Art… music…. performance…. sleep deprivation… meaty puns…
Summer wouldn’t be summer in our little city of weirdness without a few good all-nighters. What’s better than watching the sun come up over the Narrows on an August morning after having been on the go since the day before?
…Watching the sun come up after a night of madcap art-making, and knowing that the fun won’t stop ‘til lunchtime, that’s what!
The Eastern Edge Gallery will be hosting its eighth annual 24-Hour Art Marathon August 18th and 19th, and the unstoppable team behind it has gathered some of our town’s most interesting artistic, musical, literary and interdisciplinary figures for a noon-to-noon extravaganza. The marathon itself is followed by a silent auction of art pieces created over the previous 24 hours, and the funds raised through sales and admission help keep the Eastern Edge and its artists alive and kickin’.
At last year’s marathon I witnessed blues performance, improvisational jazz poetry, public haircuts, divination and veggie meat jewellery, rock and roll, Volkswagen-bound film projections, creative re-use of coffee cups, and some straight-up visual artmaking.
This year’s line-up is as every bit as varied and entertaining, and promises to keep you enthralled with process, production and performance clear through the night.
Andreae Prozesky, Dan Murray and Emilie Bourque spoke to a few of this year’s 24-Hour Art Marathon’s eager participants about what to expect over Marathon Weekend at the Eastern Edge.
Reuben Canning Finkel & Charlie Graham
Reuben Canning Finkel & Charlie Graham will be collaborating for this year’s marathon. As young artists, this will be their first time taking part in the marathon and they think it will be a fun way to get their work to a wide audience.
After toying with the idea of drawing or painting, they opted to create a collage together as their main project. The piece will begin by cutting out words and pasting them together. Atop this literary disarray they’ll place a large sun.
You may have recently spotted work by these artists without even realizing it, as Canning Finkel has been doing large chalk pieces on the ground around the downtown area. Although due to impermanence of chalk as a medium, these have since been washed away.
Creative Tip: “Stay hydrated” – Reuben Canning Finkel
Returning to this year’s marathon is Kathleen Parewick. She missed out on the last couple of 24HAMs due to her field research in the Arctic. She is working towards a Ph.D. in Geography.
As one of the founding members of the Friends of Victoria Park, Parewick is disappointed that she hasn’t made anything for the lantern festival in recent years, so she’ll be making a large lantern during the event.
While Parewick says she’s only “an occasional artist these days”, the family’s artistic expressions will continue. Her 15 year old daughter, Julia, will also be taking part in the marathon this year.
Creative Tip: “I’d have to say that not only do I work in the community development sphere but I take my inspiration from it. I find that participating in community arts events like the Lantern Fest and the 24-Hour Art Marathon are the exactly the sorts of things I need do to keep my creative juices flowing.”
After a year in Vancouver, Jim Maunder has returned to St. John’s. He will be participating in the art marathon for a second time before heading back to Vancouver for one more year.
The sculptor and art educator will be working along the same lines as “Yield”, his most recent solo show. Using recycled materials, tree branches, concrete and other materials he will create a sculpture that shows concern for our natural environment using altered organic forms. While the theme is similar to his recent work, Maunder says it will be a “little more abstract” this time around.
Maunder thinks it’s important to support spaces like the Eastern Edge. While working for 24 hours in a row can be tiring, he finds it is “worth the effort to pull an all-nighter”.
Creative Tip: An event like the 24H Art Marathon “spurs on creativity levels.”
Dancer Meghan McCabe will be performing a solo to “My Body is a Cage” by Arcade Fire.
“It’s an improvisation to a piece of music I connect to, and it’s exciting for me and hopefully the audience as well because it’s completely spontaneous and raw.”
McCabe got involved “because I do think it’s a great thing that [the Eastern Edge] is doing, and for me, it’s kind of like the shows that I do in Toronto, where it’s pretty informal, and they pretty much invite everything…it’s very free for artists, and I was really in the mood for that right now.”
Karlie King, whose primary work is in ceramic arts, is “either going to do a tile mosaic or a quilt.”
King’s tips on staying creative and staying awake: “So long as you’re really excited and interested in the project you’re about to create, it’s actually plausible to stay awake for 24 hours.”
The Eastern Edge’s Art Marathon is the first event King has heard of where artists are challenged to work on a project for a full 24 hours. “I think it’s an interesting project. Basically I got involved out of personal interest to see what 24 hours will produce.”
There will be a 3-hour spotlight on multi-material, crafts-based artist Jay Kimball, who will throw some pots on the wheel and do a little bit of altering. And, for the full 24 hours, the Craft Council Clay Studio will have their potter’s wheel set up, where people can pay to throw day or night.
Kimball’s tips on staying creative: “Make lots of stuff, talk to as many people that you admire as you can, and don’t be afraid to go and expose yourself, expose your work, and get exposed to other work.”
Why get involved?: “Solidarity within artists’ organizations. I’m supporting Eastern Edge.”
There will be a screening of Steve Finn’s 5-minute film, “The Final Lesson.” This film is about a young man whose father dies suddenly, and without his father’s guidance, he loses sight of his own aspirations.
Says Finn, “The trick [to staying creative] is to keep writing. When it comes to film, and you’re trying to write a script, it’s probably not a good idea to keep waiting for your entire film to flash before you…Just start writing, keep writing, and wait for the rest to come later.”
Why he got involved? “I ran into Meghan [this year’s Marathon coordinator] in the supermarket, and she asked me if I was doing anything artistic these days, and I told her I was making films, and she invited me to screen this…It was meant to be.”
Writer Kevin Hehir will be performing poetry in “The Bad Concepts,” a group which also includes musicians Curtis Andrews, Greg Bruce, and Tom Artiss. He enjoys the exploration of sound in their free-improv-style performances. “I think of my voice or language as being more of an instrument.” The theme of his material this year will be civil disobedience and pets!
Says Hehir, “I think the Eastern Edge is the hub of what happens in the city…I think it’s important that people who go down to the gallery and are involved in it…also give back and create something that can raise a bit of money. The 24-hours of art is really one of my highlights of the summer… it always has been. It’s a really nice vibe.”
Cara Winsor Hehir
Contemporary quilter, toy-maker, and singer Cara Winsor Hehir will be involved in two capacities at the marathon. There will be a 3-hour spotlight on her work, where she’ll have her sewing machine set up and some fabrics there to work with, and she’ll also later be singing with Kyla Tilley on guitar. Winsor Hehir and Tilley comprise one half of heavy metal band Endearing Perversion, and they will be performing an acoustic metal set under the names Diva H’excellent & Mistress Pandemonium.
Why get involved? Besides wanting to support Eastern Edge, Winsor Hehir says, “It’s fun and inspiring to go and sit in a room with a bunch of people making different work.”
Multi-genre percussionist Curtis Andrews is all over the marathon, performing with three of his bands (Dzolali, The Discounts, and The Idlers), with poet Kevin Hehir’s gang “The Bad Concepts,” and with Pat Boyle’s ActiveVision live film score project. [This is hot on the heels of a similar Thursday night performance at MUN: see movie listings on page 21]
For Andrews, being part of the marathon is a “natural progression… I can’t remember if I asked Dzolali or if they asked me.” Andrews says that he enjoys playing at an event like this. In fact, he’s “always had a fantasy of having one of the 24-hour slots,” but is keeping hush-hush about what he’d do with it.
I guess we’ll have to wait and see.
Creative tip: “If you’re involved with different kinds of music or art, if there’s diversity in your life, you’re bound to get some creativity out of it.”
Hey Rosetta! frontman Tim Baker will be performing solo at the marathon, belting out his well-crafted tunes to the sound of his own guitar. He was happy to participate when asked to play: “I like the Eastern Edge gallery, and I respect it.”
As for staying creative, Baker says it’s all about balance. “You have to have some free time. But you can’t have too much free time.” In addition to that, he suggests you carry around paper and a pen at all times, and keep a notebook by your bed, so when inspiration strikes you can get your thoughts down before they’re gone.
Trudy Morgan-Cole & Jennifer Morgan
Author Trudy Morgan-Cole and visual artist Jennifer Morgan will be collaborating to create an on-the-spot nod to the graphic novel, with a definite interactive element. The title, The Powers That Be, was chosen from suggestions left on Morgan-Cole’s Facebook page. The novel will be written and illustrated over the 24-hour period. Slightly less, in fact; Morgan-Cole will have to start the marathon a little late, and is referring to her part in the action as a “16-18 hour sprint” rather than a marathon. Both women are serious artists, and this project is an experiment in fun for the two of them.
The Powers That Be is slated to be a romance novel, but Morgan and Morgan-Cole (yes, they’re related —cousins, in fact) are at the mercy of their audience, who will be encouraged to suggest plot twists and to sketch characters to be incorporated throughout the book.
Creative tips: Jennifer suggests embarking on projects with lots of options, so as not to get stuck. Trudy, who is used to working under pressure, encourages people to embrace time challenges in order to get past perfectionism and just write—you’ll get past the first chapter, at least, and you can always clean it up later.
The 24-Hour Art Marathon will take place from Saturday August 18 to Sunday August 19, noon to noon. Admission costs 3$ in the daytime, 5$ to see evening bands, and is free for children 10 years & under. The Eastern Edge Gallery is located at 72 Harbour Drive
For more info visit 24hourartmarathon.blogspot.com