As COVID-19 the pandemic continues, there seems to be one thing that keeps people going despite the surrounding negativity: finding joy in the little things. That’s why this year’s theme for The Art Gallery of Algoma’s Winter Festival of Art is 'Finding Joy'.
Due to the Stay-at-Home Order, the dates for the exhibition are still up in the air, but artists can submit their entry form until Sunday, Feb. 21.
“The theme of 'Finding Joy' wasn’t initially the plan for this year’s exhibition, but considering the circumstances that we are all in and how difficult it has been for a lot of us to find hope, I just thought that “Finding Joy” would be appropriate,” said Jasmina Jovanovic, executive director at The Art Gallery of Algoma. “Usually the rules are to make a fresh piece of art following the theme, but this year you can submit art that was made three years ago, five years ago, or whenever. It could be anything that brings a smile to the artist and hopefully the viewers.”
Even though the Winter Festival opening is one of the biggest openings for the art gallery each year, there will be no public opening this year.
“We are planning to have an online Zoom opening, so we will see how that goes,” Jovanovic said.
For the actual exhibition, it will be a multi-step process. The entry form will be confirmation that the artist is participating and provides information about the size of the art so the gallery can plan for installation. Then once the gallery reopens, days will be announced for people to bring in their artwork and have it installed on the walls.
“It’s always very interesting to see what people produce. It also gives me the opportunity to see what kind of talent is in our community,” Jovanovic said. “The contest is open to all age groups and all mediums. The art could be ceramics, glass, photography, paintings, drawings, etc.”
“I really encourage people to participate because I know that we are all trying hard to stay positive. I think it’s a great opportunity to have your piece exhibited at the art gallery. I also encourage people to think about joy and happiness and being grateful for health,” Jovanovic said.
The Winter Festival of Art had 115 participating artists last year, and The Art Gallery of Algoma hopes to have that again this year.