The 17th annual Art on the Street brought hundreds out to peruse the pieces on display, speak with artists about their work and gather to celebrate what participants said was a thriving artisan community, all during a warm summer Saturday.
Last year, Korey Steckle was a relatively new artist on the Guelph scene but won the award for Best Emerging Artist. On Saturday he was back for the art show, this time equipped with new pieces — a particular style that he crafts by cutting up magazine print to make shapes and colours.
“The reception has been quite overwhelming,” Steckle told The Post, saying a mix of many previous customers and new, curious art-seekers came by his vendor interested in his latest showcase of art, which was also displayed in the Necessary Arts common working place by Barker Street parking lot.
The Guelph-based artist explained the positive reception he has had from the art community in Guelph since last year, including support from the 2018 artist in residence KIAM, has allowed him to diversify into having his artwork on apparel, skateboards and more.
“To have my son play on a skateboard with my designs on it, that’s where it’s going,” Steckle added, saying that his 10-year-old son helps him with putting the colours together for his work. The artist works both in a studio at home as well as in the Necessary Arts open space.
Several years back, Steckle got in a car crash that changed his life. He had to have metal rods placed in his back through surgery, giving him a lot of free time. During this period in his life, he discovered his love and talent for art and, after some nudging by close friends and family, he started selling the pieces he made.
For Julie Ponesse, a painter based in London, Ont., it was her first time at the art show. She paints florals, landscapes, children and architectural imagery but she told The Post that what really draws her into her work is “the sense of light” and how it impacts colours in the pieces she brings together.
“Whether it’s vegetation or a hat or a storefront — whatever it is — if there’s an opportunity to capture light in an interesting way then that gets me excited from the beginning,” Ponesse explained, pointing out aspects of the paintings hung up inside her tent.
Beyond Quebec Street
Hundreds of people, dogs and pieces of art were milling about in front of Quebec Street Mall and on a 240 meter stretch of pavement between Wyndham St. North and Norfolk St. but the art did not stop there for downtown Guelph.
Royal City Church opened its doors for the public to check out a display of art from two different artists. One of the artists was Kevin Coghill, who has a variety of painted pieces set up in the vast sanctuary inside the old church.
Less than 100 meters away from St. George’s Square, Julie-Lynn Costigane had her art set up in front of Doogie’s and Pablo’s. Though she was not one of the official vendors part of Art on the Street, the University of Guelph student wanted to showcase her work.
Costigane is in school, not for art, but for biological engineering. However, did not get a summer co-op she wanted related to her studies, so instead aims to turn the $65 she spent on canvasses into more money through paintings.
The inspiration behind her work she said was “structure”. The honeycomb-style outlines in her paintings remind many that stopped by her work of chemistry organic compounds, Costigane explained.
Those interested in buying a painting from Costigane can reach her on Facebook by searching her name, she said.