Abstract + Landscape An Interview with Sarah Moffat - theHumm June 2021
Abstract + Landscape An Interview with Sarah Moffat - theHumm June 2021
By Kris Riendeau
There’s a tangible sense of optimism brewing amongst visual artists and galleries in our area. After months (and months) of moving-target restrictions, many are eyeing mid-June as the time they might be able to begin the gradual return to “normal”. One artist and gallery owner who has already chucked “normal” and set her sights on “better” is Sarah Moffat sarahmoffat.com . Sarah has spent the past several months doing major renovations to her S.M.art Gallery at 50 Bennett Street (Unit 1) in Carleton Place, and is getting ready to launch a group show on June 19. theHumm caught up with her to find out more.
theHumm: I was at your gallery back in December of 2020, and I thought it looked pretty great at that time! What have you done to the space since then, and what were your goals for the renovations?
Sarah Moffat: It was special to have the gallery all decorated and full of creative energy for the Christmas group show in December. I remember being overcome with gratitude that we had the opportunity to thrive in community togetherness. Everyone was so happy to be out, surrounded by beautiful things and supporting each other.
When everything was quiet again and we were faced with the winter lockdown, I decided that I would use that energy and turn the downtime into upgrades.
Six years ago when I converted 3,200 square feet of office space into an art studio/gallery, a few details got knocked off the list as I was making the big push toward the Grand Opening. I pulled out that list, added a few new tasks and got started. I have also officially sectioned off the gallery space from my workspace, which I often spilled into. But no more dripping paint on the newly stained concrete gallery floor!
I have improved the lighting, created a rolling display wall, and built a modern fireplace feature wall with low bench to create a homier feeling. Throw in a few ceiling fans, air conditioning (I am predicting a hot summer), et voilá! Oh, and a fresh coat of paint, top to bottom.
The whole progression (from the actual beginning) can be seen on my website under “about”.
I feel like the space is now appropriately appointed to be a backdrop to the art and host to the community.
What’s the theme for your upcoming show, and who have you invited to participate?
The next event to take place is another group exhibition showcasing five local artists including myself.
The Abstract + Landscape Show will feature a wide variety of styles and media including plein air, representational, fantasy, abstract landscape and pure abstract. These are some of my very favourite artists whom I have followed and collected for a long time, so I’m very excited to have them all together under one roof. The opening date has been pushed back a few times now, but we are hoping that these new dates will hold. The show is up and ready with all the details and artists links available on my website.
Visual artists can tend to be solitary creatures. How does holding group shows impact you — both socially and artistically?
Having a career as a visual artist can be very reclusive indeed. It is absolutely necessary for me to be tuned out from people and the world for periods of time, and I love it. I am never unhappy when I am alone and working. But then I find myself in a group of people, or involved in a project, and I become acutely aware that I also love human energy. Perhaps the benefit of being socially connected is a renewal of our other senses. I think, to me, that is the essence of a group show.
How has your own creativity fared over the pandemic? What has helped you personally?
During the last year and throughout the serious challenges I saw many people go through, I became ever more grateful for my studio and for the green light that I have to spend my days being creative. I was able to stay busy, stay healthy and stay afloat, and as a result I have amassed quite a body of new work! I am looking at it now as I write, and I wonder if it isn’t more playful, more colourful than my previous work. A balancing element in a dark year.
Assuming that we continue to see falling numbers of Covid cases and rising numbers of vaccinated folks, what are your hopes for the future of the S.M.art Gallery and the arts scene in Carleton Place and the Valley?
Despite all the closed doors we are facing, I do see a lot of movement happening. I have a feeling that this past year has created more artists and craftspeople than ever. I think the arts scene here in Carleton Place, and the Valley as a whole, has a bright future and soon we will swing open the doors, welcome everyone in and celebrate.
The Abstract + Landscape Show opens (hopefully!) on June 19 at S.M.art Gallery in Carleton Place. For details, please visit sarahmoffat.com .
Frank Sammut —Fine Wood Working - theHumm June 2021
By Sally Hansen
Art… and Soul
Kokopelli Custom Woodworking is Frank Sammut’s celebration of the natural beauty and wonder encapsulated in the trees that fall on his 87 acres of bush lot near Maberly. His lifelong fondness for working with his hands has culminated in a passion for creating one-of-a-kind pieces of furniture that showcase nature’s beauty. Wood speaks to him. And he creates poetry in response.
Frank’s artistic tables and benches are as much sculptures as the......
Warden Christa Lowry (Mississippi Mills Mayor) has proclaimed June as PRIDE Month in Lanark County and encourages residents to reflect on the ongoing struggle for equality faced by members of the 2SLGBTQ+ community while celebrating the contributions that enhance the county.
The proclamation expresses support for every citizen to experience equality and freedom from discrimination, and notes all people, regardless of race, national or ethnic origin, colour, religion, age, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, marital status, genetic characteristics or disability, hav......
By Susie Osler
It is mid-May. Late Spring. The air is pulsing with life. The miracle that is migration parades a blessing of beautiful birds back to parks, forests, streets and yards, along with their chorus of songs telling us, again, to listen, look, and revel in Life. Amongst the flurry of feathery delights, another migration of sorts has also been underway. Postmarked packages containing thousands of little genetic bundles criss-cross the continents on flightpaths of their own — from seed producers to the mailbo......
Rural Root’s Comedic Double-Feature - theHumm June 2021
After winning the Ottawa Faces Magazine People’s Choice Award for Favourite Theatre Company, Rural Root Theatre Company is hard at work bringing live theatre to the community again.
Rural Root’s third virtual production is a comedy extravaganza that features Dagny Jackson’s Fishing for Fate and Peter Paylor’s Tea with Roger. It is being presented live via Zoom on June 3, 4 and 5 at 7:30pm and on Sunday, June 6 at 2pm. The show is free, and you can choose your date by visiting ruralroot.org .
Imagine hailing a cab only to f......
Pop Up Summer Theatre - theHumm June 2021
By Juli Heney
Studio Theatre Perth is happy to announce a plan to return to live theatre at the end of summer — but in a new, Covid-friendly, engaging and exciting way!
During the weekend of August 28 and 29, there will be 10-minute plays popping up all over downtown Perth and in a few other select locations. We are joining forces with Kanata Theatre in presenting plays that were developed through a playwriting workshop facilitated by award-winning playwright Guy Newsham.
There will be......
Gayle Kells:Rooted in Time - theHumm June 2021
From May 26 to July 2 (leading up to Canada Day), Sivarulrasa Gallery is pleased to present Rooted in Time, an intriguing installation by Ottawa-based artist Gayle Kells that uses art to explore Canadian identity in the 21st Century. Kells was born to two Lebanese Canadians who both had parents who immigrated to Canada at different times. The installation can be viewed virtually until the current lockdown is lifted; at which time we will open our doors again to in-person view......
Art in the Garden is back at Kiwi Gardens this year in an extended format following Covid protocols. From June 18–20 and 25–27, come wander their 10 acres and find delightful art for enhancing your home garden, produced by local artists, artfully displayed in shady woods and on sunny lawns. Bring your parasol and come for a stroll!
Art in the Garden is open Friday, Saturday and Sunday from 9–5, but tickets and car passes must be purchased for specific time slots to ena......
Destination: Downtown Smiths Falls - theHumm June 2021
By John Pigeau
When things slowly begin opening up again in Smiths Falls, folks in the area will have a whole lot to be excited about — and it’s safe to say that Amy Rensby, owner of C’est Tout Bakery, might be a little more excited than most.
She has good reason to be.
In June, C’est Tout Bakery — the little bakery that could — is set to become the first commercial tenant to open its doors at the newly restored and renovated Rideau Hotel on Beckwith Street. Understandably, Amy is pretty thril......
By Kris Riendeau
There’s a tangible sense of optimism brewing amongst visual artists and galleries in our area. After months (and months) of moving-target restrictions, many are eyeing mid-June as the time they might be able to begin the gradual return to “normal”. One artist and gallery owner who has already chucked “normal” and set her sights on “better” is Sarah Moffat sarahmoffat.com . Sarah has spent the past several months doing major renovations to h......
Invasive Perennials — Buyer Beware! - theHumm June 2021
By David Hinks
I find that gardeners who choose perennial flowers to grace their yards and gardens face a bit of a dilemma. One the one hand gardeners want plants that will thrive; on the other hand they want plants that will be well behaved. Many people go into gardening with perennials believing that it will be effortless — put in the right plants and your new perennial border will be maintenance-free.
Not completely true! I find that the essence of gardening is really our desire to “shape unruly nature” to e......
Harmony Concerts Come to Perth! - theHumm June 2021
By Kris Riendeau
Although this last year or so has been exceedingly tough on artists and performers, we are starting to see some light at the end of the tunnel. One very positive sign is the announcement of a new concert series taking place at Studio Theatre Perth! Organized by Ottawa-based Harmony Concerts, the series will open with Lynn Miles in late-June and continue right through to December with a fabulous line-up that features fiddling, folk, jazz, blues and more. We (very excitedly!) contacted Harmony’s......
Mom is On Your Shoulder! - theHumm June 2021
By Glenda Jones
Listen here, You! You can’t do whatever you please and think that no one is noticing. Your Mom is noticing, and she refuses to stay silent any longer. You’re being a bad person when you abuse others, send nasty emails or anonymous Tweets. Your Mom knows, and by golly, you are going to pay! She definitely doesn’t approve of your behaviour. You know full well what’s worse than a darn good spanking, don’t you? It’s when Mom stands in front of you, with her arms crossed, and quietly says, “You’ve disappointed me. I thought you were better than that.” Yikes, you’ve been reprimanded big time. A......
By Andy Fisher is with the Lanark County Neighbours for Truth and Reconciliation
Thousands of years before European settlers arrived in what is now called Lanark County, Algonquin/Omàmìwininì People thrived in these lands. When Samuel de Champlain first encountered Algonquins in the 1600s, the land was not empty. Rather, the Algonquin People had complex social and political structures for governing their homeland. These structures worked at an individual and collective level to maintain balanced relationships within the Natural World, fulfilling the Algonquins’ responsibilities t......
By Chandler Swain
If you’re wondering what’s going on in Lanark with Climate Action and how you can contribute, consider this: municipal governments control or influence half of all greenhouse gas emissions produced locally.
This is good news as we try to figure out how to help create the changes needed to confront the Climate Crisis. There is significant headway to be made to address these issues here in Lanark County. We have the capacity and the power to do this. But where to start?
For the last year, membe......
By Danielle K.L. Grégoire
When I first moved to Almonte in 2007, it was for what I called my favourite Ps: Poetry, Puppetry and Pottery. I was lucky to live there when the Puppets Up Festival was in full swing, bringing thousands to our fair town, and right now I am revelling in the memory of those giant crowds and all the children laughing and experiencing the joy of puppetry. I moved away to Seattle in 2012, and when it came time to return to Canada there was only one place I wanted to be: the town where I h......
Cycling in Miss Mills - theHumm June 2021
Ever consider joining a bicycle group so you can share some of your rides with others? Maybe now is the time to get organized for when the Covid restrictions end. Many of us will haul out a bike this spring. Some will ride to do errands around town, a few to commute to work, others to explore the beautiful quiet roads and trails in the area, while still others will enjoy a long, hard workout. Hopefully, we all do it for pleasure. Sometimes we prefer to ride solo and sometimes the kil......
By Kris Riendeau
Over the years, I’ve learned that when one artist highly recommends another, it’s generally a good idea to follow up on the tip. In this case, the tip came from Kaajuk Kablalik, who is profiled in the April 2021 issue of theHumm. Along with the headshot for his Artist Trading Card, Kaajuk sent along a photo of his tattoos (shown here), which were done by a visual artist and graphic designer living with their four kids on a small homestead in Brooke Valley. I followed the link to their website
Go Jump in the Lake, Kids! - theHumm June 2021
By Sarah Kerr
This month’s Little Humm topic was an easy one after many weeks in lockdown with my family. We’ve all been feeling the need to tell each other to go jump in the lake this month — figuratively and literally! I don’t know if you’re in the same boat or if you need a dinghy at this point, but since we’re all enrolled in a provincial three-step program which involves nothing social until at least mid-month, I thought the best lifeline I can toss your way is to share a little backwoods tour of sw......
Sep 1 - 30 Retrospective: Having Said That...
Sep 11 - 30 Eric Uren
Sep 24 - 30 Eric Uren on the Patio
Sep 30 Jeff Callery
Oct 1 Perth Night Market
Oct 1 - Nov 6 Cedar Hill Fall Weekends
Oct 2 Eric Uren
- Turpin’s Trail Returns to CP
- Marina Raike — Halloween Alert:She Has a Skeletonin her Closet!
- Almonte in Concert’s New Season is a Classic
- Mississippi Mills Art Romp Returns for Thanksgiving
- Weekly Song Circle at Equator Coffee
- Two Plays inOne Exciting Evening
- Save the Date for MAG!
- Expressions of Art
- Harvest Market Time Almonte’s Harvest and Christmas Markets
- Guatemala Stove Project Update