Art Kitchen is a radically transparent and participatory approach to arts funding. On Wednesday, November 28, 2018, patrons and artists gathered over a communal meal – a delicious tomato roasted garlic puree prepared by guest chef Robin Estey, and beer from Picaroons Traditional Ales.
While local artists presented their work, each patron was given a ballot to vote for one of four art projects they would like to see happen in Fredericton, NB. A popular vote determined Tracy Austin the grant recipient.
Art Kitchen is a method of arts funding that draws from entrepreneurial and grassroots strategies to generate funds for new, emerging, and newly professionalized artists and curators. Art Kitchen encourages communities to engage in the processes of art making and local patronage, as a radically transparent and inclusive fundraiser.The evening’s presenting artists, selected by a peer jury comprised of Connexion members, were Katrina Slade, Tracy Austin, Corie Waugh, and Renata Britez.
Katrina Slade, originally from Oregon, has an undefinable urge to create organically ethereal compositions through mixed media experiments. She works in layered combinations of acrylics, watercolours, and inks. Slade’s style is described as otherworldly, non-objective, and centred in the basic elements of colour and harmony. The abstract nature of her aesthetic invites the viewer to arrive at their own unique interpretation of her work.Slade’s evolving style is influenced by her international lifestyle, especially from her time living in Tokyo, Japan, where she fell in love with the Japanese aesthetic. World travel has been instrumental in her artistic growth. Slade is currently living and working in Fredericton.
Tracy Austin is Fredericton native and graduated in 2007 from the New Brunswick College of Craft and Design with a diploma in Fashion Design. The rich artistic community of the capital is an inspiration for her, and she involves herself with the public often and currently works in the fashion studio at NBCCD. A miniaturist at heart, Austin combines this with her traditional training in fashion and has been creating miniature fashion and textile work since 2008. Her style is inspired by dark, occult and gothic themes combined with the beauty and ferocity of nature.
In 2016 Austin took her art in a new direction and began to work on couture and sculpted one third scale fashion pieces that were designed to elicit emotion to the viewer and make statements in response to social issues. Many of her pieces are about her view on feminism and recognizing both the struggles and the strength of women.
Corie Waugh is an interdisciplinary artist based in Montreal, Quebec. She graduated in 2013 with distinction from the University of British Columbia with a BFA in Visual Arts. Since arriving in Montreal in October 2017 Corie has had the opportunity to show her work in three exhibitions and was awarded an employment subsidy grant by the Quebec government to focus on her art practice this year.
Corie is currently exploring the ideas of the expanded painting, ontological aesthetics, ideas and intersection of language and visual communication, and the autobiographical position artists often take, all within her practice. Her two current working mediums are oil paint and clay, she utilizes formal artistic media and found objects to execute her work. She is most interested in working on immersive multimedia installations, like her current project ESP – Experiments in Sculpture Painting.
Renata Britez is mixed media artist originally from Brazil, She is on her second year in textile program at NBCCD. Her previous experience working in graphic design industry and her interest in printing methods and pattern design lead her to follow the path of surface design. Her goal is to explore traditional printing methods such as block printing, shibori dyeing, and screen printing using natural dyes and fibres.
Her current work, titled Naturallis, is a line of naturally hand-dyed/eco printed locally-sourced reclaimed garments and accessories. Celebrating the beautiful rich colours found in the nature, the collection attempts to bring back traditional natural- dye techniques offering an affordable and environmentally-friendly product.
Over one evening, these four artists shared their projects, while patrons shared a communal meal generating independent funding to support artistic development.