Exploring the Carmel Fine Arts Festival

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Whether you’re interested in ballet, EDM, or even puppet making, the Carmel Fine Art & Music Festival is offering something to suit your taste. The Niagara Arts Showcase were proud to hold the three day festival this past weekend at Firemen’s Park in Niagara Falls. The festival is essentially a composite of every imaginable artistic discipline, no matter how niche or unique.

Aside from live art shows and an extensive lineup of musical acts, there are plenty of ways in which the festival encourages a local art scene. For budding young artists, there’s a kid’s art zone offering a variety of things to do for the younger crowd. For someone looking to uncover what hidden musical talent they may have, there’s a so-called ‘instrument petting zoo,’ complete with a vocal coaching at the ready. All in all, any art and music fan across the board would find something at this festival for them. For me, what took center stage was the collection of art installations. The best part is that the talent is almost exclusively local, showcasing some of the best of Niagara. Here’s a guide to just a handful of the artists you may have missed over the weekend — and, hopefully, you will be able to catch them at some point during the year.

An overarching theme this year seemed to be inspiration from Canada’s natural world. One of the displays was a collection of Aurora Light Sculptures, both inspired by nature and created from it, with pieces of driftwood being turned into ethereal light sculptures. The pieces are each unique amongst each other and from any other artwork you may have seen.

On the other hand, Brian Boyer’s wire trees are equally as beautiful but come with a harder story, one of illness and homelessness. As he lived out this story, Boyer’s solace was found in spinning wires into glittering twisted trees of all types. His work is worth a look for the beauty, but the background they’re rooted in is just as worthy of your time.

The array of inspired artists seem to use any type of media they can get their hands on, and Paverpol Niagara comes from the opposite end of the spectrum to those prior. Having spent the last week building up momentum over Facebook, a piece entitled “For A Moment” was revealed, depicting a brother pushing his sister on a swing. For those intrigued by it, you’ll be pleased to know it’s something you could easily build yourself.

Paverpol Niagara offers classes on how to work with paverpol (an Eco-friendly substance used to make fabrics rock hard) and a variety of materials. Even those who don’t feel as though they have an artistic side are encouraged to look into classes, a sentiment which the festival prides itself on echoing.

Brainkite is a collective put together by Adam Buller in 2008. 10 years later, Ontario (and the Niagara region in particular) is home to plenty of larger-than-life murals of their creation. With five different creative minds at work, Brainkite has offered everything from installations to window paintings to cardboard work, each one a completely different direction from the last. Their resume lists things that engulf viewers in a fairytale, like a cardboard city and a giant storybook.

Once again, this is only a brief look at the work around the festival. The lineup of local music only increases that number an overwhelming amount. It would take far too long to cover it all, but there’s nothing wrong with that — it’s a testament to Niagara’s artistic community, which the Carmel Fine Art & Music Festival are doing their best to keep alive. Those intrigued by what else the festival may have had to offer need to take note that the event is simply something that needs to be experienced individually. With the abundance of creative talent present, one can pick and choose what means the most to them. And maybe that is ballet, EDM or puppet making — whatever it may be, the festival has room for it.

 

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