• Supercrawl: TANYA'S TIPS & TRICKS

    August 31, 2015 by Tanya Goncalves

    By: Tanya Goncalves

    Ah yes, tis the season to be merry. Supercrawl is just around the corner and it's all everyone seems to be talking about in Hamilton. It's the biggest art and music festival of the year here, and it attracts people from different cities. Big headliners, great food, packed streets, this is what I live for people. It's exciting! I'm not usually a fan of big crowds but for whatever reason Supercrawl makes me suck it up and enjoy it for at least one night. So here is my gift to you, some tips of advice for new crawlers who are going to be experiencing Supercrawl for the first time:

    #1. Before you get to Supercrawl make sure you had a nice meal or at least some snackage, because things get hectic in restaurants and bars, it's going to take you a while before you get your meal. By the time you do, you may have missed your favorite band play the main stage.

    #2. Wear comfortable shoes. Seriously, you're going to be standing for a while and walking around. Also, it's good to have shoes with strong rubber soles at the bottom because you will most likely encounter shards of glasses from drunken individuals dropping glasses and bottles.

    #3. Don't expect to just stroll into a venue that has a night performance or "Supercrawl after party" going on. I can't even begin to tell you to PURCHASE YOUR TICKETS WELL IN ADVANCE if that's what you want. Especially if you expect to get in Baltimore House that night, it's not gonna happen! I guess you can always wait in line for 1 hour just like I did (remember tip #2 comfortable shoes). But seriously, take your flannel jacket and ripped jeans home hunny, you ain't getting in!

    #4. Check out the galleries. I know. They're going to be packed, but seriously take a break from all of the music stages and take a stroll into a gallery or two. It won't hurt yeah! Plus it will give you a break from getting shoved around in a massive crowd. 

    #5. That little car street coffee vendor guy, you will see him, trust me, yeah get the coffee from there. That line actually is worth the wait! 

    #6. Don't expect to get home early. Traffic is going to be insane, and the HSR is going to be a disaster. Seriously, just walk home. That or wait until 4AM when everything is somewhat dead to get home.

    #7. Last but not least, this is the most important. Stop by the Hamilton Arts Council's information table to get a copy of the Culture Guide. This little book will be your in and out about what's happening and where during Supercrawl and the rest of the year.


    And, that's about it people! See you all at Supercrawl.

  • Hamilton The Art City

    August 24, 2015 by Tanya Goncalves

    By: Tanya Goncalves

    I've spent some time in Hamilton, and over the past 5 years I've seen the city really change. I'm not from Hamilton, I am a suburb girl, I hail from Mississauga, the little sister city between Hamilton and Toronto. Hamilton has always been hailed as an industrial city, and although that is completely true I think times are starting to change. When people outside of Hamilton talk about Hamilton I hear a lot of not-so-positive terms thrown around: "blue collar," "industrial," "steel city," "rough," "no jobs," "no wealth." Although these terms may have been true 8 years ago, things have really begun to change, and it's because of young people like myself.

    Hamilton has always been seen by outsiders as the "not so pretty" big sister of Toronto. All the while the individuals living within Hamilton know it's true face. Yes, the city is a steel city, it has a large industrial sector, it has for years, but there is a lot of change going on. Steel manufacturing is being sent off shore more often than not and the industrial sector is being broken down, thus jobs need to begin taking a new focus. More money is being invested more into the downtown core than ever before, and we see this happening in several ways. Firstly McMaster University is allocating a serious amount of attention and time to invest in the city, and it has already began building a second campus in the downtown core. This means a great deal of money is being spent by the University to update and create new research centers (and for those of you who do not know, research is the future of Hamilton!). Secondly, Toronto based companies have been moving into the city and investing a great deal of money to build fashionable real estate (i.e. condos, apartments, rental spaces, etc.).  We see transit companies (Metrolinx) investing a lot of time and money to create more accessible transit from Toronto to Hamilton to open up not only the job sector, but also to creature accessibility between both cities (something that has been limited by CN for far too long). I have seen these changes occur all within the past 2-3 years, which is a really short period of time if you think about it. 

    Something that people are really not expecting is the initiative Hamilton has taken to grow the artistic scene. Hamilton is an art city, first and foremost, I will always see Hamilton as an art city and not a steel city. Monthly ArtCrawls, money being invested in the arts by the city, Supercrawl, increased tourism, new exhibitions at the AGH (Art Gallery of Hamilton), and so much more is drawing attention to the city for arts and tourism. This is an entirely new sector that probably was not imagined for the city just 15 years ago, but young entrepreneurs and artists are changing the dynamic nature of the city. 

    If you take a stroll in the city, you don't have to go very far, just walk down James St, and you will see so many new businesses, most of which are start ups by young people. I see restaurants, cafes, and shops being opened and becoming extremely successful. I also see new forms of development beginning, one being game development with start ups like Thrive Games and Snakehead Games becoming focal points for game design in the city. I see a lot of non-for-profit organizations pushing for the development and advocation of new media arts, an artistic field and a field of research that is going to cross over a great deal of sectors including: marketing, industrial design, media design, communications, and public relations, just to name a few. 

    So I write this blog just to inform people about what is happening in Hamilton, what I am seeing, and what to expect for the city. My predictions may be wrong, but if I can recommend something for the future it is to invest within the arts and research, because within the next 5 years everything is going to completely change! 

    Photography by:

  • The Art of Photography

    August 4, 2015 by Tanya Goncalves

    By: Tanya Goncalves

    When I walk into modern galleries I'm greeted by a series of beautiful visual works, but one in particular always seems to be missing, photography. Photography is not a staple art in modern galleries, you see it often if it is part of an exhibition, but it usually it is not part of the pieces that are always held in a gallery. I thought about the different reasons why this may be the case. History shows galleries holding paintings, and sculptures, more traditional and classical views of artwork. However, photography is kind of new, and it also has the stigma of not being a "legitimate" form of art since a machine and some form of technology is used and always involved in the art practice. This kind of mentality is a bit too 1990's for me. I decided to interview a newly local Hamilton photographer about this, and he chose to be anonymous for this interview.


    Tanya: Can you tell me a bit about yourself without disclosing too much information, I know you want to remain anonymous.

    Photographer: Sure. Well I am now a Hamilton based photographer, just moved here, but I travel around the world doing commercial photography. I've worked with companies like Coca-Cola, Hudson Bay, Smirnoff Vodka, Adidas, and Nike. I do a lot of unique personal photography as well, some of which was blessed to be exhibited at galleries around the world. 

    Tanya: That's impressive. So my question for you is: is there a staple art in modern galleries, I'm not just talking about inside of Canada, but abroad as well. 

    Photographer: We see a lot of paintings and sculptures, what I call the classical works. What I see happening now, especially in Europe and not so much in North America, is the integration of video art and new media art into big galleries - although the process is still a bit slow ever over there. 

    Tanya: What's the reason? Do you think there's something behind big galleries keeping the old?

    Photographer: Truthfully? 

    Tanya: Of course!

    Photographer: Well, if you look at a lot of people who are directors of modern galleries, you look at their fine art degrees, they're almost set up to favorite more traditional forms of art. Now I'm not saying everyone is like this, but the good majority stick to what they know. And the truth is, there is a massive stigma based around photography because it's not considered "art" - it more like a cop out art form. You see what I mean? People don't take it as seriously because anyone can go out and buy a point and shoot camera for $100.00 and start taking pictures. What people fail to understand is that not everyone has an eye for photographic esthetics, that's something money can't buy, that's a skill that takes years to learn and define. 

    Tanya: What can be done to kind of change this mentality, in your opinion?

    Photographer: Well, obviously the mentality is changing since people like you exist and are pushing photography into big galleries. I just saw your blog about the LivingArts Symposium and I noticed not one but two photographers showcasing and this is going to be the AGH. Maybe it's your education, maybe it was because you grew within the Hamilton art community, maybe it's your open-mindedness. It goes without question however, that if you were to get a curating job at a big modern gallery you would most likely butt heads with your bosses because of that exact openness. 

    Tanya: What do you mean? Could you elaborate?

    Photographer: Generally speaking the people running the show at big modern galleries are stuck in the old school mentality. I'm hopeful though, because it will only be a matter of time before young people like yourself push that mentality out. 

    Tanya: Well that is the goal, giving under appreciated artists and art forms more exposure.

    Photographer: Good, I will see you at the LivingArts Symposium then. Maybe your selection of artists will cause such a stir with traditionalists it will make news headlines online!

    Tanya: Maybe, only time can tell.


    More information about the LivingArts Symposium here:
















  • LivingArts Hamilton Symposium 2015

    July 29, 2015 by Tanya Goncalves

    By: Tanya Goncalves

    There's been a lot of buzz in the air at the office lately, everyone is chatting about the symposium we are planning for the up coming fall. The LivingArts Hamilton Symposium will be happening October 23rd to the 25th, 2015. The symposium brings together artists and arts professionals to exchange ideas about the everyday realities of being an artist. The symposium includes lectures, panel discussions, workshops and knowledge-sharing for the professional development of artists and arts workers in Hamilton. The entire symposium will take place at the Art Gallery of Hamilton (AGH), and will begin with an opening reception featuring a series of visual artistic works by local artists, and a musical performance. 

    The opening reception will be showcasing the work of Westin Nguyen, a GTA based cinematographer and photographer who's work explores a series of different dynamics between artists and professionals, cities and landscapes, food and food production, to animals and wildlife. 

    The work of local Hamilton artist Ariel Bader-Shamai will also be showcased. Ariel's work consists of  hauntingly beautiful photographs, and often Ariel integrates stitching and needle work into her pieces. 

    The work of Ailish Corbett will also be showcased at the AGH. Ailish's visual works incorporates unique aspects that reflect aquatic life and dreams, while some of her more contemporary works explore electroacoustics and DIY electronics. 

    Be sure to stay tuned for more details about the Symposium by following our Facebook page here:








  • Art, Obviously!

    July 27, 2015 by Tanya Goncalves

    By: Tanya Goncalves

    I had the pleasure of meeting Ailish Corbett in my first year of University at McMaster. At the time I was taking an art history class, and it was the first day of my undergraduate. The class was in one of the original buildings at McMaster University, Hamilton Hall, which for those of you who are unfamiliar is a breathtaking building with gothic accents and beautiful detailing - literally a work of art and piece of history on its own. The building was perfect to hold a first year art history course. I remember walking into the class that first day. People were chatting and there was an excited energy in the air. I sat down in the third row, and of course being myself, I began to strike up a conversation with the people sitting next to me. To my disappointment, they were a bit too focused on staying focused, and did not want to chat. That's when I heard a woman behind me talking just as much I do, so naturally I turned around and said hello. I was greeted with a big smile, and she said: "I'm Ailish, Hi."

    From that day onward Ailish and I remained good friends, we have watched our art practices grow throughout the years, and we continually supported each other. Ailish was in the fine arts program, and she was studying Studio Arts, and I was in the Multimedia and Communications program. Ailish and I even studied and worked in the same building throughout our undergraduate degree. As Ailish was painting in the studio and exploring new artistic works, I was just above her on the second floor working in a recording studio and exploring my interests in live coding.

    Something I always admired about Ailish was her exasperated curiosity for electronics and tech. "I wish I could do what you do! You're so good with computers!" she often said to me, and I would respond with "you can!". Ailish was very taken by the art of live coding, and I introduced her to the practice early on in our friendship. I encouraged her to explore tech, electroacoustics, and all forms of programming art. Ailish encouraged me to pick up a paint brush and continue to work on my many unfinished canvases. So that's exactly what we did, we helped eachother and we respected each others art practice, but most importantly we continually encouraged each other to keep working. Many times we even worked on projects together, combining classical and non-classical forms. By the time our final year of undergraduate came along, I saw Ailish explore electroacoustics and DIY electronics, something completely foreign to her just years earlier. Thanks to Ailish I began to take a greater interest in the visual esthetics of my live coding performances, and thought of new ways to create code to be visually appealing and entertaining for audiences. 

    Over the past year Ailish has began to integrate her classical music training into her visual art practice. She was curious to diverge from her classical training and explore new genres of music and non-classical forms. I remember asking Ailish what the meaning of life was, and she said "art, obviously!" Ever since then, that quote has always resonated with me and has influenced my own art practice. Ailish is going to be exhibiting her work at the LivingArts Hamilton Symposium this fall at the Art Gallery of Hamilton, be sure to check out her wonderful works.