Waterdown's True North Gallery rocks the cultural scene

News Mar 31, 2016 by Brenda Jefferies Flamborough Review

When Geoff and Brooke Kulawick moved True North Records to Griffin Street last June, they had a plan: to make Waterdown a destination for arts and culture.

That vision is well on the way to being realized, with the unveiling of True North Gallery last Friday.

The vernissage, which featured pieces by a songbook of artists ranging from Andy Warhol and Janis Joplin to Ron Wood and Michael Jackson, welcomed about 100 guests to the space adjacent to the record label offices in Griffin House. Each work was accompanied by a QR code, which allowed viewers to access further information about the art and its creator.

The highlight of the afternoon was an intimate Q&A between Canadian music industry veterans and visual artists in their own right, Murray McLauchlan and Buffy Sainte Marie. For more than an hour, they interviewed each other on topics ranging from their introduction to music and visual art growing up, to reminiscences about playing various Yorkville venues.

One theme that resonated with both artists, was the need to create – with whatever tools are available. McLauchlan recounted how a friend’s daughter, who is sightless, describes seeing music “in shapes and blobs.”

“There is a connection between the visual cortex and the desire to ‘make stuff,’” he noted. “There is no real division between that thing on the wall, and the impulse to make music.”

Sainte Marie agreed. “Painting, colouring, drawing, dancing, making music, praying – they’re all the same thing. We are made in the image of the Creator; we have a green light to creativity.”

Sainte Marie also was an early adopter of technology in her work, musically and visually. In the ‘60s, she noted, she broke free of the folk sounds to experiment with synthesizers; in the ‘80s, she discovered digital art after buying her first MacIntosh computer. Starting out with Mac Paint, she has since developed a style that exploits the medium by using the pixels, colour and techniques in her “wet” studio to achieve her vision. “Elder Brothers,” a 49.5’ x 60.6” piece that hangs at True North currently, is an example.

Sainte Marie reiterated that the need to create is not exclusive to one genre or discipline. “It’s the same brain, different program,” she said.

The motif fits True North’s mandate to highlight music- related visual art.

“We want there to be some kind of meaningful connection to music,” stressed Geoff Kulawick. “For example, Andy Warhol, we have a couple of his pieces – he’s not a musician, but he’s closely associated with so many musicians in that he was the producer of the Velvet Underground and Lou Reed and he designed so many famous album covers, like the Rolling Stones’ Sticky Fingers cover. So we want the artist to have a connection with music and not necessarily just doing portraits of music. We want there to be some sort of connection there.”

The Q&A format, he says, will be replicated at future events. (In May, the featured guests will be Jon Langford of the Mekons and Greg Smith of the Weakerthans.) Kulawick will edit down the recorded material to produce short videos, accompanied the artists’ music. These, he said, will be posted on social media, including the True North Gallery Facebook page. “That’s how we plan to engage people,” he said.

Currently, True North Gallery is accessible by appointment only, but will be open daily June 15-Sept. 15 during the summer months. For more details visit the Facebook page, or www.truenorth.gallery.

Waterdown's True North Gallery rocks the cultural scene

News Mar 31, 2016 by Brenda Jefferies Flamborough Review

When Geoff and Brooke Kulawick moved True North Records to Griffin Street last June, they had a plan: to make Waterdown a destination for arts and culture.

That vision is well on the way to being realized, with the unveiling of True North Gallery last Friday.

The vernissage, which featured pieces by a songbook of artists ranging from Andy Warhol and Janis Joplin to Ron Wood and Michael Jackson, welcomed about 100 guests to the space adjacent to the record label offices in Griffin House. Each work was accompanied by a QR code, which allowed viewers to access further information about the art and its creator.

The highlight of the afternoon was an intimate Q&A between Canadian music industry veterans and visual artists in their own right, Murray McLauchlan and Buffy Sainte Marie. For more than an hour, they interviewed each other on topics ranging from their introduction to music and visual art growing up, to reminiscences about playing various Yorkville venues.

One theme that resonated with both artists, was the need to create – with whatever tools are available. McLauchlan recounted how a friend’s daughter, who is sightless, describes seeing music “in shapes and blobs.”

“There is a connection between the visual cortex and the desire to ‘make stuff,’” he noted. “There is no real division between that thing on the wall, and the impulse to make music.”

Sainte Marie agreed. “Painting, colouring, drawing, dancing, making music, praying – they’re all the same thing. We are made in the image of the Creator; we have a green light to creativity.”

Sainte Marie also was an early adopter of technology in her work, musically and visually. In the ‘60s, she noted, she broke free of the folk sounds to experiment with synthesizers; in the ‘80s, she discovered digital art after buying her first MacIntosh computer. Starting out with Mac Paint, she has since developed a style that exploits the medium by using the pixels, colour and techniques in her “wet” studio to achieve her vision. “Elder Brothers,” a 49.5’ x 60.6” piece that hangs at True North currently, is an example.

Sainte Marie reiterated that the need to create is not exclusive to one genre or discipline. “It’s the same brain, different program,” she said.

The motif fits True North’s mandate to highlight music- related visual art.

“We want there to be some kind of meaningful connection to music,” stressed Geoff Kulawick. “For example, Andy Warhol, we have a couple of his pieces – he’s not a musician, but he’s closely associated with so many musicians in that he was the producer of the Velvet Underground and Lou Reed and he designed so many famous album covers, like the Rolling Stones’ Sticky Fingers cover. So we want the artist to have a connection with music and not necessarily just doing portraits of music. We want there to be some sort of connection there.”

The Q&A format, he says, will be replicated at future events. (In May, the featured guests will be Jon Langford of the Mekons and Greg Smith of the Weakerthans.) Kulawick will edit down the recorded material to produce short videos, accompanied the artists’ music. These, he said, will be posted on social media, including the True North Gallery Facebook page. “That’s how we plan to engage people,” he said.

Currently, True North Gallery is accessible by appointment only, but will be open daily June 15-Sept. 15 during the summer months. For more details visit the Facebook page, or www.truenorth.gallery.

Waterdown's True North Gallery rocks the cultural scene

News Mar 31, 2016 by Brenda Jefferies Flamborough Review

When Geoff and Brooke Kulawick moved True North Records to Griffin Street last June, they had a plan: to make Waterdown a destination for arts and culture.

That vision is well on the way to being realized, with the unveiling of True North Gallery last Friday.

The vernissage, which featured pieces by a songbook of artists ranging from Andy Warhol and Janis Joplin to Ron Wood and Michael Jackson, welcomed about 100 guests to the space adjacent to the record label offices in Griffin House. Each work was accompanied by a QR code, which allowed viewers to access further information about the art and its creator.

The highlight of the afternoon was an intimate Q&A between Canadian music industry veterans and visual artists in their own right, Murray McLauchlan and Buffy Sainte Marie. For more than an hour, they interviewed each other on topics ranging from their introduction to music and visual art growing up, to reminiscences about playing various Yorkville venues.

One theme that resonated with both artists, was the need to create – with whatever tools are available. McLauchlan recounted how a friend’s daughter, who is sightless, describes seeing music “in shapes and blobs.”

“There is a connection between the visual cortex and the desire to ‘make stuff,’” he noted. “There is no real division between that thing on the wall, and the impulse to make music.”

Sainte Marie agreed. “Painting, colouring, drawing, dancing, making music, praying – they’re all the same thing. We are made in the image of the Creator; we have a green light to creativity.”

Sainte Marie also was an early adopter of technology in her work, musically and visually. In the ‘60s, she noted, she broke free of the folk sounds to experiment with synthesizers; in the ‘80s, she discovered digital art after buying her first MacIntosh computer. Starting out with Mac Paint, she has since developed a style that exploits the medium by using the pixels, colour and techniques in her “wet” studio to achieve her vision. “Elder Brothers,” a 49.5’ x 60.6” piece that hangs at True North currently, is an example.

Sainte Marie reiterated that the need to create is not exclusive to one genre or discipline. “It’s the same brain, different program,” she said.

The motif fits True North’s mandate to highlight music- related visual art.

“We want there to be some kind of meaningful connection to music,” stressed Geoff Kulawick. “For example, Andy Warhol, we have a couple of his pieces – he’s not a musician, but he’s closely associated with so many musicians in that he was the producer of the Velvet Underground and Lou Reed and he designed so many famous album covers, like the Rolling Stones’ Sticky Fingers cover. So we want the artist to have a connection with music and not necessarily just doing portraits of music. We want there to be some sort of connection there.”

The Q&A format, he says, will be replicated at future events. (In May, the featured guests will be Jon Langford of the Mekons and Greg Smith of the Weakerthans.) Kulawick will edit down the recorded material to produce short videos, accompanied the artists’ music. These, he said, will be posted on social media, including the True North Gallery Facebook page. “That’s how we plan to engage people,” he said.

Currently, True North Gallery is accessible by appointment only, but will be open daily June 15-Sept. 15 during the summer months. For more details visit the Facebook page, or www.truenorth.gallery.