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Creative Nomad Studios' windows to display work of local artists

Despite the pandemic, there is lots of creative work being done and many opportunities to support local artists, says our arts columnist
creative nomad studios credit CNS
Creative Nomad Studios is offering up its windows to artists to display their work while construction inside the building is shut down due to the pandemic.

Another week down in this pandemic Spring. Hope you are all staying safe and isolating; let’s keep flattening the curve.

Local artists and musicians are still creating like mad, but it’s hard to sell art and music with galleries closed and live music venues locked up. Luckily, Creative Nomad Studios is stepping up to the plate to help artists display their work.

Creative Nomad has large street level windows that are sitting empty while construction is halted, so owner Anitta Hamming had the brainwave to offer the windows up to local artists to display their wares.

“I was talking to one of the gallery owners and she said, 'I only have a small window and can only display so much at a time,' and it just clicked.”

The windows will have black-out backing and street spotlighting, courtesy of the Downtown Orillia Management Board. Works will also be online and available to be purchased online.

Artists have until May 16 to submit their work to Creative Nomad’s NO LIMITS street gallery, on their website. It's great to see everyone helping each other and working together.

Speaking of working together, the Orillia Museum of Art and History (OMAH) is inviting artists to participate in the QuarARTine Isolation Creation fundraiser. Artists are invited to support OMAH by creating an original piece of art on 6-by-6 inch hardboard, which will then be auctioned off online.

Deadline is end of May, although this is fluid, and interested artists can obtain their hardboard through contacting OMAH's executive director, Ninette Gyorody at The public will be invited to bid on works starting at $15 each, or purchase for $30 firm.

The Essential Concert Series online live music is still going strong each Thursday night with proceeds going to Orillia Soldiers’ Memorial Hospital. This week, singer/songwriter Doc Higgins will be performing, starting at 8 p.m. You can tune into this online show here.

What is not going strong, is Burl’s Creek Event Park’s summer events. Both Boots and Hearts and Big Sky Music Festivals have been cancelled this year, not surprising but still disappointing. Hopefully, they can come back strong in summer 2021, along with our hometown favourite, Mariposa Folk Festival.

Speaking of music, a few local musicians have released or are releasing some new tracks during this pandemic, including Bleeker, Craig Mainprize, VK, Zain Campbell and newbie YoursTrulyJackson.

Bleeker’s new album, Self Made, featuring the single Disaster, is available soon through various platforms; check for more information. Craig Mainprize has a new album out Friday, check out the single Freshwater Man here.

Zain Campbell will be releasing his new single, The Fame, on May 16, check out his YouTube channel here.

YoursTrulyJackson’s new hip hop single, Till I Retire, is available on YouTube here now.

VK and Legends of THE DEEP have released a new music video, Smelling Like Roses, touching on these pandemic times, you can check it out here.

So as you can see, nothing is stopping our local musicians from sharing their music, not even a global pandemic.

Coming up this week, another great lineup of virtual and online events from the Orillia Public library, including trivia, storytelling, learning French, open mic, and more! Check it all out here.

Otter Art Club will be having a Zoom meeting this Saturday, due to Mother’s Day being on Sunday, at 1 p.m. Travis Shilling will be doing a live portrait in this meeting, so email for the link. Next week, they will be back to their regular Sunday at 1 p.m. meeting time.

Of course, there is lots more virtual art and music further afield, so do a check in your Facebook events in Orillia and nearby and see what is out there. The cool thing about everything being online is you are not limited geographically, and no drinking and driving!

Send me your arts news, to by Tuesdays at noon, and keep on smiling.Win