Two women speaking with an art piece in the background

Two women appreciate the art created by local artists as part of the Pop Up Art Renfrew County installation in 2019. The mobile exhibits will be returning in 2021 with shows in Eganville, Arnprior and Garrison Petawawa. (Submitted Photo)

Pop Up Art Renfrew County looking for artists

By Patricia Leboeuf

Posted on Thursday October 22, 2020

Mobile art exhibition returning to Garrison Petawawa Aug. 2-6, 2021.

Art enthusiasts can rejoice knowing that a mobile exhibit will be making its way through the Ottawa Valley once again.

Pop Up Art Renfrew County will showcase multiple artists using multiple-mediums, with each installation following a theme. These exhibits bring art experiences directly to people and introduce creative pieces to everyday spaces.

“Our philosophy is that you shouldn’t always have to go to an art gallery and spend money to be able to experience art,” said Curator Anya Gansterer. “What we are trying to do is encourage art to be part of everyday life here in the Ottawa Valley.”

Artists of all calibers are invited to submit proposals to take part in the shows.

The upcoming exhibits have been made possible through a partnership between the Ottawa Valley Community Arts (OV-CAOS) and the Community Resource Centre – Killaloe. The project received a three-year Grow Grant from the Ontario Trillium Foundation, which will fund these mobile exhibits until 2023.

Pop Up Art is in its second iteration and will adhere to current COVID-19 safety regulations. In addition to the makeshift galleries, there will be events throughout the upcoming months, which will include collaborative art-making, workshops and may include a performance element. To encourage creativity, OV-CAOS will also be providing art-making kits to take home, allowing people to create a component of a community art installation.

“Pop Up Art is all about community, collaboration, giving people the opportunity to make art and connect with other people through making art,” said Gansterer.

She firmly believes that art doesn’t have to be formal. It doesn’t need to be put in a prestigious gallery or museum to be valuable and evoke emotion.

Part of the joy of these Pop Up Art exhibits is the completely everyday surroundings. A person will come across incredible art pieces as they go for their morning cup of coffee, check out a library book or decide to work out.

“Art expresses who we are and what we are about in any given moment in time throughout the course of our history as human beings,” said Gansterer. “It inspires us whether we are professional artists or not. Having art in our lives creates a spark in our brains that supports us to see things in a different way, and helps us to evolve.”

Art, in all its shapes, has proven crucial for so many over the past few months. People have taken up baking, they’ve decided to sew, picked up a paintbrush or camera and have tried their hand at an instrument, so much so that there have been shortages of art supplies alongside toilet paper and hand sanitizer.

“Creativity has been a way for people to make sense of things,” said Gansterer.

She’s hoping that those who discovered their love of art in the past year will apply to showcase their art alongside the professionals.

“There are opportunities for everybody to take part in this,” said the curator.

The first exhibit will go on display in March in Eganville, and organizers are still looking for artists, professional and amateur, to submit their pieces. They are also looking for facilitators for the various workshops and events.

Artist proposals are to be completed by Nov. 23, and the art must be complete by Feb. 15. The first exhibition opens in Eganville on Mar. 5 at the Fifth Chute Cafe. It will then travel to the Arnprior Public Library from May 17 to 21 before coming to Garrison Petawawa from Aug. 2 to Aug. 6.

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