If you search long enough, you can find an event at Mahtay Café for just about any interest you might have.
Every first Tuesday of the month, a small and intimate group of people come together and celebrate one common interest: visual culture.
“This is a very open forum so it offers the opportunity for artists to connect with one another,” says Elizabeth Chitty, the artist facilitator for 5×2. “There’s a mix of professional, semi-professional and non-professional and we make no differentiation here. There were also people who weren’t artists, but were interested. It’s not even necessarily only art. We talk about visual culture.”
5×2 is a small meeting of people who like to talk about visual media and the processes behind it. Every month, they select five keynote speakers to bring in five images that they’ve either painted, drawn, photographed or just really admired and they talk about each image for two minutes each. This lets connoisseurs and lovers of visual media discuss and learn about the process and intention that went into each image.
One of these speakers was accomplished St. Catharines artist and 2011 Brock Graduate Bruce Thompson. He showed some pieces from his mixed media art series. He described the series as all connected to the idea of ‘inbetween’. Whether it be that he drew everything he saw on a road trip between two cities or the fact that he drew, or painted over top in a way that made it seem in between a drawing and a painting. Sometimes, he leaves in all the preliminary sketching so the viewer can see the in between stages of the process.
“My favourite part is the pleasure that I feel in the room from people appreciating these images that they see,” continues Chitty. “I’m so glad that 5×2 has gathered steam and that more people are participating. I look forward to seeing that continue and to see the variety of images that we’ve had.”
If you’re an aspiring visual artist, photographer or admirer this group is a great place to connect with those that share your passion. It is a fertile environment for critical discussion on things such as texture, colour, depth, framing and process. As mentioned above, this group meets every first Tuesday night at 5:30 p.m. at Mahtay Café and they welcome all, no matter your expertise.
-Luke Webster, Assistant Arts & Culture Editor