Banner year for Arts Unleashed!

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Annapolis Royal streets will be flying banners created by local artists during the festival

Runs from August 16 to 24 in Annapolis Royal

Mirta Bunce print.

By Sheila Duggan

Art plays a large role at the ARTs Unleashed Festival which runs from August 16 to 24 in Annapolis Royal.  The fête begins on the first Saturday with the popular “Paint the Town” weekend that draws more than 70 artists from across the province. Onlookers have an uncommon opportunity to watch the creative process at work as visual art virtuosos line the streets, cover the waterfront, and fill the Historic Gardens during the two-day event.

This year festival-goers would be advised to look upwards to see 10 spectacular banners created by local artists to mark the festival. The vinyl banners measure six feet long by 18 inches wide and are painted on both sides. They will make their appearance around town on Friday, Aug. 8.

Celebrated artist Wayne Boucher was eager to try duplicating one of his very tiny works on a bigger canvas. “I have some small paintings that are 1” by 3” and I always wanted to try recreating one of these on a larger surface,” he explained.  He estimates that he spent about a day creating the piece.

Debra Kuzyk’s designs are usually seen on porcelain clay works which are displayed at her Lucky Rabbit Pottery Shop facing the Farmers and Traders Market.  Her banner is a striking black and white. “I’m a pattern-loving person and I wanted to create something that would make an immediate visual impact,” she explained. “I thought that birds in tree branches would suit the vertical shape of the banner,” she continued.

Clementsport artist Mirta Bunce’s sunflowers will definitely brighten up the street. “When I was asked to paint a colorful banner for the festival, sunflowers came immediately to mind,” she said. “They’ve always been a favourite of mine.  I was away from painting for a long stretch and when I came back to it, sunflowers were some of my first subjects.”

ARTs Unleashed is an eclectic celebration of art and life in and around Annapolis Royal. The festival runs for nine days and features events at locations throughout the town including local businesses, museums and historic sites, the Farmers and Traders Market and the award-winning Historic Gardens. For more information and a full daily schedule visit: artsunleashed.wordpress.com or call the Pop-Up Information Centre and Gallery at 902-532-2805.

Organizations: Lucky Rabbit Pottery Shop, Information Centre

Geographic location: Annapolis Royal, Historic Gardens

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