Tyler Durbano, Katie Hagan and Jimy Sloan personify creativity, energy and a passion for the arts. New Glasgow-NSCAD’s newest Artists in Residence are ready for the next chapter in their artistic journey and are taking hold of the opportunity to work in the community studio with talent, gusto, and tenacity.
The three artists work on large canvases and the unique talent of the trio makes a huge impact. The three will present their works at an Opening Exhibition, titled Offshoots, on Thursday, October 25 from 4-6pm in New Glasgow’s Community Destination Centre at 182 Dalhousie Street (behind the New Glasgow Fire Station) and it is a show that is sure to excite and impress the community.
Tyler, from Barrie, Ontario will officially graduate from NSCAD with a Bachelor of Fine Arts with a minor in Art History as part of the Class of 2013. He also holds a Bachelor of Arts, English Major and Minor in Philosophy from Acadia University. Tyler works in oils, acrylics and pastels, focusing on painting and drawing while also heavily utilizing photography as a part of his creative process. He often focuses on the human form and objects that are linked to people. “My work centers around narrative and the human form. Generally my works include figures, but other times they will draw on situations that suggest the involvement of people without specifically featuring one,” says Tyler.
Katie, from Mississauga, ON is also a gifted musician who plays piano, violin and guitar and channels her creativity through her art and her music. Her forte is painting portraiture, often with photographic realism, using oils. She also really enjoys print-making. Another member of the 2013 NSCAD graduating class with a Bachelor of Fine Arts, Katie is also completing her BA in Art History. “Realistic painting and print making share a common thread of high meticulum, which is something that brings great satisfaction in my studio practice,” says Katie.
Jimy, from Sackville, NS graduated with his Bachelor of Fine Arts in 2012 and paints in acrylics along with doing some drawing and interviewing. Jimy says his subject matter comes from his environment. “Geography is a state of mind,” he explains. “The things around me- that is what I find interesting.”
When asked why each wants to be an artist and why they pursued the Artists in Residence opportunity, Tyler first explains that his interest in art has been building since high school where he was very much interested in both art and science. Tyler describes the residency as a great opportunity that will give him the “chance to create, teach and experience art-making as a career” before going on to a Masters of Fine Art.
Jimy also first started out studying science but always knew he would do something with his artistic abilities and interests. He thinks of the community residency as a “self-guided curriculum and as a way to carry on the demands” of producing art.
Katie candidly explains she is still figuring out what she “wants to be” but says she is motivated by artists and other creative people because of their “great outlook on life.” She also wants to leave a larger mark in the community than building her portfolio. “I want the program to become more prominent and recognizable in the coming years,” says Katie. She also comments that the residency is “an opportunity to take the time to sit and make work.”
Both Katie and Tyler also say that they were not quite ready to leave Nova Scotia and all three agree the Community Residency Program enables them to have an incredible transition period from being a full time student at NSCAD to being a full time artist. “This is a luxury,” says Tyler. “There is an opportunity here to create but also still be influenced by classmates and instructors.”
When asked if there are other artists in their families, Jimy is proud to say his father is an artist, who graduated from NSCAD, and who was first a landscape artist and then went on to explore conceptual abstract works. Jimy’s sister is also a costume designer and graduate of NSCAD and works at Neptune Theatre. Katie, who has one brother, says her Dad has an eye for drawing while Tyler says one of his two sisters is a self-taught musician.
All three artists are passionate and enthusiastic about the educational and creative experiences they encountered at NSCAD University. Each spoke of the many great professors they encountered at NSCAD and named a few in particular who made a special difference in their growth as artists.
Katie spoke of Sandra Alfoldy, one of her art history professors, who she describes as a “ray of sunshine.” Jimy emphasizes many of the professors were very good but says that Alex Livingston stood out to him. “NSCAD was one of the best decisions, hands down, I have ever made,” says Jimy. “They promote critical thinking and encourage mistakes. Things I learned in the classroom there I remember and use,” he adds. Tyler gives special mention of Suzanne Funnell, describing her as “a blunt and fantastic creative personality and spirit” who “shook up” the way he painted.
The residency program is a partnership between NSCAD and the Town of New Glasgow and the artists do not receive a salary. They are provided with an official studio they can call their own during the term of the residency and in turn offer workshops, talks and programs to the community.
“We are blessed with many accomplished, seasoned and talented artists in our region,” says Kimberly Dickson, New Glasgow’s Director of Marketing & Communications. “The Community Residency between the Town and NSCAD is a great fit and enables these young artists to add to the cultural fabric of the community while they continue to grow and develop as artists.”
Two of last year’s Artists in Residence, Katie Roux and Krissi MacKenzie, have remained in the area while Annalise Prodor is living and working in Halifax. The Town of New Glasgow’s Community Development Director Geralyn MacDonald says, “We are very excited to welcome Tyler, Katie and Jimy and look forward to their impact on the community. It is very early in the residency and already they have helped out with New Glasgow Culture Days event and have been very prolific with their production of art.”
Sharon Blanchard, NSCAD Director of Extended Studies, believes the partnership with the Town of New Glasgow and the Community Residency is growing stronger each year as logistics of the program are being developed and enhanced. “We are learning together,” says Sharon. “Our first four artists in New Glasgow have helped pave the way for these three artists to make an incredible impact on the community but also to take the time to create, develop and flourish as artists. This is a valued partnership with the Town of New Glasgow that has had great success to date but also with amazing potential for the future.”
The three young artists are familiar with stats that suggest only a small percentage will have a full-time career as independent artists but that is not holding them back from pursuing their dreams with passion, determination and self-discipline. The world is their oyster, ready to produce lasting gems, and if artistic talent, creativity and intellect are any indication, they are in for a very promising future and lasting creative legacies.