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An Attitude of Gratitude

Beaux Arts Brampton is so grateful to have received an Ontario Trillium Foundation grant from their Resilient Communities Fund!

This allowed us to offer not one but two workshops to our membership: Empowered Through Art and Video Making for Artists. They were led by two of our own members: painter Carrie Campbell and photographer/videographer Kevin Birmingham (pictured left and right above). They both focused on building resilience in different ways.

Empowered Through Art taught artists how to harness the healing power of creativity. Paired with discussions around wellness, the same drive they already use to make art can help strengthen their mental health and foster human connections. Video Making for Artists helped artists add the craft of video creation to their palette of skills. In the age of social media, artists who want to stay flexible must learn to leverage these platforms’ powerful video features to better promote or teach their art.

You can hear more about the workshops from the facilitators themselves:

Empowered Through Art: Carrie

Empowered Through Art (ETA) is a wellness + art program that explores creative strength and its positive impact on mental health, while creating and connecting with others. We focus on wellness topics and the ways in which various creative avenues of art can help us express our own emotions and optimize our well-being. At ETA, we coupled our thoughts and talks surrounding mental health, with art activity and creative expression.

For me, facilitating this program is always a profound experience. I especially enjoy the opportunity to connect with individuals in a space where we are comfortable just being. One aspect about leading this program that I truly and definitely love is being part of a space where people can identify with not only each other's creativity, but each other's humanness.

We all talked about what being mindful looks like to us, and in later sessions, we discussed how this helps us achieve other personal goals like setting boundaries. I watched everyone relate to one another in various ways, seeing parallels between our own experiences in each other's stories was a beautiful reminder of our community. It is diverse in so many ways, and there is relatable strength that can be found within us all.

Video Making for Artists: Kevin

One of the challenges that any artist faces is mastering the tools and techniques of their art form. Whether you’re a painter, sculptor, pianist or photographer, if you haven’t mastered the tools of your trade, you will never be able to fully express yourself through your creations.

Another challenge that artists face is turning their love of creating art into a profession. Most of us who create art do so as amateurs (for the love of it), or part-time, while we hold down a job to pay for our supplies and also some food, clothing and the rent.

The second of these challenges came to the forefront during the pandemic. Without the ability to draw crowds into a gallery, artists had to seek alternative ways of presenting their work and themselves to the public. The on-line world is a competitive one and the hot new means of communication is the medium of video.

Video production is where the first challenge comes into play. As difficult as it is to master a brush, paint and canvas, the technical, and dare I say artistic demands, of video creation are daunting at best, and have defeated more than one photographer making the transition from still to moving pictures.

These past five weeks have been a peek behind the curtain of video production. Pre-production, Big-Ideas, lighting, film language, editing, framerates and distribution have dominated the conversation. And, I am sure to some greater or lesser degree, left the participants both intimidated by the steep climb and excited by the possibilities.

Learning an entirely new skill is not easy, but for an artist trying to turn their first love into a profession, competing on-line for the public’s attention, is not just a necessity, but a mark of resiliency. On a personal note, I thoroughly enjoyed creating and teaching the course and hope to offer it again.

Clearly, the instructors get as much out of teaching as the students do learning, just like any good class! We appreciate Carrie and Kevin for sharing their knowledge with their fellow members. Beaux Arts is a community where members support one another and want them to succeed, whether it’s in health and wellness or their artistic careers.

Thank you to the Ontario Trillium Foundation for making this possible!


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