by the Merrickville Artists’ Guild
Mike Venables sees striking patterns and colours through his camera lens. “I focus on the exotic of everyday places, both near and far,” says Mike, a photographer for the past 10 years. His perspectives of urban and rural scenes have dramatic light, often shot in the golden or blue hours just before or after sunset.
Mike is one of 24 artists happy to be showcasing his photographs via the new Merrickville Artists’ Guild (MAG) Virtual Tour. For three decades the Fall tour has been a premiere event for the guild. This year they’ve adapted to COVID-19 by creating a compilation video of all of the MAG artists and have featured it on MAG’s YouTube Channel.
“We get to talk about our art and how it is created,” says Mike, adding a video of him in his gallery discussing his photography is so much better than posting static pictures of work. It is more personable and appealing.
In addition, the Guild has created a “MAG Marketplace”, that showcases work for sale and provides information on how to contact the artists.
The artists miss seeing people in person and hearing their feedback that the traditional fall tour provided. However, developing this online presence and the creation of the YouTube Channel will mean the guild members and their individual businesses are accessible year round.
Artist Jane Jefferys is very active on social media, but it was her first time to participate in a video for YouTube. “It was such a great experience and I absolutely would do it again. It lets a whole new audience see your work,” says Jane.
MAG President, Nick Previsich, says the executive committee felt a more aggressive approach was needed to support artists and promote the relevance of art in the community. Videographer, Vincent Sabourin, was hired to film the artists in their studios or galleries. Each video offers an intimate view into the work of each artist. Artists also have their videos and / or links posted on their respective social media sites and websites.
MAG has also collaborated with a local business – the Merrickville Food Market, which donated one of its large windows to display the work of artists on a rotational basis. Learn more on MAG’s Facebook page.