A recap of Antigonish's art after dark festival
On Saturday, September 16th, Antigonish became the host to the Antigonight: Art After Dark Festival, as Chisholm Park to College Street was covered in artists and admirers alike, all eager to celebrate the community's creative spirit. Both on the street and within local businesses, artists shared their inventive works while community members were encouraged to roam around the spaces to observe and participate in the evening’s programs.
Visual artists lined the street, some works offering a social message to contemplate while others gave an opportunity for onlookers to create art themselves. Sandy MacNeil’s “Call Me Girl” displayed imagery of adolescence and growth upon traditionally contrasted clothing, a call for observers to consider the relationship between gender and its expression through apparel. Behind the People’s Place Library, there was a participatory art piece title, “Throwy Glowy Grotto”, in which individuals were encouraged to grab an led light, a battery and a magnet to then throw against the wall, creating a giant Lite-Brite to the visual delight of onlookers. “Completing Photography” offered a happy medium to the crowds, providing a deeper look through the camera lens while also astounding its viewers as images converged together.
Dancers performed throughout the night at different times in the Chisholm Park Gazebo. “Oriental Motion” featured dance stylings from the Middle East, while “Sweet & Funky”, a returning favourite, entranced the audience with hip hop and popping moves.
Spoken word poetry was performed within the Waffle Bus Stop, Abena Tuffour moving the crowd with her thoughts on insecurities, love and family, as well as what it means to be a coloured person growing up in a predominantly white town.
The headliner of the festival was an act titled, “Mourning of the Living Past” by Jessica Mensch and Emily Pelstring, a multi-media performance art piece. Using visuals projected on a screen, costuming, music and live performance, the piece was intended to spark a sense of science fiction psychedelia.
These are simply a select few of the many amazing pieces that dotted Antigonish, drawing in the StFX as well as the Antigonish community. No matter the interest of the viewer – whether it was music or dance, visual art or spoken word – there was variety enough to fit one’s desires. Not to mention the food vendors, such as Peace by Chocolate, and roaming artists that added to the evening.
Overall, Antigonight was a lovely evening that allowed the astounding creativity of community members to be appreciated while showing the spirit of togetherness that marks the essence of Antigonish.