Jeff Wallace — Wallflower Turned Art Auctioneer! - theHumm June 2020

Jeff Wallace — Wallflower Turned Art Auctioneer! - theHumm June 2020

By Sally Hansen

Art… and Soul

A new artist is blossoming in our midst. Rising to the COVID-19 challenge, Burnstown artist and businessman Jeff Wallace is discarding his anonymity and charging into the fray, determined to make a positive contribution. But first, introducing:

Jeff Wallace — Artist

Wallace has only recently arrived in a place in his life where his first love, art, is able to play a bigger role. As Forrest Gump’s mama always said, “Life is like a box of chocolates. You never know what you’re gonna get.” Jeff always loved to draw and earned a diploma in graphic design at Cambrian College of applied arts and technology in Sudbury, anticipating a career in the field. However, the industrial scales company he had been working for during summer breaks offered him a job in Ottawa when he graduated, and he spent the next ten years working in the service area and learning the business. In 2005 he started his current business, GTR Scales Ltd., and ran it from an office in Arnprior. Today he enjoys living on the Madawaska River between Burnstown and Springtown, where he juggles business responsibilities with his growing commitment to his renewed interest in painting.

Forrest’s mama was right. About seven years ago when Jeff’s marriage ended, he realized he had both the time and the urge to start painting again. He still had art supplies from his student days, and he had “kept his hand in” by painting gifts for friends over the years. As he puts it, he enjoyed “a flurry of art.” He participated in an art show in Calabogie and accepted a commission for a pet portrait. Animals are his chosen subject. A longtime hunter and fisherman, he has an affinity for the outdoors and its four-legged inhabitants. Pet portraits proved too constraining for him. He prefers selecting the wild subjects that appeal to him when he feels the urge to create, and the artistic liberty to portray them realistically in settings he chooses.

We spoke briefly about the tension between hunting and painting, and as a law-abiding hunter Jeff doesn’t see a conflict between shooting a turkey and painting a striking portrait of a turkey. He pointed out that it was turkey season right now, and that only the males were fair prey to allow the females to reproduce. His sense of humour caught me off-guard when he explained that a hen could easily find another husband because hers was a turkey. I forgot to retaliate by telling him that his delightful portrait of a racoon peering in a screen door was particularly appropriate right now. Racoons have been declared the de facto mascot of 2020: they wear a mask, wash their hands constantly, and “racoon” is an anagram for “Corona”. (Checking further, I discovered that “Corona Virus” is an anagram for “Carnivorous”!) And now, introducing:

Jeff Wallace — Charitable Entrepreneur with “Art Helping Canada”

We wrote about Jeff’s brainchild, Art Helping Canada, in our May 21 edition of Hummail (see below to sign up!) but many of our readers aren’t yet aware of our publication’s online presence as we negotiate pandemic-induced business constraints. Wallace’s brilliant win-win initiative deserves widespread notice and participation. In an impulsive gesture to contribute during a challenging time, Wallace talked to his local Metro store manager in Arnprior about donating one of his paintings to raise funds for those in need. The manager suggested doing a raffle, with the funds going to the local food bank. After Jeff donated another painting to the Metro in Renfrew, he “started thinking on a much larger scale — why not create a website and solicit other artists to participate in online charitable auctions?” Art Helping Canada was conceived!

Jeff describes what happened next as almost as rewarding as the job he had as a kid delivering flowers. Everybody has been happy to see him and excited about what he is bringing to them. Basically, Valley folk enjoy being good people and helping each other out. He discussed his idea with Patrick John Mills, the poet and abstract painter who just opened the new Art Factory in Renfrew liveloveartfactory.com , and Patrick suggested that Jeff offer participating artists an optional commission of up to 40% of the auction value of their art. Artists are particularly impacted by event closures and many of them are struggling as well. Jeff invites each contributing artist to select the food bank of their choice so that regardless of where they live, they are giving back to their community. The first charitable online auction of original art at arthelpingcanada.ca went live May 20!

Maybe it was his experience as a flower delivery boy, or maybe artists are incredibly generous people, or maybe he’s just irresistible; Wallace hopped into his truck and returned from Wilno with wonderful paintings by two of the three artists celebrated in the beautiful art book Wild Women Painters of the Wilderness. He has already secured more than forty striking original artworks from generous Canadian artists, and the auctions are underway on a weekly basis.

The website at arthelpingcanada.ca is fully functional, and Jeff’s goal is to auction off three to four pieces per week. The artworks that will be offered in upcoming auctions are well displayed and documented at arthelpingcanada.ca/upcoming-art . What a win-win opportunity to acquire a wonderful original piece of art — and support a food bank at the same time! If you are interested in donating a work of art, just check out the “Call to Artists” tab on the website. We encourage you to visit the site often, and please tell your friends!

And to sign up for our weekly Hummail e-newsletter, just visit thehumm.com and click on the “subscribe” box!

 

Where to Find the June Humm - theHumm June 2020

We’re heading out to deliver the June issue of theHumm! Because things have changed a wee bit since the last time we did our distribution, here’s a list of the places we will be trying to deliver to. Hours and more information can be found at the links. Happy Humm hunting!

Almonte:

Dandelion Foods dandelionfoods.ca

Don’s Meat Market donsmeatmarke......

...more

Jeff Wallace — Wallflower Turned Art Auctioneer! - theHumm June 2020

By Sally Hansen

Art… and Soul

A new artist is blossoming in our midst. Rising to the COVID-19 challenge, Burnstown artist and businessman Jeff Wallace is discarding his anonymity and charging into the fray, determined to make a positive contribution. But first, introducing:

Jeff Wallace — Artist

Wallace has only recently arrived in a place in his life where his first love, art, is able to play a bigger role. As Forrest Gump’s mama always said, “Life is like a box of chocolates. You......

...more

COVID, Kids, & All the Feelings - theHumm June 2020

By Nicki Gallo

There’s this exercise that I like do when I work with kids. It helps us to explore how our feelings are something that we experience in our bodies as well as our minds. First, I give the child a piece of paper with the outline of a person. I ask them to colour the location on the body where they feel certain emotions and match it with a colour. For example, they may feel red/anger in their hands: “I’m so mad I could punch someone!” Or feel yellow/nervousness in their bellies: “I have b......

...more

Supporting Local Artists: In Person and Online! - theHumm June 2020

By Miss Cellaneous

The good news for area art lovers is that many local galleries have been able to re-open — most with reduced hours and all with extra safety precautions in place. We highly recommend a visit to Almonte’s General Fine Craft generalfinecraft.com and Sivarulrasa Gallery sivarulrasa.com , Riverguild Fine Crafts in Perth ...more

PRIDE of Place
An interview with Michael Rikley-Lancaster
- theHumm June 2020

Michael Rikley-Lancaster is the Curator of the Mississippi Valley Textile Museum and a member of the group that was planning to launch the first-ever Mississippi Mills PRIDE Week this June. We contacted him to find out how both the Museum and MM Pride are faring.

theHumm: Since becoming Curator, you (with the assistance of your staff, board and numerous volunteers) have made many improvements to the Museum and have hosted incredible exhibitions by artists from......

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Talking Transformation
An interview with Noé Charron
- theHumm June 2020

Noé Charron is a 22-year-old non-binary trans woman (who uses both she/her and they/them pronouns) who started her transition while growing up in Almonte and working at Baker Bob’s. We contacted her to find out how her transitioning was perceived and received by the community, and what advice she has for people who want to try and foster a more welcoming and compassionate atmosphere.

theHumm: As an employee at Baker Bob’s, you were one of my only examples of someone who......

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Embers of Hope
Embracing Life in an Age of Ecological Destruction and Climate Chaos
- theHumm June 2020

By Kris Riendeau

Bonita Ford is a co-founder of Permaculture Eastern Ontario and author of the new book Embers of Hope: Embracing Life in an Age of Ecological Destruction and Climate Chaos. We contacted her to find out how this book came to be, and how she hopes it can help us all to “nurture the small forces that may radically transform our world”.

theHumm: You had me from the title, because hope seems to be one of the most precious “commodities” — albeit one that isn’t for sale ......

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Ice Cream Contest!Play “Passport to Brain Freeze” - theHumm June 2020

By Sarah Kerr

Hello again friends! I hope you and your littles are ready for a 3-month summer “vacation”. But one from the ’50s without camps, daycares or programmed sports… and for many, juggling working from home. Sounds idyllic, right? Okay, this doesn’t exactly sound like vacation, but if there’s any advice that I can offer it’s that the summer of quarantine begins now!

Yes, you may be wondering if I’m the minister of education to declare something like that, and to be clear… no I am not. But as the d......

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Almonte, Spirit of Place
A New Book from Photographer John McQuarrie
- theHumm June 2020

John McQuarrie is a photographer and publisher of the recently released book Almonte, Spirit of Place. We contacted him to find out how his most recent book came to be, and how the current lockdown is affecting its reception in the community.

theHumm: Your photos are stunning — can you tell us a bit about your training and background?

John McQuarrie: Like many working photographers, I simply consumed print and online tutorials along with each advance in imaging......

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A Time of Transformation - theHumm June 2020

By Kris & Rob Riendeau

Welcome back to the print version of theHumm! We are thrilled to return to this format, and we sincerely hope that this issue finds you well. As you might imagine, it is a bit different from our ......

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Faces & Fabric
of a small town during pandemic
- theHumm June 2020

As the community grapples with a pandemic that is radically reshaping every aspect of public and private life, we are striving to capture the historic shift through the eyes of everyday people in M......

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Lots of Time to Plant! - theHumm June 2020

By David Hinks

Missed planting the vegetable garden on the May 2-4 weekend (well it was a bit early this year)? Do not despair if you haven’t planted your entire vegetable garden yet. It is not at all too ......

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KITCHEN at Sivarulrasa Gallery
An Exhibition in Partnership with the Carleton Place & Beckwith Heritage Museum
- theHumm June 2020

Until July 10, Almonte’s Sivarulrasa Gallery is pleased to partner with the Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum to present KITCHEN, an exhibition that elegantly combines wo......

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Rural Root Zooms into Spring with Couples - theHumm June 2020

At its best, community theatre brings together people from all walks of life to share ideas and create friendships. This has been Rural Root Theatre’s strength since 2005, and they have no intent......

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Poplar - theHumm June 2020

By Susie Osler

A Poplar round supports my weight. Its dying body lies here, sprawling in pieces around me. Rings of honey-coloured carbon circle in around dark, decaying heartwood that Woodpeckers have already ......

...more

PRIDE in the Valley! - theHumm June 2020

Here’s an overview of PRIDE plans (as of press time) across the Ottawa Valley. We recommend following these groups on Facebook, because things may change and activities may be added as it becomes......

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Role Models for Rough Times
James Naismith and John McLendon
- theHumm June 2020

Just as we were going to print, stories about the death of George Floyd started hitting the news and social media. theHumm doesn’t report on breaking news, but we thought this information about a......

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Bike Boom
The Resurgence of Cycling in Uncertain Times
- theHumm June 2020

By John Pigeau

Following a national trend, business at local bike shops is booming. 

“A hundred percent, absolutely,” says Pete Wood, owner of Heritage Bikes in Perth. “A lot of people are finding that......

...more

“Trishaw” Crowdfunding Campaign Launched - theHumm June 2020

With support from Lanark County Council and several local businesses, Cycling Without Age Lanark County (CWALC) has taken the next step by launching a $7,000 crowdfunding campaign with the goal o......

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Back to the Books! - theHumm June 2020

By Karen DeLuca, Librarian

The past few months has certainly been posing a challenge to readers everywhere.

For some it has meant exploring those long-forgotten books neatly displayed on bookcases at home. For others ......

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Enough’s Enough! - theHumm June 2020

By Glenda Jones

We’ve been behaving ourselves and “staying the blazes home” for the past twenty-eleven weeks. It’s been fine up to this morning, when I scared myself half to death looking in a mirror. Who kidnap......

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We are All in this Together - theHumm June 2020

By Wanda MacDonald

In small communities like ours, you just need to ask for help and people step up. And everyone is definitely doing just that!

Mississippi Mills Together — or MMTogether for short — is one wa......

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The Power of Tech Shabbats
- theHumm June 2020

By — Kris Riendeau

Back when COVID-19 was just a gleam on the social media horizon, Rob and I listened to an intriguing podcast while delivering the February issue of theHumm. Presented by The Long Now Foundation, ......

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Food Truck Evolution - theHumm June 2020

By Sebastian Weetabix

Months ago Weetabix asked his loyal readers “what starts with ‘F’ and ends with ‘uck’?”, and the correct answer had no apparent connection to the spread of a virus or a fundamental change in the ......

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Cinema Therapy, Books and Guided Meditations
Finding Some Peace in a Pandemic
- theHumm June 2020

By John Pigeau

In the midst of this dreadful pandemic, people are having to cope with all manner of new challenges. We’re a resilient bunch though, and so far many of us have improvised rather well. Meeting up ......

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Business-to-Business Support
A Full-Circle, Feel-Good Story
- theHumm June 2020

By the Fulton’s team

When Shirley Fulton-Deugo, owner of Fulton’s Pancake House & Sugar Bush, got together with the team from Almonte’s Dairy Distillery, little did she know great things were in the makin......

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theHumm in print June 2020 (pdf)

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