I guess it is time for an update on the development of the Downtown Cats Mural. It has been coming along, and we are now in the home stretch! Two of the cats have been painted, and much of the background work has been done. The other two cats should be completed in the next week or so.
When I first wrote about this mural commission, I was a bit nervous, as I had never done an artwork of this size and scale before. Now that it is nearing completion, I am feeling strong and thinking, “What’s the next big thing”?
The project has taken several months, partly because the funding came in stages and partly because I have worked on it alongside other projects. You can see the various stages of the mural’s development by viewing the slide show below.
In case you do not already know, the photos in the slide show of my window “supervisor” are of Brewskie Butt, my beloved feline and very active spokescat. Brewskie and my other three cats are featured in the mural.
I am very grateful to Tim Belden and the Timothy S. Belden Charitable Fund for commissioning the mural and for being such a solid supporter of the Canton Arts District. Tim is the genius behind the Joseph Saxton Gallery of Photography, which has brought world class photography to Canton. I am also very grateful to Robb Hankins of ArtsInStark, the County Arts Council, for his support in developing this project, and to the Canton Development Partnership for their support.
Stay tuned. There’s more to come!
Are you interested in commissioning a mural by BZTAT? Please contact me and let’s talk!
The Battle of the Brush is a competition in which student teams and professional artists create 4-foot-by-5-foot murals that reflect a predetermined theme. This year’s theme is “Art Works” celebrating what really works in our lives — Art.
Three years ago, I was on the Illuminarts board, and I developed the idea of the “Battle of the Brush” to create enthusiasm for visual creativity among young artists.
My community has a very popular Battle of the Bands annual competition for young musicians, and I thought, why not do something like that for visual artists?
The Battle of the Brush has now become an annual event that is growing in popularity.
This year, 13 student teams from the following schools are registered to compete: Alliance High School, Arts Academy at Summit, Fairless High School, Louisville High School, Louisville Middle School, Minerva High School, Perry High School, R.G. Drage Career Center and Timken High School.
The teams will have three hours (noon to 3 p.m.) to create their murals under the guidance of an educator from their school. They will work alongside 4 professional artists who will create works reflecting the same theme. Professional artists participating include Dana Muntean, Sue Steiner, Joseph Close and myself.
After 3 hours, independent judges will select the top student mural, the top professional piece, and a Peoples’ Choice award will also be selected based on the amount of donations deposited in baskets placed by each mural.
Each year, fans for the teams come to cheer them on in this exciting competition. I hope that you will come and join in all of the fun!
Follow my tweets throughout the day on twitter following the hashtag #BattleOfTheBrush.
The fifth annual IlluminArts Celebration, lasting from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, March 27, is held at Timken High School in downtown Canton. Admission is free and the event is open to the public.
“The IlluminArts Celebration will encompass all genres of art: music, visual arts, theater, dance, written word, and those that may be categorized as beyond tradition,” said Janie Pavlek, chairwoman of the event.
“We have a dedicated group of individuals and organizations that will present a broad spectrum of artistic and creative activities for the enjoyment of the community.”
Featured events of the celebration include the Battle of the Brush; mentoring program displays; art tables for all ages; and performances by area high school rock bands.
This year, 17 mentors were matched with nearly 100 students from area high schools to expose them to various art-related fields and teach them some of the associated skills and techniques.
Many of the mentors and their students will exhibit their work at the Celebration, including: fashion design mentor Kathy Guidone; watercolorist Doreen St. John; visual artist Kathy Jevec; visual artist Pamela Schmuck; photographer Heather Hutmacher; and Motter & Meadows architectural design.
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Under the guidance of Steve Pedro, assistant executive director, The Boys and Girls Club of Massillon will present “Picture It!,” an exhibit of photos taken by nearly 100 children, ages 6-12.
A number of musical acts will be featured on Timken High School’s auditorium stage, and a number of hand-on arts activities will be available to participants throughout the day.
Local artist Judy Krew will be creating pastel portraits. “Rant” and “Rave” short films presented by the Palace Theatre Art Film Club, a paint pendulum by the Massillon Museum, face painting and henna tattoos by the AGoG Teen Art Gallery will also be featured.
Hosted by Canton City Schools, the Celebration’s major sponsor is the Downtown Canton Special Improvement District. Corporate partners include Lowe’s, Stark County Education Service Center, Mercy Medical Center, Motter & Meadows Architects, Creative Juices Communications and the Canton Professional Educators Association.
IlluminArts is a grassroots, all-volunteer organization formed in 2006 to raise awareness of the arts, increase participation in the arts and build connections between the arts and the community. For information, call (330) 438-1909 or visit www.illuminarts.org.
It’s hard to believe that it has been a whole year since I carved my first ice sculpture at the First Friday Ice Festival! You would think that once would be enough, but not for this intrepid artist.
It was such a rush for me last year, I enthusiastically signed on to do another one for this year’s festival.
I have dug the snow pants out of the closet, and I am ready to go. It looks like I will need the snow pants, too, because we have lots of the white stuff here in Canton, and it has been downright FREEZING! Perfect weather for an ice festival.
I have yet to finalize this year’s design, but I have decided that it will be another Cool Cat Adventure!
Because the first Friday of the month was on New Year’s Day, this year’s festival and First Friday are actually on the second Friday of the month. Here are the details:
Opposites attract for the January First Friday ice festival extravaganza, which will be held on January 8th from 6 to 10 p.m. as the new arts year kicks off in downtown Canton. Themed Fire and Ice, the celebration promises a wintry mix of fun and flair with ice sculptures, fire hoop dancing & twirling, live music, new art exhibits, and snowflake crafts for the kids.
World champion ice carver Aaron Costic headlines the evening with a fire and ice tower to be set ablaze at 8:00 p.m. on an evening which hosts the cool creations of over 15 ice artists, which will be positioned throughout the Canton Arts District. Carvers include the Elegant Ice Carving Team, Angus McIntosh Sr., Angus McIntosh Jr., Lynn Digby, Ron White, John Froman, students from R.G. Drage, the Players Guild Theatre design team, Vicki Boatright BZTAT, Craig Booth and Patrick Buckohr.