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How many ways can you make art from a paddle? Whatever number you chose, it’s likely way too low. Just look to the second Algonquin Outfitters Paddle Art Contest for proof.
There are only a few days left until the August 31 deadline to submit entries. The paddles that have been rolling in range from abstract to hyper-realistic paintings, detailed carving, stained glass, multimedia, and even a paddle sock.
Randy Mitson, marketing director at Algonquin Outfitters, says that people have once again been incredibly creative with their paddles.
Sometimes they tell a story—or invite you to tell your own. “The Storyteller” by Lori Twining (pictured above) features a scene right out of a book. “I can picture someone hanging it on a child’s bedroom wall and telling stories based on what they see,” says Mitson.
Some paddles include multimedia elements, like “Canada – Home Sweet Home” by Ann Rosa, which sports a spile dripping with ‘sap’, or “Resin Beach” by Emma Hillyer which recreates a beach scene in 3D.
Some have other elements inlaid, like “West Wind” by Gordon Lister and “Muskoka Sky” by Mallori McArthur.
On some, the art extends to both sides like “Get Wet” by Tim Singleton. After the last auction, Mitson says he learned that the winning bidder of a double-sided paddle cut a hole through a wall so that the art on both sides could be seen from adjoining rooms.
You can view photos of all of the paddles submitted so far on the Algonquin Outfitters Facebook page, along with details from the artists.
Some of the paddles are now also on display now on the second floor lobby of the Algonquin Theatre so you can see them in person.
And all of them will be on display at a live event at the theatre on September 27 as part of annual Culture Days celebrations.
The event runs from 3 to 9 p.m. and everyone is invited to drop in, view the paddles, sample Lake of Bays Brewery’s Paddle On beer, and listen to some live music. Bring your phone or tablet so that you can place bids as you view the paddles.
The paddles will be auctioned off in online bidding between September 15 and 29, 2019.
After experiencing some technical difficulties during the last auction—high traffic volumes bogged down the Algonquin Outfitters website and some bidders couldn’t access it—they’ve decided to use an established online auction site for the bidding.
“We learned our lesson,” says Mitson. They’ll also close the bidding one paddle at a time, he says, likely every 60 seconds, so that anyone interested in bidding on more than one paddle has opportunity to watch and bid on each paddle right to the last second.
Also new this year: each paddle will have a minimum $25 bid.
The Algonquin Outfitters Paddle Art Contest launched in 2018 in celebration of Ontario Parks 125th anniversary. AO staff are hoping to once again have more than 100 paddles submitted by the August 31, 2019 deadline. In the inaugural contest, almost half of the paddles were dropped off in the final week. There’s still time if you’ve been struck by creative inspiration!
Prizes will be awarded to the artists of the paddles that raise the most at the auction in September. Five organizations will receive the funds raised:
- Town of Huntsville’s reserve fund for future public art acquisition
- Oxtongue Lake for Arts and Culture
- Algonquin Art Centre
- Artists in Schools – Haliburton
- Tom Thomson Gallery in Owen Sound
For more information about the contest and auction, visit algonquinoutfitters.com.
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