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Artists need to network

Darrell Greer
Northern News Services

Baker Lake (Feb 07/05) - Finding strength in numbers, artists in Baker Lake are forming an arts association.

Tania Marsh, arts co-ordinator for the hamlet well-known for its vibrant arts community, is leading the movement.

The Ottawa-area native began her position in Baker about four months ago.

Marsh said part of her job mission is to revive the community's arts scene.

She said an association would allow artists to start networking and begin discussing ways to improve arts in the community.

"Hopefully, the creation of a solid association will also increase our ability to access funding opportunities through the various government programs and other outlets," said Marsh.

"We have a board of six artists to represent the disciplines of carving, prints, wall hanging, jewelry, sewing and traditional tools and crafts.

"We need to have all the arts represented fairly, and having one artist from each discipline will allow us to discuss issues affecting every artist in the community."

The association will hold its first official meeting this week. Marsh said there is a lot of art being produced in Baker, but a central location is badly needed.

"Many of our artists find it difficult not having one centre where they can go to work and sell their crafts, and have access to tools and material.

"They tend to work in their own homes and would benefit from working together in one location and coming together as a society."

Marsh said Baker artists still try to sell their work at traditional outlets such as the gallery, lodge and Co-op in town.

Marsh said she will be anxious to pursue the creation of either an independent Web site for artists, or an offshoot of the existing Baker Lake site once high speed broadband Internet is available in the community.

"We could use the site to highlight artists and their work and take advantage of marketing the arts in Baker through the Internet.

"Once the high speed is in place, I see the Internet playing a vital role in the further development of our arts scene."