Eastman Juried Art Exhibit 2021
Artists and artisans of all skill levels, ages 15 and older who are residents of the Eastman Region for a minimum of 2 calendar months per year, are given the opportunity to submit pictures of up to three pieces for this juried exhibition. If selected, their work will be displayed in an online gallery hosted by the Manitoba Arts Network for the months of July & August.
Ten pieces will be selected from the juried entries to participate in the Manitoba Rural and Northern Juried Art Show held in Winnipeg. The Manitoba Rural & Northern Juried Art Show is a provincial level exhibition that celebrates the artistic achievements of artists from Manitoba’s rural and northern communities. The exhibit introduces Winnipeg audiences to the artistic work generated by visual artists from beyond the perimeter (Eastman, Westman, Central, Parkland, Northern and Interlake Regions). A diverse range of media (painting, drawing, photography, sculpture, ceramics, and textiles) is exhibited. All selected artists are sent registration information from the MB Arts Network and can register to participate if they so choose.
The Winnipeg River Arts Council Inc. enhances quality of life in north eastern Manitoba by advancing arts and culture.
WRAC looks forward to serving residents, visitors, artists and arts groups within the Winnipeg River corridor (east of Highway 11 and north of Highway 317). The region is culturally diverse and home to many talented artists and arts organizations that provide opportunities for arts and culture. WRAC’s regional structure will help community arts organizations, schools and recreation services work together to plan larger regional arts initiatives by facilitating the sharing of resources, information and talents. WRAC seeks to contribute to economic grow by promoting the region’s arts and cultural assets to residents and tourists.
Artist Of The Month
For this month, Winnipeg River Arts Council features writer Mitch Toews. Born and raised in Steinbach, he lived in Chilliwack, British Columbia, for nine years with shorter stints in Winnipeg and Victoria. In 1995, Toews and his wife bought a cottage at Jessica Lake in Whiteshelll Provincial Park and they have lived there full-time since 2016.
Toews writes fiction and creative nonfiction, including flash, short story, and novel, and he describes his work as what he calls, “MennoGrit.” Inspired by Patrick Friesen’s poetry and Miriam Toews’ prose, he also enjoys Hemingway and Vonnegut (even though they aren’t Mennonite). He paints as a hobby and loves Winslow Homer’s water colours.
He says, “I like unusual people, and situations or characters that cause me to consider social issues or ‘the human condition’ in a new way. I’m drawn to stories of those who go against the grain or stand their ground.”
While he was a teen, people encouraged him to follow his artistic leanings, but he soon realized the challenges of survival as an artist. Although he ended up working in business, he preferred the parts that involved creativity, marketing, and advertising. At university, he studied sociology, but did not quite complete his BA. He also did a two-year program to earn a Master’s Certificate from Schulich (York) in Marketing. He says, “The latter program taught me a lot about business copywriting and marketing communication, and these skills have spilled over into my creative writing.”
Toews enjoys critique groups and the camaraderie of writers, participate in readings whenever he can, and works hard at his craft. At present, around 90 of his stories have appeared in print and online, via literary magazines and anthologies in Canada, United Kingdom, and United States.
His writing has also earned prose contests awards and two nominations for Pushcart Prizes. Recently, he learned that his story, selected from over 800 entrants, won a finalist spot in The Writers’ Union of Canada’s annual contest, Short Prose Competition for Emerging Writers. He says, “As a 65-year-old emerging artist, this inspired me to keep reaching.”
Upcoming pieces will appear with Fenechty Publishing in UK and in WordCity, a Canadian and International online literary journal. His story postings can be found at: Mitchellaneous.com, https://www.facebook.com/mitch.toews, https://twitter.com/mitchell_toewsWhen asked for inspiring words, he quotes Winslow Homer – “Travel widely, experiment boldly, love deeply.” And an old advertising pal, upon hearing Toews was working in fiction, told him – “Shut up and write.”