Cultivating Creativity

Art Now Quinte

Cultivating Creativity

Kodie Trahan-Guay

Art Now Quinte

Art Now Quinte is a three-night showcase of contemporary visual and performance work that is taking place in Belleville September 23rd and 24th from 8-11 p.m. This showcase features many different forms of art meant to challenge or inspire the audience.

The founder of Art Now Quinte, Frank Gielen, had the idea of hosting a contemporary art festival in Belleville in order to support younger and emerging artists. He approached the Quinte Arts Council for support.

“We see this project as the essential support that is so important for the holistic development of young artists, their emotional well-being, and how they contribute to the vibrancy of our community. Showcasing this new generation of artists nurtures their creativity, builds confidence, and provides opportunities for personal growth and cultural enrichment. Frank is giving these artists the space they need to connect with their community; we will do what we can to amplify this project,” says Janet Jarrell, Executive Director for the Quinte Arts Council.

Art Now Quinte put out a call to artists and those interested were able to apply to become part of the festival. The festival is made possible through grants which enabled Art Now to pay the artists for their participation and creation. All funds raised are going directly to artists.

Fan Wu, the curator of Art Now Quinte joined and will help to write grants and assist with the overall vision of the festival.

There is a wide range of artistic forms showcased during Art Now Quinte. April Martin will be showing pottery, Ben McCarthy sound and video work, Hamish Ballantyne translation and translation workshops, Naomi McCarroll-Butler will be doing solo improvisation, Tam Vu is creating installation art while Ami Xherro and Faraz Anoushahpour are doing performance art.

“Every artist works in a different “medium,” but at the juncture point of all these disparate mediums is the ever-flowing fact of experience where all the arts meet,” says Wu. “I believe that the essence of the aesthetic can best be approached through the myriad of disparate forms.”

This festival highlights new and traditional forms of artistic expression, giving a place for emerging artists to come together to showcase their work.

“It feels like there’s no shortage of young people who are involved in the arts. The question for me is how to resource them, especially as “the arts” becomes more dispersed than ever before; as new forms such as social media, video games, and virtual zones become sites for exhibition and performance,” says Wu.

“It is encouraging that the Ontario Arts Council sees the importance of giving young artists the opportunity to develop and share their art,” adds Gielen.

For families wanting to take part in the festival, the team of Art Now Quinte believes the show is likely PG13 but as some of the work is improvised they want parents to judge for themselves. The show is open to everyone and takes place downtown at Theatre in the Wings and the Quinte Arts Council Cultural Hub. The evening shows run from 8-11 p.m. with the studio being open during the day.

“Entrance will be free and we hope that many will come to see and experience what some contemporary artists are doing,” says Gielen.

“The performances and exhibitions will lean toward the immersive and participatory, so we’d love the community to simply attend with open minds,” says Wu.

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