Behind the Scenes with… the Artful Revival Festival 2020: It’s a wrap!
The doors have barely closed on the Headwaters Arts flagship event, their annual fall festival and fundraiser gala, and already the stats, firsts, and kudos are coming through. From the 866 people who walked through those doors at the Alton Mill Arts Centre during the three-week festival to the high praise from the Town of Caledon’s mayor, the Honourable Allan Thompson, there is much to celebrate for Headwaters Arts. Under the leadership of Festival Director, Ari Momeni, the board directors, their several committees, and volunteers brought the inspirational artwork of 52 artists across Ontario and several arts-related events to this renowned tourist destination area, the Hills of Headwaters.
Strict adherence to health and social safety protocols along with many virtual options for enjoying different aspects of the festival ensured that accessibility for all was paramount. There were many new things under the sun as Headwaters Arts mounted its first Virtual Gallery Tour, a state-of-the-art feature that allowed people to browse the galleries from their home and view the artwork as it was hung on the walls. Also new was the Facebook Live Event of the Juror’s Talk and Curator’s Chat, and the video replay of the Juror’s Walk also posted online, again so that people could follow the different events of the festival from their homes.
The personal touch and strong bonds of community connections were evident in the simple transactions for buyers to the formal presentations at the afternoon FETE and evening GALA on September 17. One memorable moment was characterized as Festival Director seats The Duchess. A very carefully wrapped sculptural piece, The Duchess, was carefully placed in the back seat of a car, secured with a seat belt, and all handled by the Festival Director, much to the delight and merriment of its new owners.
Notable accomplishments were the numbers of area sponsors and the three Town of Caledon Councillors, Christina Early, Lynn Kiernan, and Ian Sinclair, along with Mayor Thompson, who came out to enjoy and support the festival. The monetary prizes awarded to three artists were donated and presented by three area sponsors.
Continuing in the strong vein of giving back to the community, during the evening GALA September 17, the two scholarship winners from area schools in Orangeville and Erin were presented. These scholarships have been made possible through the proceeds of the annual Golfing Tournament the councillors of Caledon enjoy. These monies were then gifted to Headwaters Arts for the sole purpose of awarding scholarships to local young people furthering their post-secondary studies in the arts and cultural fields.
The larger community and visitors to this tourist destination area also were able to play their part in the Artful Revival Festival Exhibition by voting for the People’s Choice Award. This year it was awarded to Robert Chisholm of Orangeville for his piece, Lady Devine.
The Headwaters Arts group has its gallery in the Alton Mill Arts Centre where some of their artist members also have their studios. This artist-run collective continues to adapt their business model to bring monthly shows to the public and to showcase the work of their members. Their annual fall fundraiser and festival demonstrated this versatility so well with its combination of on-line and on-site events.
As well, their state-of-the-art Virtual Gallery Tour of the Exhibition is available to enjoy through mid-December on the Headwaters Arts website, https://headwatersarts.com/3d-virtual-tour/, both for viewing and purchasing online. Headwaters Arts is thankful for the community and individual participation in, virtually and in real-time, and their enjoyment of the 2020 Artful Revival Festival!
Behind the scenes with …© is a column Connie Munson, local photographer, artist, and writer, has developed to share an inside look at the creative process within various arts organizations. She is a director on the board of Headwaters Arts, which has their gallery in the Alton Mill Arts Centre in Caledon, a member of several other arts organizations, and may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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