HAPPY EASTER!   It’s been a while since our last sharing of news. We have been very busy preparing for the coming season. Scheduling exhibitions in the main Gallery in Portage-du-Fort and setting up our summer School program (we are still open to submissions!) is a major task. We are also working on grant applications and trying to streamline the work involved for our Treasurer.

First and foremost, we invite you to mark your calendars for our GALA OPENING  on FRIDAY, JUNE 2 at the Stone School Gallery, in Portage-du-Fort, to celebrate the stunning work of one of our founding members, Ruby Ewen. It is also the occasion to mark second season of Stone Stone School Shop, where you will find a diverse collection of fine art and crafts. Join us to meet Ruby and many of the artists with work in the Shop. As always, there will be delicious food and refreshments, along with the chance to meet many of our artists, your board, old friends and new.

Now for the News! We want to share information about four really interesting projects, we are developing. We would love to hear any comments or questions you may have.

PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT DAY  Artists of all stripes share issues when it comes to being an Artist. We all need to learn, or refresh our understanding of how to professionally present, share, promote and protect our work. To this end, artPontiac is holding the first of a possible 3 conferences on Monday, 1 May at Cafe 349, in Shawville, 8:30 a.m. – 4 p.m. Local artist Jean-Philippe Smith, appointed Dominion Sculptor in 2021, is our featured speaker. Other speakers will address topics such as: how to professionally present, share, promote and protect your work; how to respond and prepare your work for a juried or gallery show; copyright as it applies to your work; and, how digital tools can be used to assist traditional practices. $60 for Members, $75 for non-Members. Coffee and muffins, lunch and afternoon refreshments included. Click here for more info.

ANIMALIA (3-27 August) This year, our second multimedia group show will focus on conservation. We are inviting artists and artisans to celebrate the wildlife of our boreal forest – insects, butterflies, reptiles, birds and mammals. In addition to the work of more than twenty artists, we will have talks on by experts, outlining projects in road ecology, in the upper Ottawa Valley, on both sides of the river, to map areas of where wildlife intersects with roads (with tragic consequences). We will also have free family workshop for children and parents (and grandparents) to create finger puppets of their favorite animals. All part of raising awareness of the very precious wildlife we enjoy and need to protect for the future. Click here for more info.

MURAL CREATION Modelled on a project involving a sister art association in Maine; we are putting together a proposal to create one or two murals in the Pontiac to provide our artists with an opportunity in contributing to a collaborative project celebrating the natural history and settlement of the area. Jelly Massee is helping us to set up the project. Each artist will receive training to create and be paid for creation of one or more panels which are later assembled on site under the guidance of a master muralist. We have a small group of artists who have expressed interest but we can take more! Click here for more info.

SUMMER CAMP – for Adult Artists who like to Play!  A  rethinking of our past, very successful ‘residency’ weeks, we are planning a 5-day series of workshops, studio tours, plein air painting and musical evenings. July 23-28. Participants will pay a fee to attend each day (local participants will pay half the cost of those from outside the region who require accommodation). Each morning will include a mask-making with well-known artist Clelia Scala, for those interested in the process and creating one to include in Animalia. Why not wear your mask to the Vernissage? We are looking for accommodation for up to 15 artists from outside the region. Local hosts will be compensated for each night’s stay and breakfast. Click here for more info.

Other Activities

MRC MAP OF ART STUDIOS AND GALLERIES After nearly a year of collaboration between artPontiac and the Regional Municipalities of the Pontiac (MRC), work on the Gateway map is almost done. MRC is overseeing the final design and production of the map which will encourage visitors to create their own itineraries and visit the studios (by appointment), galleries and shops of participating artists and businesses. The goal is to have the map ready for distribution across the region in May. A reminder for participating businesses, the very last date to submit your graphics and pay your basic Sponsorship is Wednesday 5th of April if you wish your ads to be included in our brochure as well as on the Map.

NEW OFF SITE GALLERIES As part of the creation of the Map, we are happy to announce several new venues for our Members to show their work. ArtPontiac has been working with Cafe 349 increase the number of shows each year to twelve, including a new group show for Members in December. As of 1st of May, we will have new space available for artists to display gift cards and crafts in the front shop. Otherwise, the main Gallery at Cafe 349 is fully booked for this year but we are inviting artists to apply for an exhibition in 2024. That gives you lots of time to prepare!

We are also very excited about the new wall space being created at Brauwerk Hoffman  Brewery and restaurant in Campbell’s Bay. Open on Friday and Saturday, over the summer, the Gallery will be available for Vernissages on Thursday evenings, with guests able to book dinner afterwards. Shows are booked already for June and July but the space is still available a show in August. There is also space for more crafts in its shop area.

Willow Lane Alpacas will have space for small wall art and gift cards (with an alpaca theme). We are looking artists interested in creating paintings, prints or cards featuring alpacas.

We have a similar call for small art and cards, to display at the Flower Factory in Renfrew.

Call to Artists! Slightly different terms apply in each location. If you are interested in having a show or submitting cards or crafts for sale in any of the above venues, please contact us at galerie@artpontiac.com. Apply soon! Space is limited.

PONTIAC SCHOOL OF THE ARTS (PSOTA)  Our initial course list is posted on our website (artpontiac.com). So far, we have a range of art forms on offer, including stained glass, mosaics, printing with gel plates, journaling, colored pencils, and mixed media. These are short courses which give you a chance to try something new. What is really new are several courses (to be announced soon) to learn about to use social media such as Instagram, to promote your work and applications that can help you advance in your traditional practice. Look for the forms to register under School on the website. We welcome additional suggestions for courses throughout the year, assuming we have space in the calendar. Sign up soon, courses fill up quickly.

STONE SCHOOL SHOP Preparations are underway to open the doors of the Shop on the main floor of the Stone School Gallery on 1st of June. If you are an artist who wants to put work in the Shop, you must renew your Membership and pay your Shop fee (on our website, under Membership) as soon as possible, as space may be limited. We have two dates for you to drop your work off (May 10, 17). This year we are creating a poster featuring the work of artists in the Shop. Please note that you must sign up and send us one or two pictures of work that will be in the Shop by April 15, if you want your work to be included in the poster.

ARTPONTIAC ON THE ROAD Last year, with support from the MRC, and help from Michael Peterson and other volunteers, we took our tents to the Renfrew Art Fair, the Shawville Fair and Brauwerk Hoffman brewery to promote and sell work from the Stone School Shop in Portage-du-Fort. We are looking for suggestions for where we should go this year, and who might be interested in helping. It only takes a couple of people in the booth, but more if the event is more than two days.

Easy to join, no extra fee if you are a Shop member and no commission on work sold.  We found it was also a great way to promote artPontiac, distribute brochures and inform people about our exhibitions and classes. If you have suggestions regarding events, and would like to have some of your work on display, or would like to volunteer, please contact Michael at info@artpontiac.com.

SPONSORSHIP This is a quick REMINDER, we are still fundraising and it’s not too late to become a Sponsor! We invite you to take a few minutes to go to https://artpontiac.com/en/news-2/campagne-de-financement/ to complete the form; you can pay online or send a cheque. If you wish your logo to be included in our brochure, we need your graphics no later than April 5th. Hurry!

SUMMER EMPLOYMENT AT THE STONE SCHOO  We are looking for a summer employee for the period from May 29th to September 2, 2023 – 14 weeks, 30 hours per week. Spread the word! No need to be a student, adults between 15 and 30 years old are eligible. To apply must send the resume and a letter of intent by email only to info@artpontiac.com.

FINALLY … take a breath.. Your Board Members thank you for your attention.

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