeping me up at night. I would wake up in a cold sweat thinking "oh gawd. the website is horrible. what if someone looks at it." But then inevitably I would drift back off to sleep and awake the next morning to the plethora of other tasks and responsibilities on my daily plate and well, forget about it.
But thanks to a week-long attack with a relentless flu, I was forced to cancel many of my meetings and confined to the walls of my home. This proved to be a very good thing because as horrible as I have been feeling, I have been able to be productive and accomplish things - like make the website better. Time to shed those extra cupcake pounds around the old web waist belt.
So new site... Sexier, streamlined, minimal but beautiful. That's what I'm going for. No unnecessary cupcake weight making us look frumpy. I hope you enjoy and appreciate the hours on the design treadmill. I really hope it adds to your enjoyment of the website.
Peace + Peaches,
1. When did you first start getting serious about art?
I've always been interested in different versions of the arts. I performed dance for several years, did some fashion design through grade school and got into performing plays and musicals alongside my photography. More recently I've been getting into drawing and sketching.
2. What would you say is your genre or style?
I think I have more of a provoking style, I try to make people think or bring out certain emotions or memories with my work and try to connect with the viewer better.
3. Do you hope to have a career in art one day? If so, any particular area?
I do hope to have a career in art one day, most likely acting with photography as a sideline job.
4. What inspires you the most to create your art?
I think that life and nature inspire me. A lot of my photography is of movement or nature to capture a moment in time with artistic style and form.
5. What artists or creative people do you look up to?
I look up to Ariana Grande a lot. She puts her heart into her work and always does her job to the best of her ability. She also really enjoys helping others which is something I'd love to do if I had more free time.
6. Do you have any direct experience with bullying?
I have plenty of direct experience with bullying. I remember being bullied ever since the first grade and now, in grade eleven, it still happens to me. I know it doesn't get easier to take, but it almost becomes a way of living and something you grow to expect out of people when you've had as much experience being the victim as I have.
7. Do you think art can change behaviour and cultural norms?
I think art can be a starting point for changing behaviour and cultural norms. If the artist can provoke a reaction, emotion or sympathy from their viewer it'll leave them thinking. Thinking about the work will lead to the viewer changing their way of living to suit how they feel after seeing the work and it can have a big impact when it's spread around.
1) When did you first start getting serious about art?
when I was around 13-14 I became serious about my art, I always want my art to be pleased to others because I want to be the one with the art that people talked about or people wanted. I am very proud about every art piece I create.
2) What would you say is your genre or style?
I would say the genre or style of my art is unknown because I like my art to be abstract, animal related, I want it to include a memory I have experienced or to have a message of sort to inspire.
3) Do you hope to have a career in art one day? If so, any particular area?
My career choice is in no means to be a pro artist, for my career I want to be an architect technician because it includes some of my favourite things, drawing, being creative, making a difference with my ideas and working hard to please myself.
4) What inspires you the most to create your art?
the way people act, good or bad, will inspire me most with my abstract art. Any amazing memory I have I will try to include in some of my art. Most importantly I try to include an important message in my art work from things like, be strong, be happy, be yourself, don't listen to others, stop bullying and you can make a difference, because it's all true and some people just need to hear it.
5) What artists or creative people do you look up to?
a creative and amazing artist/person that I look up to for inspiration is Kat Von D, she is a well know tattoo artist in LA and she doesn't care what others think, she is more the 100% confident in herself and I want to be someone like that, her art is out of this world.
6) Do you have any direct experience with bullying?I don't like to totally talk about many things like that because I feel it's all just opinions, but I have been bullied because people thought I was stupid, a liar, weird and annoying. I have been pushed to the ground, talked about, in-salted, and embarrassed but I stand right back up with my head held high and I smile on my face and move on, because in the end they are just wanting someone to pick on, wether it's me or someone else I'm still the better person because I know how to move on and be mature.
7) Do you think art can change behaviour and cultural norms?
I think art is a way to express your feelings and emotions, some people use it to vent their feelings or find peace and calmness with themselves and I think it can change the behaviour of many people because they can open up about things and change who they are personally and religiously.
When did you first start getting serious about art?
Never. Hahaha. I've never taken art too seriously. For me, making art is just another way to create culture, but so are things like talking to people, going for walks, or choosing an outfit. I make art, but I don't consider myself an artist any more than any other person; we're all artists, in the same way that we're all art. I think that the divide between artists and non-artist is bogus. Give any kid a crayon and he'll go nuts with it; it's just a matter of carrying that curiosity, creativity, and vulnerability into later parts of your life. But to answer more pragmatically, my interest in producing and sharing started to blossom in early 2010, thanks in part to an invitation to ArtTimeCollective, an online community started by some great folks.
What would you say is your genre or style?
I definitely get asked that a lot when people find out I make art, and I never have a good answer. My art ranges from dark to cheerful, and from science-oriented to psychedelic. I have a love for words, so my first posts were poems, but I soon discovered the fun world of collages. But I've also delved into making jewellery, making felted objects, sketching, painting, and just fooling around with whatever I get my hands on. There's not really anything I can say to sum up my art, but anyone that's interested can feel free to check it out here:http://arttimecollective.com/author/kaleidoscopeflux/
Do you hope to have a career in art one day? If so, any particular area?
Yes and no. I plan on making my living from a diversity of different projects. I can see selling prints or books of poems in my future, but it's not something I'm banking on. I make art because I like making art, or because I have the urge to express myself in a certain way. The thought of devoting my life to art and making my living from it doesn't really appeal to me, but I'd be interested to see if my art would sell. I wouldn't be opposed to making my art accessible by selling it at a low cost. That being said, most of my uploads are scanner-resolution, so anyone that wanted could print them off themselves. I like it that way, but my buddies say my files are taking up too much space :P
What inspires you the most to create your art?
Oh, jeez. Hahaha. So many things. Sometimes, it's the medium I work with; other times, it's a message I feel like putting out there. I find I'm at my most productive when a lot of new things are happening in my life. New experiences are crucial for self-development, as our constructed realities fall short of the real thing. Look at the messages of Taoism, Buddhism, linguistic relativity: we understand the world through categories which are far from perfect; such is the human condition. Altering our mental states by traveling, camping, walking around new parts of the city, meditating, experimenting, and so on, are all ways to bring novelty into our lives and break up some of the tired categories we live by. I end up making art out of necessity, in order to process ideas I've encountered in life and to reconstruct some of these categories; it plays a huge role in making sense of a world that's equal parts beautiful and horrifying.
What artists or creative people do you look up to?
The first one that came to mind was Norval Morrisseau, for his vibrant use of colour and the abstract simplicity of his works. I was really into MC Escher's work when I was younger. Recently, I discovered Walter Coucill's watercolours, and I've been really digging those. And of course, I'm always happy to see a new post from my friends on ArtTimeCollective. I'm pretty diverse in my tastes, and I don't like to pick favourites of anything. I enjoy fine art and graffiti alike; I try to be open-minded, but have little patience for pretentiousness.
Do you have any direct experience with bullying?
I'd be very surprised to meet someone who doesn't. I think we've all been bullied at some point, and are willing to admit to that fairly easily, even if we're not keen to go into any detail. I think it's harder for people to recognize that they've also been on the other end, doing the bullying as well. We're not born with the complete knowledge of how to navigate social situations; we've all been unfair to other people at some point in our lives. That's no justification for bullying people; it's the opposite. I think that if we try to understand what drives us to bully one another, we'll learn a lot. We're very quick to point people out as bullies, and then take remedial action against them. I worry that the anti-bullying movement is easily converted to an "us vs. them" mentality, which is ironically the very essence of bullying.
Do you think art can change behaviour and cultural norms?
Absolutely; ideas can be immensely powerful.
We've been busy working on our youth pop-up exhibit. In February we will be curating a multi-artist exhibit featuring the work of several talented youth artists in Burlington. The hope is that the work will bring a profound sense of emotion to the exhibit by depicting what bullying truly feels like either from the perspective of an onlooker or a victim.
The problem with most anti-bullying campaigns is that they lack a sense of emotional depth, so they become simply slogans on a wall, general assemblies or posters in the school gym. We often don't identify with the campaigns because they seem too general and vague. What we need is a an authentic glimpse into the effect that bullying has on victims so that we can connect with that on a more human level and change our perception about bullying.
Teenagers have it harder than ever. High school is an intense place, and now thanks to social media and online communities bullying often continues at home, giving the victims no solace or sense of security. This leads to emotional problems, depression, anxiety, mental illness, and in some cases suicide. If we just took a minute to think about our actions and words and their emotional impact on others, perhaps we could move to a place of greater love and respect for each other. It's not just teenagers who need to embrace this inclusive attitude, adults do too. How can we expect our younger counterparts to respect and love one another when bullying happens in the workplace, online, and in adult communities too? We all need to think before we speak, love before we judge, and listen before we act.
Selina Jane Eckersall is a content marketing strategist, freelance writer and entrepreneur living and working in Burlington ON. Selina is the Executive Director of No Vacancy.