neuronervendings by Glenna Tissenbaum

Second Life
By Sufia Duez

After working many years in the legal field, Glenna Tissenbaum took an early retirement and made a life-changing decision. Despite having minimal training and practice in the arts, Tissenbaum embarked on a new adventure that would plunge her into a world of infinite colours, textures, and potential. Overwhelmed by a desire to explore and make art, she acquired books, purchased artist-quality supplies and commenced her schooling in painting and mixed-media techniques.

That was 6 years ago, this is now: Glenna Tissenbaum is a working artist with an impressive collection of abstract paintings and mixed-media pieces that demonstrate an array of skills. The variety of styles that Tissenbaum employs is a reflection of her active curiosity and ambition. Her particular attention to colour and texture is obvious. On discussing colour, she says, “Colour has always been a driving force in my life. There are those who are most comfortable wearing black (maybe grey). I’m most comfortable in red.”

Tissenbaum’s work Quickening is particularly rich in colour and texture. Similar to her other works, Quickening instills a desire to touch every nook and cranny – as if only by touch can one truly “see”. Tissenbaum states, “I hope that when people view my work, the textures at play encourage them to really ‘touch’ the canvas with their eyes. I wish to instill a sense of curiosity as to how the particular texture was achieved.”


Quickening by Glenna Tissenbaum

“Quickening” is a term used to describe the first time a pregnant woman feels fetal movements. On describing this work, Tissenbaum states: “…When I finished the piece, I saw many elements of that life force. An egg waiting to drop, shapes swimming to fertilize an egg, a mushroom representing fertility, and a rising sun in the top left corner. None of this was planned, it simply came into being – as life itself does!”

In contrast to Quickening — which is a positive feast for the eyes, Meeting at the Riverbed is more minimal in appearance at first glance. While the colours used in this piece may be described as “greyish and/or off-white” at most, there are textures at play. In this work, Tissenbaum experiments with Crackle Paste, which gives the illusion of cracked Earth next to a bed of sand, made with various acrylic gels.


Meeting at the Riverbed by Glenna Tissenbaum

But as previously mentioned, Glenna Tissenbaum also favours the expression of mixed media. Her first creative exercise was a mixed-media project entitled: Gall-Liver’s Travails, inspired by the classic Jonathan Swift novel, Gulliver’s Travels. An antique “medical” G.I. Joe-type doll (the giant) lies at the centre of the piece with an assortment of toy soldiers and other small figurines subduing the strange giant. The work is mounted on a turntable to accentuate a world spinning out of order, and to provide viewers with different perspectives.

What’s clear: Glenna Tissenbaum is a dynamic artist whose work will surprise you, just as it sometimes surprises her. She describes the art-making experience similar to being in a trance, a “fugue state.” Only after taking a step back does the art ‘reveal itself.’ She relies on her intuition to tell her when a project is complete. Her parting advice to emerging artists: “Trust your instincts, Love what you do. Don’t allow others to define you. Persist, persist, persist. Don’t be afraid to fail, but learn from it. Never stop dreaming.”

 

Discover more!

Glenna Tissenbaum’s Official Website

Follow us on our new Instagram account (#elanqc) to see more of Glenna Tissenbaum’s artwork.


A new photo or video will become available everyday from August 21 – August 27, 2018

See Previous Features and Shorts!
Laurence Dea Dionne (Shorts!)
Sharon Smith (Feature)

On August 14, 2018, Kathleen Weil (minister responsible for relations with English-speaking Quebecers) announced that $6.9 million will be distributed to four organizations over the course of 3 years to increase and fortify connections between English-speaking artists and the government of Quebec. These organizations include: Community Health and Social Services Network (CHSSN), Literacy Quebec (LQ), Seniors Action Québec (SAQ), and English-Language Arts Network (ELAN).

ELAN will be using this 3-year grant towards a new project entitled:
A New Momentum for Quebec’s English-Speaking Artists.

This community-driven project will aim to:

  • Encourage English-language cultural organizations, as well as individual cultural workers and artists to participate fully in social, economic, and cultural life of Quebec.
  • Enhance visibility of English-speaking artists and bolster their capacity to collaborate and work in partnership with the Quebec government.

To reach these goals, ELAN will:

  • Document arts, culture and heritage funding opportunities.
  • Design a comprehensive directory of active ACH (Arts, Culture, and Heritage) organizations, which includes their missions, audiences, and needs.
  • Create a resource that matches individual artists (and their needs) and cultural organizations (and their needs) with funding opportunities that are currently available.
  • Establish a committee that brings government and ACH community representatives together to brainstorm and initiate projects.
  • Develop an Action Plan to make long-term impact using this project as a building block.

In addition to connecting English-language artists to funders and vice-versa, this project will identify new funding sources and help individual artists, as well as arts organizations in our community take full advantage of the support that is available to them.

Breakdown of funds:

Community Health and Social Services Network – $5.7 million
English-Language Arts Network – $400,000
Seniors Action Québec – $400,00
Literacy Quebec – $400,000


Links to Resources :

Press Release from Ministère du Conseil exécutif

CBC – Quebec unveils where $7M earmarked for Anglos will be invested

Global News – Quebec invests nearly $7 million in English-speaking community

 

Guy Rodgers presenting a Minute Market

Photo by Nasuna Stuart-Ulin

August brings us the second wave of Arts Alive! Québec with simultaneous weekends in Quebec City at the Morrin Centre (August 3 – 4), and in Knowlton (August 3 – 5). ELAN’s partners have programmed an engaging array of performances and hands-on artistic activities for all ages. Click here for full details.

ELAN’s 14th Annual General Meeting plus Schmoozer and Minute Market are coming up on August 27. The AGM is your chance to meet ELAN office staff and project managers, discuss what we have been working on, and get a glimpse of what is planned for the year ahead. It is also a chance to meet the current board of directors and vote in some new members. I hope to see many of you there.

I want to pay tribute here to an old friend, Harry Gulkin, who passed away July 23 at the age of 90. I first met Harry in 1986. He was the new Artistic Director of the Saidye Bronfman Centre, and had programmed an ambitious season of theatre, music, readings and visual arts. I had recently graduated from the National Theatre School’s Playwriting Program and convinced Harry to hire me as General Manager of the freshly renovated theatre. We embarked on a tumultuous season that incurred a significant deficit, and were both out of work when the Saidye Bronfman Centre’s chief benefactor put a stop to additional funding, bringing that particular adventure to a screeching halt.

Fortunately, we both landed on our feet. Harry was immediately hired by SODEC (Société de développement des entreprises culturelles), the provincial funding agency film and television, and by a happy coincidence, a film producer I was working with received funding from SODEC to develop my script. When ELAN was created, Harry joined our advisory board to share his vast knowledge and passion for the arts.

The NFB (National Film Board of Canada) documentary, Red Dawn on Main Street, and Bill Brownstein’s tribute in the Montreal Gazette provide some insights into a multi-faceted human being: merchant marine, union activist, retail marketing executive, artistic director, legendary film producer, and tireless champion of Canadian culture. Harry’s impact on Quebec’s cultural scene was immense, and his influence on those who had the privilege to know him was immeasurable.

Guy Rodgers
Executive Director