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The Night Art Came Alive


From left to right: Mehtaab, April, Paul, Meena & Stedmond
From left to right: Mehtaab, April, Paul, Meena & Stedmond

Looking for something to do in Brampton?

Do you feel stuck in your pandemic routines?

Are you tired of the same old dinner and a movie?

Do you wish you could go out, but you need to watch your budget?


You can try something different and free with Nights Out With Art!


Nights Out With Art or NOWA for short are meant to help us reconnect with each other through art while showcasing unique, local creatives. This experience is layered on top of the art exhibition in the gallery, which for the night was Perceptions. We kicked off our first NOWA on Thursday June 23rd at 7 PM with live painting by two of Beaux Arts’ own, Mehtaab Wachhair and April Bhamra and three live poetry performances.


Mehtaab sat in the window while she worked on a large floral piece with a soothing blue and yellow background. The canvas couldn’t quite contain the lush garden of pink, blue, purple, red and yellow flowers, with some spilling onto the sides. She explained that her client had requested that this bounty surround a quote of their choice. I had never seen her work in that style before, so it was lovely to chat about her process and see the delicate details form.


April was working on a piece that she had had a dream about. She sketched a feline form on the blank canvas and then painted the background in her signature blues and purples. Soon a white tiger was brought to life, reposeful, yet powerful, tinged with purple, blue, pink and yellow. The tiger rested on a flat surface with an empty expanse behind her. April decided to fill that otherworldly void with a few soft, white orbs; were they nascent moons or planets? Her approach was to let the piece take on a life of its own.


For me, the magic of live art is watching the piece’s progression, going back and forth, delighted to see the canvas transformed each time. Throughout the night, everyone could observe, ask questions and see art come to life right in front of them. The visual artists continued to paint as we invited our three wonderful literary artists to the stage: Paul Edward Costa, Meena Chopra and Stedmond Pardy.


What an enlightening, inspiring experience! Poetry is more than words on a page: it’s performance, speech, pitch, pace, gesture, facial expression, movement and cadence. Each has a style, just as visual artists do. As the words touched my soul, I tried to write them down as best I could:


"whose foundations have malleable faith mixed into their cement” -from Confessor for the Prosecution by Paul Edward Costa

"Will I find my lost destiny there, with you beside me?" - from A Glimmer It Was by Meena Chopra

"I have already squandered the platinum of our youth in this life" -from a free jazz poem for Joan Baez by Stedmond Pardy

The audience clapped for Paul Edward Costa after he finished his first poem and just in case they felt self-conscious, he jokingly reassured them that contrary to popular belief, snapping wasn’t mandatory. Anything short of starting a mosh pit was perfectly alright. Sharing light-hearted moments like these bring us together and encourage us to be our authentic selves.


These tumultuous times have stretched us all to our limits, but the fact that art is still being created and shared should give us all hope. Beaux Arts created NOWA to remind us that we are all resilient, especially if we tap into art’s reviving power.


If all of that sounded like a great time to you, be sure to join us next time! There will be more opportunities for you to experience Nights Out With Art in July and again in August.


To learn more about NOWA, who’s lined up to participate and see upcoming dates, visit beauxartsbrampton.org/nowa.


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