Plans for district art collective underway


Plans for a district art collective are well underway.
“We’d love to have more people coming out,” said local musician Carson Webber, noting the collective isn’t just for visual artists or musicians but anyone with an interest in supporting the arts.
“There’s so much work to be done,” he stressed.
The initiative to start an art collective for the district stems from a push by the Ontario Crafts Council to improve support for artists and crafters throughout Northern Ontario.
As part of this, the OCC sponsored a workshop and meeting Saturday at the Fort Frances Museum, where about a dozen locals came out to brainstorm and look at how a collective could be established locally.
Coming from Kenora for the workshop were representatives from the Lake of the Woods Art Collective (LOWAC), who spoke about the formation and work they’ve been doing in their own region.
“We’re really excited about what’s happening in Fort Frances,” said Kenora-based artist and past LOWAC chair Irene McCuaig, who was a guest speaker along with fellow Kenora artist Laurie Dufresne, LOWAC’s visual arts chair.
Since forming some four years ago, LOWAC has been involved with a number of arts-based projects in Kenora, including fundraisers for charitable causes, art education projects, gallery tours, “two by two” public displays, snow sculpture competitions, and more.
“It’s just tremendous to see another collective get going—and we look forward to doing something together in the future,” enthused McCuaig.
With the local collective just starting up, planning included such things as its possible name, projects, and promotions.
“I think this is just a great opportunity for all creative types to come together,” said Sherry George, curator of the Fort Frances Museum and a writer.
“We need to support each other, and to glean ideas off of each other, and just celebrate our similar needs and the various interests that everybody has,” she reasoned.
For those interested in the collective, the next meeting will take place this Wednesday (Oct. 26) at 7 p.m., at the Fort Frances Museum.
Those attending are asked to use the rear entrance to access the second floor via the elevator.