Beginning Friday, July 18th, a new initiative starts with the intention of bringing art to the community.
A partnership forged between business, community, and artists has resulted in a month-long gallery and community space beginning its operation at that date.
Located at 43 Hellems Avenue, at the corner of Division Street, The Hard Way is a space operating on regular hours and days as a venue to showcase and exhibit the work of The Black Lantern Experience and other artists, as well as a place for the community to not only appreciate and purchase art, but to also get involved in art.
The plan is to offer various workshops, demonstrations, seminars, and opportunities to not only check out some local cultural offerings, but to also encourage others to also try their hand at using their creativity. People of all ages are welcome to attend and be a part of the action.
This arrangement between artists and community is made possible by not only the participating BLX artists, but through the generous resources and efforts made available by Wellandarium and MyWelland.com. This initiative not only allows artists the opportunity to exhibit and market their work independently through collected effort, but to also give back to the community as an expression of gratitude for all of the support we’ve received in the past year.
This initiative is also an independent socioeconomic experiment to accomplish two goals:
1. Local Art Marketing: Expose Welland to some interesting artists who gain inspiration from this town, as well as possibly attract others from outside our community to come see what local talent we have to offer.
2. Placemaking: Get people out of their homes and into the downtown to interact with one another and support the businesses that are trying to make a go of it here, and provide a safe place for creative and progressive minds to converge.
This initiative is non-permanent, lasting only four weeks, from July 18th through to August 15th. It will be open to the public of all ages.
What The Hard Way is NOT:
A business entity: it is a place for artists to market and sell their work and use as a pop-up retail outlet, with resources and duties shared by each artist independently. No commissions are collected from exhibiting artists, but artists, as well as other volunteers, will help facilitate this space in return.
A nonprofit organization: this initiative is the result of artists, community, and business utilizing their own resources and efforts to attract people to downtown Welland, from both within and outside the community. It gives people a place to go and something to do at little or no cost to attend and participate. It may also be a gathering place for networking and sharing of ideas.
An educational program/institution: Workshops, seminars, and demonstrations will be offered at little or no cost by exhibiting artists and volunteers. This is to educate the public about what artists do, or to foster a greater appreciation for arts and culture, and expand minds by allowing them to explore what some artists do. Also, by allowing the community, especially children and youth, the opportunity to also do their own creating in a non-structured atmosphere, this provides an interesting activity to participate in while fostering creativity.
A schedule of events is being finalized, and will be made available soon. So far, aside from Open Art Days for youth and adults, we have confirmed a few events, with more coming:
July 18th: Grand Opening/BLX Anniversary Art Show
July 26th: Guest artist exhibition – North Carolina’s Chad Godt will take over the space for his only Canadian show!
August 16: Closing Night Art Show
As well, our regular Tuesday Open Art Nights for adults will be held at The Hard Way during the four weeks in operation.
There will be more announcements of details as they become available.
Once again, I’d like to personally express my gratitude to this community for its support over the last year. I hope to see many of you attend and participate our happenings at The Hard Way starting July 18th.