Monthly Musical Member Video – Jenna Kessler

Each month we’ll feature a video from one of GAC’s musical members. If you’re a musician and have a video you’d like us to feature, please send a YouTube link our way along with a short bio.

This month, we visit multidisciplinary artist Jenna Kessler, who released an EP earlier this year. People may also have seen Jenna’s illustrations on this summer’s Taste Detours recipe book called “Little Bites: Tastes from Isolation”. We know autumn just started, but the lyric video for “Forest Black and Warm” features some beautiful winter scenery, and also a cameo from a four-legged friend!

Jenna Kessler
For the last decade, Jenna Kessler has been working as a farmer and illustrator, cultivating a relationship with the land and memorializing plants and landscapes in her paintings. In between, she was carefully crafting a collection of songs that reflect her unique, artistic vision of the world and careful attention to detail. Her poetic new EP, A Still Life, is the culmination of these reflections in musical form. These piano-driven songs are written through the observation of a quiet moment, translating that feeling of stillness into melody and harmony. The intimate themes are decorated with surprise ragtime twists, staccato horn lines, soaring cello sections, and howling harmonies.

Visiting Jenna Kessler’s website will allow you to learn about this multidisciplinary artist’s music as well as other creative endeavours. You may purchase Jenna’s latest EP on Bandcamp, where we like to remind you each month that they have committed to continue forgoing their share of artist sales on the first Friday of each month until the end of the year. That means you have three more months after this one to put a little more money in the pockets of Jenna Kessler and many of your other favourite musicians.

And now, sit back and enjoy this relaxing and beautiful lyric video for Jenna Kessler’s “Forest Black and Warm” 

Jane Graham Memorial Award Now Accepting Applications

By Ahmri Vandeborne

Guelph Arts Council is currently accepting applications for the Jane Graham Memorial Award, until October 15, 2020 at 4:00 pm for paper applications and 11:59 pm for online applications. In memory of Guelph visual artist Jane Graham, this award was established so that local visual artists from Guelph or Wellington County can develop their professional development portfolio and seek out opportunities that they might not otherwise be able to pursue.

GAC appoints a volunteer award jury with representatives from the local visual arts community, past award recipients, GAC, and the Graham family, and this year, award recipient(s) will be notified in late Fall 2020.

We connected with the 2019 award recipients, Annie Burgess and Jagdeep Reina, to talk about their experience with the application process and using the award funds, as well as how COVID-19 affected their plans. They also provided advice for artists planning on applying this year. Burgess requested assistance to help with the costs of the Intermediate/Advanced Pottery-Throwing course at Haliburton School of Art & Design, Fleming College, to help her move towards her goal of blurring the line between craft and fine art as well as to better her skills as an instructor. In pursuit of expanding his artistic practice in textiles, Reina requested funds for spinning classes with local artist Alisa McRonald, with a long-term goal of making a “phulkari,” an embroidered textile art form that is almost a lost art in the villages of Punjab.

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Annie Burgess with her barnacle mugs ready to be bisqued.

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by Barbara Salsberg Mathews

Taking time for regular self-care is crucial to a healthy mind, body and soul. Living through a pandemic adds additional concerns such as health, finances and safety. During times like this our minds can go into worrying overtime, but there are things you can do to improve your reaction to stress.

Best-selling author Laurie M. Martin is a certified trauma specialist and critical incident responder who believes worry can show itself in many ways. Martin has been involved with many high-profile disasters, including the Oklahoma City Bombing, the Walkerton Water Crisis, 9/11, and the hurricanes in 2018. To calm our thoughts Martin suggested using the analogy of a suitcase:

“Allow yourself to go into that suitcase and pull out some thoughts and feelings, think about them, then return them. If we did that daily, it would help us to understand and feel, instead of keeping it all locked up with the lid closed.”

Self Care Art New
Artwork by Barbara Salsberg Mathews

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Guelph Fall Festivals and Arts Events

By Mike Baker

Fall is here and with the change of season there are local things to see and do to 'stay in touch' with local art initiatives.

The changing times have been a challenge to us and events have had to 'pivot' due to current circumstances.  Here's a list of fall 'happenings' that remain a part of our landscape that are presenting opportunities for us all, be they business as usual, a different format or promise of a return during the same period this time next year.

Culture Days: Sept 25-Oct 25

A national celebration of arts and culture, inviting the public to get hands-on and behind-the-scenes to highlight the importance of arts and culture in our communities. This year the celebrations have been extended beyond the traditional Culture Days weekend, to a more inclusive and interactive 4-week schedule of activities. Kicking off September 25th and running until October 25th, Culture Days invites everyone to participate in and show appreciation for arts and culture in their own communities and nationwide! Check out virtual and in-person Culture Days activities in Guelph.

Guelph Film Festival is On(Line): Nov 6 -14

The Guelph Film Festival is going ahead this year, but with a different look.

“We will be presenting our 2020 Festival online (November 6-14). This is a challenging time, and while we cannot be together in the ways we want to be, our stories are more important than ever.

Which is why we will be presenting an amazing festival of documentary films that embody and explore our commitment to social justice, our environment, and community building. We believe documentary film can be a catalyst for conversations about change in a time of crisis, as well as being an opportunity to learn and uplift.

Our program is an amazing way to explore the wider world without leaving your home through films like The Dilemma of Desire, an exploration of "cliteracy" and the clash between gender politics and female sexual desire, and Coded Bias which explores the intersection of facial recognition software and racism. These, along with a groundbreaking line-up of Indigenous-made shorts, exclusive feature length and short documentaries, entertaining kids' programming (including Tiny Docs by Tiny People), exciting community partnerships, and dynamic panel discussions means that our 2020 festival will be one to remember.” - Guelph Film Festival

Full Festival Passes will be available starting in October 2020 on a sliding scale from $35-$75 (you choose your price point!). Each pass will allow you full access to all of our films On-Demand for the duration of the festival (9 days). Guelph Film Festival will also be presenting four exclusive live streaming events featuring panel discussions, short films, and exciting guests from around the world. The GFF is a recognized artistic leader in our community because of their unique mission to challenge the norms of the film industry and society, spark community conversations, and highlight marginalized voices.

Bumaroo Livestream: Sept 26

Bumaroo is proud to present their annual music and arts festival this year, live streamed to you from their headquarters in Guelph, Ontario.

“We've been working tirelessly to bring you a myriad of amazing talent and entertainment this September 26th 2020. Bumaroo was founded on the goal of showcasing and supporting emerging artists and musicians in the local community by providing digital and event-based platforms. With the absence of live events these days, we’ve decided to move Bumaroo Festival to an online live-streamed format. It will combine performances from local bands, art-making workshops, fashion & design, live art, a prize giveaway, and local business promotions.”

 - Bumaroo

Behind the scenes with Bumaroo. Photo credit Bumaroo.

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