The Talent Next Door launched and the people responded

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Brohemus and I hit up the launch of The Talent Next Door, a book compiled by Craig Musselman and comprised of work from 142 local artists.  Silicon W hosted the reception in the old Boehmer Box building on Duke.  You can read the reporter-type deets in The Record.

There was a broad mix of work and talent.  I’m not sure if the work is juried in, or if the book/show is curated in a classic sense, so I’ve been thinking about this for a few days and here’s where I come out:

  • Craig and the Silicon W peeps did something.  They made it happen.  That counts miles with me.
  • They are developing an audience on a shoestring budget.  And the joint was jammed.
  • This event was accessible.  It brought art to the people.  I saw visitors ranging from high school age to high school + 60 years.  It provided visibility for artists that I suspect have never shown before.
  • These efforts are a huge amount of work that require personal investment and pay off mostly with high-fives and a general feeling that you’re doing the right thing for the creative ecosystem.  Respect.
  • The future of this this type of event is endangered by gentrification of old factory spaces and a lack of coordinated municipal will to ensure affordable studio space in the $5/sqft/year (util included) range.  It’s awesome for the economy that large high tech companies are locating here and former industrial sites are transformed into cool commercial working spaces and condos.  It’s worrisome for artists making $8k/yr who need space to work.  Studio space in The Tannery, for example, is beautiful, but it will cost you 5x as much as in Boehmer Box.  No beefs with developers: that’s just the free market in action.  I’ll give you 6 months max before we hear that Boehmer has been sold to be converted to a mix of commercial and residential space that will open to line up with the Region’s transit hub across the train tracks.  Displacing creative grassroots groups.  Concerned?  Talk to your city councillor.

End of opinions, beginning of photos…

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I’m super-familiar with 283 Duke St W, having contributed to the founding of kwartzlab on the first floor.  Interesting characters abounding.

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Happy I pre-registered for this event for free entry.

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Todd Manuel – “Jello Jars” – oil on canvas

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Snacks!   …by

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Snacks x 10!  Sliders?  Wow.  Cameras + snacks are incompatible so I rarely eat this great stuff.

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Jean-Paul Fillion – “Hay Bales Forever” – photo on canvas – a fellow REPG’er

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Jared Davison – “Primeval Monad” – photo on canvas

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Credit gap here, readers (update: the artist is Steven Tippin, thanks Craig) – this glass piece had a freakishly cool depth to it.  Like the business-end of a sea anemone.  Nice.

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Hey!  Mayor Zehr is here.  Represent!

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Good mix, DJ.

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This room doubles as an IT training area by day I reckon, hence: desks.

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Range of prices.

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KOSTA, I see your tag there.

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Terre in red snapping the high POV shot.  Check her awesome pics on urbanelyurban.

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Craig Musselman, creative instigator, in the red robe.

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Frank Reid (recall from Ignite #7) showed photos and his book.

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Yes… delightfully jammed.

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The masterful Bernie Rohde put the hug on Terre Chartrand

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Jacqui Murphy and Debbie Currie.

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And the band, Ekhaya, played on.

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Dave and a dolly.  [insert joke here]

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After a solid 2 hour visit…

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we were out in the street again.

Happy making,


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One Response to The Talent Next Door launched and the people responded

  1. glass work needing credit was Steven Tippin…and he is a superstar in the making.

    “Talent Next Door – Kitchener Waterloo & Area Volume 2”
    Craig Musselman ISBN 978-0-9877895-1-8

    Books are available through me directly now. And online (see for details)

    Thanks for the story. I didn’t have time to take pictures myself to record the near riot of a crowd that showed up. Up next ” TND Cambridge and Guelph ” for January

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