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June is Membership Month at the Niagara Artists Centre, which means there’s no better time to sign up or renew your membership. In this Q&A, artist and NAC Board member Carrie Perreault talks about why she became a NAC member, a memorable NAC experience on the Thomas Craig Oliver Terrace, and why “it’s always good to be part of a large, bizarre family.”

Visit the NAC’s Dennis Tourbin Member’s Gallery and you can see some of Carrie’s remarkable photographs, prints, ceramics and multiples. Her show, we’ve forgotten where our hearts have been, runs until June 26.

When did you become a NAC member and why?
I don’t remember when I became a NAC member. Maybe five or six years ago? I became a NAC member because I was and still am an emerging artist and I wanted to have access to equipment rentals. NAC also provides diverse programming and acts as a venue to a lot of arty things that would generally be outside of my peripheral. Attending varied events and being part of those things helps me to learn and expand who I am.

Are you an artist, an art appreciator or both?
I’m an artist and an arts appreciator. I don’t know that you could be one without the other.

What’s the best thing about being an artist in Niagara?
I think one of the best things about being an artist in Niagara is the sense of possibility.

Name a Niagara artist whose work knocks your socks off.
Marinko Jareb
 really makes me pause for thought. I admire his positivity and am excited by his investigations and willingness to push himself as an artist, and take risks. I also respect and admire his engagement in the local arts scene and his integration in the broader community.

Tell us about a memorable NAC experience.
The other night I attended the Nihilist Spasm Band who performed on the Thomas Craig Oliver Terrace. That was pretty remarkable! They were great fun and I think as a band they exemplify the idea of play, failure, exploration and absurdity. These are beautiful things to celebrate, and they help to remind us just how boring the everyday can be, but in the same breathe how we can challenge our notions and personal abilities every step of the way.

What’s the number one reason to become a NAC member?
It’s always good to be part of a large, bizarre family and the NAC certainly provides that. They also offer a piece of southern fried chicken at the AGM, though not enticing for a vegetarian, it’s still a gesture I can support.