Story by Jenessa Blanchet. “You Belong.” This is the simple mantra echoed in every communication, post or media release about OffBeat Figure Drawing events and this could not be a more apt statement. On Friday, April 5, I attended my first ever OffBeat Figure Drawing session, “FIRE FLY,” at the #mailotcastle, a stoic 1970s home, sponsored as a one year art residency project in Mount Royal.
Story by Christina Wong. Be quiet. Watch your bags and your children. Don’t crowd the art and definitely do not touch the art. The various spoken and unspoken rules of visiting an art gallery are numerous. The reminders that these rules must be abided by—constant security, words of warning, velvet ropes—are also numerous, telling us that art is something that ought to be revered and respected.
Story by Laurel McLean. As author Toni Morrison famously said: All good art is political. Paraphrasing this sentiment, Calgary-based artist and illustrator Kyle Simmers elaborates, “If you aren’t making work that is deliberately political, you’re just beautifying the status quo. I try to keep that in mind with all the things I’m working on; what would I like to see grow and change about our culture?”
Story by Andrew Bardsley. Photo by Liam Glass. Amid the dozens of rooms within the infamous Shamrock Hotel, a once popular yet rough spot, sits local artist Kelly Isaak. The hotel, closed in 2015, has been repurposed as the arts facility, NVRLND, where each of dingy, rough-and-tumble rooms now serve as art spaces for local artists – Isaak being one of them.