U of G Profs, Artists Part of 'Sounds Provocative' Art Auction

April 12, 2013 - News Release

University of Guelph faculty and grads are among the artists whose work will appear at the Guelph Jazz Festival’s eighth annual “Sounds Provocative Jazz Art Auction” April 21. Robert Enright, a University research professor in art criticism, will emcee the event.

“Guelph has a national reputation in the arts, in part because of the many artists who live here and contribute to the community,” said Enright, one of Canada’s best-known cultural journalists and art critics. He joined U of G in 2004.

“It shows in the quality of the art in the auction. The quality of work also signals the artists’ generosity and interest in supporting the Guelph Jazz Festival.”

The auction will be held from 2 to 6 p.m. at the Holiday Inn and Conference Centre, 601 Scottsdale Dr. The event is the largest annual fundraiser for the festival, begun in 1994 by U of G English professor Ajay Heble.

Works by some of Canada’s finest emerging, mid-career and established artists will be up for auction, including works by three School of Fine Art and Music (SOFAM) professors: John Kissick, Will Gorlitz and Susan Dobson.

The show will feature works by many U of G fine arts grads, including Eileen MacArthur, Jessica Masters, Christian McLeod, Linda O’Neill, Don Russell and Annette Twist. Ron Shuebrook, a former SOFAM director, and Tom King, a retired U of G English professor, will also take part.

“The artists chose to put really good work in the show, it’s not third-drawer stuff,” Enright said.

paintingGorlitz’s oil on wood painting Always Already (Giraffe) comes from a series he created a few years ago that Enright calls “one of the most significant series of work done by a Canadian artist in the last 10 years. It’s a tremendous thing.”

paintingReferring to Kissick’s contribution oil and acrylic Study in Blue, Enright said: “John has a remarkable style of painting. He is a punk painter, so garish and bright and aggressive. There is so much going on, the eye has to stay on the surface, deciding where it wants to go. It’s a very promiscuous way of asking for attention.”

paintingDobson donated a photograph called End of the Line from her “Dislocation” series. “Susan is an excellent photographer who combines great technical chops with a spot-on sense of what will be a good subject,” Enright said.

He called the art auction “a buyer’s paradise.”

“If you look at some of the reserves that have been set, it is only about 50 per cent of the value of the work. You couldn’t dream of being able to purchase work of this quality at these prices from the galleries that represent these artists.”

This year’s Guelph Jazz Festival runs Sept. 4 to 8. Considered among the most visionary musical events in Canada, the festival received the Lieutenant-Governor’s Award for the Arts and the Premier’s Award for Excellence in the Arts administered by the Ontario Arts Council.

For a preview of the auction art, visit the festival website or several Guelph locations, listed online.

The exhibit’s curator is Renann Isaacs Contemporary Art.

The event will also feature a silent auction of crafts, gift certificates, tickets and gifts from local vendors, and live music.

Tickets are $50 each and are available at 123 Woolwich St., 519-763-4952; at Renann Isaacs Contemporary Art, 31 Quebec St., 519-821-9068; and online at EventBrite.

People unable to attend the event can make advance bids or bid by phone. Call 519-763-4952 for details.

For media questions, contact Communications and Public Affairs: Lori Bona Hunt, 519-824-4120, Ext. 53338, or lhunt@uoguelph.ca; or Kevin Gonsalves, Ext. 56982, or kgonsalves@uoguelph.ca.

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