Old worries resurface with a new environment. Sydney Cabioc, a first-year University of Toronto Scarborough (UTSC) arts management student, has been struggling to find time for school and her first love, art.
In her search for guidance, Cabioc turned to the Doris McCarthy Gallery, located at UTSC, where the Scarborough Neighbourhood Arts Network held their first meeting in a series.
On Friday, Nov. 30, the gallery held “Making a living, making art,” which aimed to help individuals such as Cabioc pursue their artistic dreams.
Balancing work and passion in the art industry was one of the many topics discussed by local artists. Among them were
professional jazz musician Archie Alleyne, dance choreographer and director Kevin Orsmby, and Judith Manger, founding director of Axis Music.
“There’s making a living making art which most people would interpret as just being an artist,” said Ben Lopes, program
director for Neighbourhood Arts Network. “But our idea is balancing making art somewhere in between a person’s busy work schedule.”
According to Lopes, the Neighbourhood Arts Network creates different networking and employment opportunities all across Toronto, including promotional work and partnerships for various clients.
“As an arts organization we have a lot of members who have day jobs, but also want to be artists. The event is just about dealing with those pressures and how to be successful in your life,” Lopes said.
Packed inside the small lobby of the gallery, participants drew a picture that represented their insecurities and
struggles, ranging from looking for buyers to finding time to pursue their dreams in art.
For most of the afternoon, each speaker honed in on their experiences in Canada. Alleyne shared his experiences as a musician juggling family life on the road and Orsmby and Manger emphasized the importance of self-motivation.
Cabioc said she is wary of the journey that lies before her and found the lecture helpful.
“I know I want to keep doing art, but hearing all these people say they don’t have the time to make their artwork because they’re working and other things, I’m curious about where I’m heading now,” Cabioc said, but added that she has come away with a better appreciation for the arts and finding the strength to fight on.
Lopes hopes many of the attendants will take away something from the speakers and start having conversations about their future.
“There is no one formula for juggling responsibilities in life, but I think that it’s possible to hold on to your artistic integrity and continue school or work,” Lopes said. “But it’s something you need to develop over time and being conscious of that is key.”
The Neighbourhood Arts Network will host the second part of the speaker series, The Art of Sponsorship, in January.