Arts grants enrich province’s cultural life
Anyone who has visited Charlottetown is likely familiar with the work of sculptor Ahmon Katz.
The Three Leaves sculpture, which stands prominently at the entrance to the city by the Charlottetown Events Centre, and the Great Blue Heron on the corner of Queen and Water Street in Charlottetown are a couple of his most notable works.
Katz is one of 32 artists selected by a peer jury to receive arts grants funding from the provincial government. The grants support artists in areas such as film and media arts, music, theatre, crafts, visual arts, interdisciplinary arts, writing and publishing.
Ahmon says he appreciates the $5,000 he received because it gives him more opportunity to work with different materials and build kinetic objects, like mobiles.
“The grants allow for experimentation, so artists can take the time and follow the muse, to not be hemmed in but be a bit more free,” he explained. “This grant is a platform for artists to come up with their own ideas and follow their own career path.”
Katz’s work has been showcased in five of the six Art in the Open festivals, featuring his creations The Disco Ball, Flying tricycle, Cell phone, Nest and One Night Roost. His art incorporates found objects, bicycle parts and scrap metal.
Right now he is working on a series of sculptures that examine the interplay of cellphone technology on everyday culture. He has built large metal pods at his Gairloch, Prince Edward Island home and is contemplating how to fill them to demonstrate a commentary on the changing nature of communication.
“Artists can get away with what scientists can’t – to make a crazy mockery of things -- to make people think,” he said.
Katz will showcase “metal pods with fillings” at this summer’s open-air art festival -- Art in the Open -- then gauge reactions and tweak it before taking it on the road
“I am an older sculptor, I have never done anything off Island. That is what my career needs now, to expand off PEI.”
Katz graduated from Eckerd College with a Fine Arts degree and also studied Industrial design at the Savannah College of art and design. He lives in rural PEI with his wife and daughters.
A call for the next round of arts grants applications will be made later this spring.