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NDG Art Walk to celebrate community groups
Article mis en ligne le jeudi 17 mai 2012

Photo courtesy of Scott McLeod

Artists from Prevention NDG decorate the NDG Food Depot building with a mural at last year’s NDG Art Week.

This year’s NDG Arts Walk, part of the third annual NDG Arts Week, is currently taking shape with a variety of events for all ages.

The festival’s theme this year is food, celebrating the 25th anniversary of the NDG Food Depot and the 10th anniversary of La Coop Maison Verte, collectives that have long encouraged initiatives such as community gardening and sustainable living.

The Arts Walk, to be held Aug. 25, is open to submissions from artists of all levels working in any medium.

Spectators will have a privileged view of NDG’s community art scene through live painting and drawing events, and may browse works for sale displayed on Sherbrooke between Melrose and Wilson streets. Concordia Fine Arts students will animate a children’s section, where kids can have their portraits drawn and experiment with chalk drawings.

Filmmaker Scott McLeod of McLeod Nine Productions and poet/musician Paul Cargnello are organizing the event, with help from several local partners including the J.W. McConnell Family Foundation and the Velan Foundation.

McLeod is excited about a new event called the Tour des Arts, which will guide users along a circuit of participating organizations, including the Garden of Thyme, a community garden in the St. Raymond area. Other stops include Action Communiterre and Shaika Café, as well as the Coop Maison Verte and the NDG Food Depot.

“This is a community art-based festival,” says McLeod. “We’re aiming to bridge the gap between community and culture. Not everyone has access to culture or the arts… It’s an effort to improve people’s quality of life, help them get in touch with what’s happening in their community.”

Referring to institutions such as the NDG Community Centre, McLeod emphasizes the importance of taking advantage of opportunities provided by its facilities: “Sometimes, if you don’t use it, you lose it.”

Volunteers will collect donations that will benefit NDG Food Depot programs.

The event also gives a forum to artists who might otherwise have trouble getting exposure in galleries or museums. “This is their day to strut their stuff,” enthuses McLeod. Those selling their work will receive 100 % of what they charge and artists will be allocated a 6’ x 12’ space to show off their wares.

NDG artist Nandu Vadakkath concurs. “Last time my painting from my studio really progressed that day. I hope to have another day like that.”

Official programming will be announced in June.

NDG Arts Week, August 18-26, includes five days of expositions, interactive events, and film screenings.

[ Ingrid Wissink ]

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