Fourteen Island artists recently received a total of $50,000 through the provincial Arts Grants program. The successful applicants were selected by a six-member jury of their arts community peers and follows the same model used by the Canada Council of Arts.
Teresa Kuo (Film/Media Arts, $5000): To direct and animate the seven minute animated short-film Where my Branches Stem on Chinese Canadian identity and culture for submission to film festivals by February 2023. The film tells the story of a young Chinese woman who is tired from her work life in the big city, prompting her to move back home with her grandfather, mending their relationship and her own sense of cultural identity.
Scott Parsons (Music, $6000): To record an album of songs telling the stories of PEI Black history using traditional forms of music including blues, folk and reggae. The project will celebrate the contributions of Black Islanders that have been underrepresented in the past. Songs will be presented in different settings, such as a documentary for CBC and a stage performance. In addition to the music, there is a storytelling aspect which will be supported with a multimedia presentation including a slideshow featuring historical photographs of Black Islanders.
Sid Acharya (Music, $4000): To work on the project PINKED, an expressive story of Sid-A’s re-connection to their roots and ancestors—musically and spiritually—as well as their discoveries of acceptance and self-love. Production has started and the album is set for release in 2022.
Ryan McCarvill (Film/Media Arts, $700): To take a series of online filmmaking workshops offered by the Liaison of Independent Filmmakers of Toronto in order to produce a microbudget feature film on PEI in 2022.
Ryan Drew (Interdisciplinary, $1500): To attend the International Conference on Creativity and Cognition in June. The theme Creativity, Craft, and Design is directly related to the artist’s career and study of art-based creativity. He hopes to gain knowledge and perspectives relevant to the his professional career, ongoing doctoral studies, and capacity to support the local arts community.
Colton Curtis (Theatre, $4500): To develop a new interdisciplinary work, Forgive Me, featuring two actors. This work will be a hybrid of text and ballet based on childhood journal entries, and explores the themes of queerness, religion, acceptance, and the relationship between a grieving mother and a coming out son.
Hans Wendt (Visual Arts, $3200): To produce eight to twelve large scale watercolour paintings this winter, for exhibition in London, ON and Charlottetown, PE. Wendt is inspired by Philip Guston, an abstract expressionist painter of the 1960’s who famously stated that he was “sick of all this purity.” The artist feels strongly about going back to some previous interest in the grotesque, in Bosch and Brueghel, humour and suggested narrative, or more broadly speaking, the work will be more personal and accessible.
Kirstie McCallum (Visual Arts, $2500): To mentor with sculptor and designer Jody Racicot to develop an original design for the piece Forest Chair, a work of living sculpture destined for the Glenaladale Sculpture Forest. This mentorship will support the artist in developing and building a unique design that supports artistic excellence and creative growth and development. The artist will build on this foundation when she completes the living components of the sculpture and installs the final work in June 2022.
Tyler Landry (Visual Arts, $2600): To create the graphic novel Old Caves. The project tells a story concerning the nature of obsession and the isolation that often contains it, embodied in vignettes from the life of a forest-cabin-dwelling middle-aged man dedicated to proving the existence of Bigfoot. The completed artwork is planned for release next fall.
Doug Dumais (Visual Arts, $4500): To work on the photographic narrative The Third Place, about the history and future of PEI’s libraries. The artist will spend one full day at each of PEI’s twenty-five library branches, producing photographs and documenting the vital role that these spaces play in their respective communities.
Damien Worth (Visual Arts, $4000): To produce a new body of visual artwork that examines travel, transition, and (dis)location as subject matter. The artist will complete no less than eight individual works in a variety of media formats including video, photographic document, two dimensional drawings and paintings, and multi-media installations.
Ariel Sharratt (Music, $2500): To tour Canadian music festivals to promote Garbage Island, a new album to be released next summer; a culmination of several years of writing and loosely themed around a future where the Pacific Trash Vortex has become a solid landmass populated primarily by a colony of birds and scattered human climate change refugees. The artist will also create two music videos.
Renee Laprise (Visual Arts, $5000): To focus on the theme of “humans reconnecting with nature” for the next year. She will create twelve finalized sketches for a new painting series that will have elements which are drawn from life using life models and from nature, en plein air, in all four seasons. It is anticipated that the paintings will be ready for exhibition in 2023.
Jenna MacMillan (Film/Media Arts, $4000): To write the outline and first draft of a feature-length comedy screenplay, B-UNIT, the story of an aspiring filmmaker who manages to attract a Hollywood project to shoot in her small coastal town. The story centres around her race-against-the-clock journey to cobble together a multi-million dollar film industry ahead of their arrival.