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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, photographer, teacher and NAC Board member Maud Rostaing talks about Niagara artists, her problems with socks, and how the NAC helped her love St Catharines.

When did you become a NAC member and why?
It must have been 10 years ago, I think. I was still fairly new to this town, not liking it too much, missing the big city, the museums, galleries and plays. And then bang! NAC was introduced to me. A huge artistic door opened into my St Catharines life.

Are you an artist, an art appreciator or both?
I am definitely an art appreciator. I need art around me. Any sort. Visual, music, plays…. As for being an artist? Well, I do love photography. I don’t feel the need to differentiate who’s an artist and who is not. I just need to be surrounded by it, appreciate it, and create when I feel like it!

What’s the best thing about being an artist in Niagara?
There is no limit, no “not good enough” or “wtf”. Whoever wants to create does, in their own personal way. No snobbish looks. Or if there are, it does not affect the artist. It gives them more steam to do more. I love it. Niagara’s artistic scene has a good self esteem, feels confident. It’s fantastic!

Name a Niagara artist whose work knocks your socks off.
That’s a hard one. One, because there are too many choices. Two, because I don’t like wearing socks.

I’m always very impressed with Brittany Brooks and her delicate drawings, storytelling, and talent. She seems to have some kind of magic at the tip of her fingers!

Tell us about a memorable NAC experience.
Oh, there are lots. But I think it’s got to be STRUTT 2013, where I had my first piece on the runway. My piece was called “Trapped”. The Sadies were playing. The WS Tyler venue was outstanding. I danced all through the night. I loved every minute of that night.

What’s the number one reason to become a NAC member?
Being a NAC member keeps me in touch with every artistic environment that is happening in this town and region. And this town is full of talent. I say it loud and clear: NAC helped me love this town.