For our NAC Member of the Moment series, we asked Niagara Artists Centre members about art in Niagara and the number one reason to join the NAC. In this interview, artist, arts educator and NAC Board member Maggie Groat talks about returning to Niagara, a memorable concert, and the many benefits that come with a NAC membership.
Maggie Groat is a visual artist working in a variety of media including collage, sculpture, artists’ books, site-specific interventions, and field studies. Forming an ongoing research-based practice, Groat’s work explores studies for possible futures, alternative and marginalized ways-of-knowing, salvage practices, and relationships and reconnections to place, from a hybrid Indigenous/Settler perspective. Through reconfiguring and recontextualizing found and salvaged materials, she assembles images, sculptures, tools and situations that enable moments of envisioning and the potential for action. Maggie studied visual art and philosophy at York University before attending The University of Guelph, where she received an MFA degree in 2010. In fall 2014, Groat was the Artist Scholar in Residence at Emily Carr University in Vancouver. Her work is currently on display AKA Artist-Run in Saskatoon, SK, and Erin Stump Projects in Toronto, and a site-specific exhibition and self-directed residency underway at Brock University’s gallery, Rodman Hall Art Centre in St. Catharines, ON. Group shows at The Western Front and Winsor Gallery in Vancouver, Le Musée d’art contemporain des Laurentides in St. Jerome, QC, and Kamloops Art Gallery in Kamloops, BC to follow later in 2015. She is represented by Erin Stump Projects in Toronto.
When did you become a NAC member and why?
I have been a NAC member since 2009. It was a time in my life where I could both afford it and understand the benefits of staying connected to an arts community in my hometown (even though I lived elsewhere at the time). I have attended NAC events since I was in high school and it just made sense at the time to reconnect.
Are you an artist, an art appreciator or both?
I am a practicing artist and arts educator, but also an artist book and multiple collector, arts magazine subscriber and frequent art exhibition attendee.
What’s the best thing about being an artist in Niagara?
My cheap, big, bright studio, lack of distractions, quick access to non-urban areas and that its an affordable place to raise a family while still making art.
Name a Niagara artist whose work knocks your socks off.
My husband and fellow NAC member Jimmy Limit. I still can’t believed he moved here with me three years ago. Originally from Toronto, he is able to help me see this city with fresh eyes and he shares the reasons why Niagara is a good place to live as a practicing artist. Also, his work is curious, humorous and smart.
Tell us about a memorable NAC experience.
Seeing Wyrd Visions play in such a warm, intimate setting last winter.
What’s the number one reason to become a NAC member?
The access to equipment, facilities and for keeping in the loop about all the art events and exhibition opportunities happening in Niagara.
Check back for more Member of the Moment on the NAC blog.