Guelph’s annual Art on the Street is back for a 17th year next week, a free event that usually draws hundreds out to downtown to peruse a showcase a variety of original work and creative projects from nearly 100 established and emerging artists, many of them local.

Starting at 10 a.m. on June 22, members of the community are invited to walk down Quebec Street to check out ceramics, jewellery, acrylic paintings, photography, textiles and more on display, with booths facilitated by the artists who made them in family-friendly showcase.

Those that are interested can sign up for a walking tour on-site starting at the information booth in the parking lot of RBC bank staring at 12 p.m., 12:45 p.m. and 1 p.m. to get a snapshot of the curated exhibitions.

Also at the showcase will be the the city’s artist in residence, Mallory Tolcher, who will be showing her “#GuelphMovesMe” project. Promoting physical fitness on Guelph’s trails through an outdoor art exhibition, the artist will be on hand to talk to visitors about how they can be involved in this community endeavour.

Art on the Street graphic supplied.

For those with young children, St. George’s Square will be transformed into the Children’s Arts Festival, a press release from the Guelph Arts Council said. 

The Guelph School of Art, Play with Clay, the Guelph Public Library and the Suzuki String School of Guelph will fill the space with creative activities.  Artist Meredith Blackmore will be guiding kids to play with colour and explore imagery and word play. 

The popular Mini Maker Market featuring kids selling their wares will appear in front of Old Quebec Street Shoppes with 10 mini market stalls provided by the Children’s Art Factory featuring goods “made by little hands”.

There will be also be food on hand, with Canadian restaurant Miijidaa and vegan every Boon Burger supplying snacks. The Capistrano Café is the best spot to eat lunch whilst watching the kids play, the Council said, along with a variety of downtown restaurants.

‘Thriving arts community’

Korey Steckle won a best emerging artist award in 2018.

Korey Steckle is a local artist showcasing his work on June 22. He told The Post that Art on the Street is a great event for Guelph to “tap into the thriving arts community that breathes life into people’s hearts and minds each and every day”.

“The show is important to the community as well as the artists. It bridges both parties together.”

Last year was Steckle’s first at the show and he is happy to return, saying that the previous year helped to build his reach in the city and “opened a door to mentors and clients alike”, adding that it “definitely boosted sales”. He won a best emerging artist award.

“This opportunity helps sustain my longevity in the field and builds the awareness of myself and what I offer artistically speaking. I believe the community benefits when artists are supported and appreciated for having the courage to express and share our gifts with others.”

The artist cuts magazines and other printed materials into colourful sections that he puts together in geometric shapes, among a variety of styles. His colleges are popular and keep him busy with collaborations, including bringing his art to apparel and jewellery, and exhibits.

Steckle told The Post he is ready to go for next Saturday.