During the grey, cold days of the F-month many of us feel the urge to flee. But why not devote some indoor-time to reconnecting with your creative side? Expressing yourself through arts or crafts is a proven therapy for both mental and physical health. Making things, or simply enjoying the creativity of others, is a great stress-reliever. And doing creative activities with friends can be fun, memorable, and rewarding, because you can count on them to appreciate your genius.
More people than ever are participating in artistic activities and happily, we have many local organizations dedicated to supporting and promoting the arts.
The Aurora Cultural Centre is a community hub offering a wide range of art and culture-related activities. Stephanie Nicolò, (Volunteer & Co-op Program Manager as well as Gallery, Event and Marketing Coordinator) says that the energy and passion of the ACC’s volunteers are the backbone of the organization. The ACC is a key venue for professional art shows as well, and Nicolò is looking forward to an upcoming exhibition by Troy Hourie called Apparitions. Troy is an artist who combines traditional visual art with video, sound, and AI technologies. She says, “His installation…will transform the gallery into an immersive experience, bringing in theatre, film, and visual arts.”
The ACC has a full schedule of classes in:
water colour painting
and more, and their March Break arts programs for kids will be in high demand.
King Crafts in King City is a volunteer-run studio and gallery where members of every skill level are brought together by their shared interest in arts and crafts. They offer workshops, lunches, an annual scholarship and more. This month they’re running workshops in:
pottery hand building
Pine Tree Potters Guild in Aurora is dedicated to the preservation and advancement of the ceramic arts. The guild offers classes, workshops, a fully equipped working studio and more. You’ll find classes in:
Start Academy in Newmarket is an art school with a focus on kids programs. Students work with a variety of materials and mixed media to create:
abstract and imaginary works
They also offer social painting for adults; a unique blend of the creative and the social. It’s a guaranteed fun evening with friends!
Daytripper Photo in Newmarket offers unique photography lessons. Students learn both in studio and on location, indoors and out, wherever and whenever it is best suited to the style of photography being taught. Upcoming Daytrips include:
Low light action – making better hockey photos
Lighting master class with Jamie Edwards – portrait photography
Birds of prey at the Wye Marsh
2018 Island overnight session
The Newmarket Arts Council acts as a catalyst to bring together artists, businesses, and patrons of the arts. Nicholas Carriere (Treasurer), describes the NAC as a “central repository where people can find out everything that is going on locally,” and where artists from different disciplines (e.g. visual artists, dancers, musicians) can co-operate, cross-pollinate, and seek out and share resources. Formed in 2013, the Council is evolving to better-serve Newmarket and is looking for a few more Board Members. Membership in NAC is free for 2018, and there’s a new focus on using technology to connect the public to events in the local arts scene.
Try joining their new Meetup profile (meetup.com/Newmarket-Arts-Council) to learn about upcoming events and connect with the arts community.
Whether you’re a knitter, a wood carver, or an aspiring painter you can find local resources and fellow enthusiasts to inspire you. Once you get absorbed in making or enjoying art you’ll be amazed at how uplifting creativity can be. As John Lubbock said, “As the sun colours flowers, so does art colour life.” This time of year, we could all use a little colour.
by ELAINE JACKSON
Aurora Cultural Centre
The Newmarket Arts Council
Pine Tree Potters Guild