Friday, April 6, 2007

2007 Magdalen Islands Emergence Grant

On March 30th, 2007, the Islands Cultural Corporation, Arrimage with the aide of Islands Deputy to the National Assembly, Maxime Arseneau held the fourteenth annual commemoration of the Emergence Grant for artistic talent of the Magdalen Islands. This year, they were pleased to announce that the winner of the 2007 edition was Cabinet Maker and Sculpturer, Claude Cyr of Grand Entry. The amount of $2,500 was offered to Mr. Cyr by Mr. Arseneau for an internship to the International School of Kurt Koch Sculpture in Germany, to perfect his talents in ornamental sculpture.

Six projects had been submitted to the jury. Five of those were in the field of art and one was in the field of artistic scenery. The jury consisted of Martine Martin, a member of the CA Arrimage and French teacher; Sylvie Desroches, an artist in artistic scenery; and Claude Bourque, artist and winner of the 2004 grant.

The jury who had selected Claude Cyr for the project, adhered to the followed criteria:
- great interest of continuing training linked to his artistic work, mainly for the evolution of his progress and to allow him to follow his research;
- influence of the project on the discipline of the artistic trade of the region and on the islands cultural life;
- emphasizes on the perfection of the artistic technique for the artist, who wishes to develop an expertise in ornamentation;
- attachment to his first trade, the quality of his furniture production, the evolution of his ornamental work, the power and the quality of his creative work.

Claude Cyr has shown an particular attachment to the woodworking trade ever since his youth. From making willow whistles, to the toys made by his father, wood working is one of the first memories, which he clearly remembers. He first explored his artistic expressions with self-taught paintings and then courses in classical guitar for five years. Around the 1980's, he made his first piece of furniture. As a hobby, this activity would become a new means of expression for Claude. He constructed his own house, all while respecting the architectural style of the islands, an activity which gave him great satisfaction. The first armoire cupboard he made with ornamentation was inspired from the works of ‘Les meubles anciens du Canada fran├žais’, which he made in 2001. The result earned him many flattering comments which encouraged Claude to put his heart into the ornamentation side of his work. With the fabrication of house furniture, his friends were able confirmed the new passion of the artist. His creativity has taken on a new challenge - to make a contribution to the church of Grand Entry in the form of a door, a tabernacle, an alter, and other pieces. He has finished some of the pieces and will finish the tabernacle by Easter of this year. Claude has followed two separate courses in ornamental sculpture in Drummondville with Nicole Harvey, sculpturer. He has discovered his capacity to accomplish original works of art and has a desire to improve his techniques making unique ornamental creations.

The emergence grant allows Magdalen Islands artists to have access to resources for perfecting their talents and stimulate the evolution of their artistic careers. The grant has been offered by the islands Deputy, Maxime Arseneau since 1999, and has given the amount of $2,500 since 2006.

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