artPontiac’s professional development day a resounding success

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artPontiac member, artist Shane Bailey explains digital art to 25 artPontiac members during the organizations' first Professional Development Day, held May 1 at Café 349 in Shawville. Photo by Katharine Fletcher.

artPontiac member, artist Shane Bailey explains digital art to 25 artPontiac members during the organizations’ first Professional Development Day, held May 1
at Café 349 in Shawville

Katharine Fletcher

SHAWVILLE – artPontiac hosted a Professional Development Day, May 1 at Café 349, where four speakers discussed relevant art topics with 25 artPontiac members.

“I just loved it. It was just the shot in the arm I needed. My creative brain is fired up thanks to the wonderful, talented and mega-interesting speakers. It was great to see old friends and meet new ones,” said Krysia Kurylowicz, an Ottawa-based artist who attended.

The keynote speaker was Bristol native John-Philippe Smith, Canada’s sixth Dominion Sculptor, who leads teams of sculptors carving the stones of Parliament’s Centre Block. Smith expressed particular excitement about the current Centre Block Rehabilitation Project, explaining the new public spaces will provide an immense “open canvas” for sculptors.

Smith said he’s proud that new hires to his team will include First Nations, women, and people of colour to better recognize and reflect Canada’s multicultural diversity.

The second speaker was Laura Murray, a professor of English and co-director of the graduate program in Cultural Studies at Queen’s University. She explained the thorny topics of plagiarism, cultural appropriation, and the recognition of copyright for artists.

After a luncheon, Nancy Dale Conroy spoke on “Is Writing an Art”, regaling members about issues related to publishing the history of Shawville.

The fourth speaker, Shane Bailey, discussed Digital Art, where he demystified how digital art is simply another tool in a traditional artist’s toolbox, just like brushes or paints. After concluding, he invited artPontiac members to try their hand at it; he was surrounded by a cluster of artists with lots of questions.